Boys baseball starts season off confidently in pursuit of upcoming playoff, state run

Upperclassmen exhibit leadership, look to win conference championship


Troy Stukanberg ’23 tries to avoid tag from Jack Legan ’23 at a March 14 practice on Bennett Field (Barbera/LION).

Scarlett Lestina, Copy Editor

As the spring sports season arrived, boys baseball officially began on Feb. 28, with tryouts for all levels. For the first couple of weeks, the schedule was a bit hectic. Baseball is often a weather permitting sport, and has a multitude of cold weather issues at the start of the spring season. Due to this, the team looked to fit in a practice whenever they could secure a space, head varsity coach Kevin Diete said. 

“I’m just excited to get out there and play,” catcher and team captain Jack McNamara ‘22 said. “It’s all I’ve been thinking about since my summer season ended. We have a great group of guys that I’m excited to play with.”

As the weather got nicer, the team started having a more organized practice schedule as they were able to get on the baseball field at SC after school. At the beginning of the season, they utilized the Fieldhouse, SC upper gyms, and Bennett Field whenever they got the opportunity.

“We have some strong leadership right now which is good to see,” Diete said. “Hopefully that will carry the team and make them better overall so we can make a good playoff run.”

Returning from last year are seven out of the nine varsity starters, who are setting their sights on making a deep state run, infielder Cooper Ohlson ‘22 said. After getting knocked out during the first round of playoffs last season, making it further is the ultimate goal.

“Our goals as a varsity team are to always win a conference championship, win the Steve Bajenski Memorial Tournament, and then make it as far as we can in the state tournament,” Diete said. “It starts with shorter goals, we’ve got to make sure we get better everyday to start.”

This is the first year since 2019 where the baseball team has gotten to play a full season with the entire 2020 season being canceled due to COVID-19. While there was still a 2021 season, it was not the typical length, which the team is excited to experience again, Diete said. 

“It sucked seeing the seniors not able to play their last year,” McNamara said. “They would have had a lot of success and it would’ve been fun to watch.”

With a competitive season of games lined up, the main focus stays on improving and seeing the athletes grow, both athletically and in the world outside of baseball, Diete said.

“We got a good group that likes to compete and I love our chances this year,” McNamara said. “I think we will definitely be more successful than last year.”

The first round of playoffs are on May 24, with the state championship being on June 10-11.