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Bases loaded for new season

February 18, 2011

Walking a tightrope can only be achieved if the person traversing it can maintain a steady balance. The same can be said for achieving success on the baseball diamond as a strong offense only reaches its full potential when balanced with a sound defense. After finishing the 2010 season with a 12-23 record, acquiring more consistency is something the Monmouth College baseball team needs to improve upon according to senior pitcher, Corey Gruber.

“As a team we need to get better in all areas of the game,” said Gruber. “Last year when we would get clutch pitching we lacked clutch hitting. Then when we had clutch hitting, we lacked clutch pitching. We need to find a way to put all that together on a more consistent basis.”

Gruber, who finished last season with a 5-5 record on the mound, including two complete games and a team leading 63 strikeouts, noted that one of the things he would like to work on is lowering his ERA. In 2010 Gruber’s season ERA was 4.34.

“I would like to have an ERA below two. If I can do that day in and day out I would give our team the best chance to win,” said Gruber.

With spring training starting on March 5, in Fort Myers Fla., Gruber will get plenty of time to hone in on his pitching repertoire and mentioned that ball control is the main thing he wants to focus on.

“As long as you throw strikes you’re giving your team a chance to make plays. That’s an area I try to improve upon every year,” said Gruber.

With roughly 25 players going to spring training, coach Sander and the rest of the coaching staff will get the opportunity to see who can fill in the gaps from last year’s team.

“One weakness we have is we don’t know who is going to produce this year,” said Gruber. “We have some holes that need to be filled and we won’t know who can fill them until we start playing games.”

However, a solid freshman class could help solve that very issue.

“Some of the freshman pitchers had good pop on their fastballs and good off-speed to compliment it,” said Gruber. “Hopefully they keep working to get better so they can be immediate impact players.”

Spring training will end on March 17, and the team will then play its home opener on March 19 against Coe College. Gruber has high expectations for the Scots this season as he stated that anything short of winning the conference tournament is an underachievement.


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