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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Baseball the latest sport to move back home this spring

By Pat Murphy

The Macalester baseball team comes into the 2009 season with a young and talented lineup, brand new stadium, and plenty of optimism. The team will look to the three captains, SP James Murrey ’10, 3B Devin English ’10 and SS Nate Wilson-Traisman ’10 to lead the way.

Ace starting pitcher Murrey anchored the rotation last year with seven wins, three complete games, a 2.29 ERA, and an impressive sixty strikeouts in fifty-five innings. Coming into this season, Murrey says he has made vast improvements.

“I’m much more prepared ability-wise this year than in years past,” Murrey said.

Over the offseason, Murrey worked on his off-speed pitches, which should allow him to be even more effective on the mound this season. Murrey, along with Eric Robinson ’10 will be relied on to anchor the Scot’s rotation.

Offensively, Wilson-Traisman had a huge year in ’08, hitting .364, with four triples and 21 RBI’s. Wilson-Traisman is looking to improve on his already impressive offensive production.

“I’d like to hit over .400 overall, and increase my power numbers,” Wilson-Traisman said.

Wilson-Traisman isn’t one to just focus on putting up big offensive numbers, though. He also expressed a serious commitment to improving his defensive play.

“My defense definitely has a lot of room for improvement,” he said.

English also had a breakout year in ’08, hitting .354, with four homeruns and 27 RBIs. The powerful English also emphasized defense.

“If we are more effective this year at keeping runs off of the board, I think our offense is strong enough to beat a lot of teams,” English said.

Having three junior captains is a rarity, but head coach Matt Parrington is confident in their ability to lead the team to a successful season.

“They all work hard and lead by example,” Parrington said of the Captains. Some other returning players who Parrington said will play a big role for the team are Outfielder Mike Kennedy ’10, 2B/OF Jason Friedman ’10 and OF Will Chen ’11.

Parrington highlighted Kennedy, who hit .333 last year.

“He doesn’t just hit for numbers, but he gets a lot of key hits,” Parrington said. Of Robinson, who will be the #2 starter, Parrington said, “E-Rob has the ability to pound the strike zone and change speeds. He is a very competitive person who will challenge the hitters.”

Parrington was also optimistic about Friedman’s prospects for a bounce-back season.

“Jason is a versatile athlete who can more than hold his own defensively in the infield or outfield,” he said.

Parrington described Chen, who figures to be a mainstay in the outfield, as, “a guy who has a plus arm from the outfield, tracks the ball well, and has some pop in his bat.”

There will also be a number of new faces playing important roles for the team this year. There are twelve freshmen on the roster. Parrington said that some of the freshmen that will contribute right away are IF Mitch Glasser, C Garrett Salzman, C Robert Williams, and P Nick Meerson.

Glasser, a second baseman from Chicago, is looking forward to his first season at Mac.

“We’re ready to put on a show for the student body at Mac,” Glasser said.

Salzman, Williams, and Meerson make up a talented trio of freshmen from Los Angeles. Williams said of his relationship with Salzman, “I think the biggest thing for us is that we both know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so, we can help each other out.”

Salzman agreed, saying, “We’ll be able to learn from each other, and having fresh legs behind the plate will be great for our pitching staff.”

Meerson, a talented southpaw said, “I would like to make as big of an impact as I can by helping the team win as many games as possible.”

A talented and deep roster along with the opening of Mac’s new baseball field has many of the players optimistic about the team’s prospects for the season.

“We’ve made some big strides over the past couple of years, now we just need to put it together and make a solid run,” Murrey said.

Wilson-Traisman agreed, saying “I really like the way our team’s coming together. I fully expect us to contend for a playoff spot.”

The team opens its season at the Metrodome with a doubleheader against Edgewood at 10 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27.

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