Bayside Chatter: April 5
The Mariner baseball team is returning to the field with none of the seniors who started last season. As always, pitching is the key, since bad weather can force a lot of games into a short period of time.
The 2013 Mariner squad has only one senior in outfielder Brock LeBlanc. Pitchers will include the returning trio of juniors Zach Duresky, Luke Small and Jonah Koehler. Freshman Nathan Bauck, who started at third base last season, could also see some action on the mound along with another developing pitcher. Junior Chad Smuk will be at first base once the play is finished. The rest of the infield will consist of Small, Koehler and Bauck depending on who is pitching. Sophomore Marcus Small will behind the plate. The outfield will come from the group LeBlanc, Duresky, junior Michael Kolfstad and sophomores Spencer Tiboni and Cody Peterson.
The Mariners finished last season with a record of 5-11. Everybody gained a lot of experience. I look for a slow start and a strong finish, setting up a very experienced team for 2014. Shawn Bartlette returns as the head coach and will be assisted by Pat Rendle.
Softball schedule changes
The softball team has already had to rearrange some of its schedule. Its first game is now scheduled for Monday at home versus Proctor and is probable. Its opening game with Mesabi East has been rescheduled for April 19 and the game with Mountain Iron-Buhl has been canceled, as the Rangers couldn't field a team. Both teams are scheduled to host Barnum on Thursday.
381 banquet this weekend
The annual 381 banquet and fundraiser is scheduled for tomorrow at the Reunion Hall. Social hour will be at 5:30-6:30 p.m., with dinner at 6:30-7:30 p.m. Games and prizes will follow.
St. Cloud in the Frozen Four with connections to SB
St. Cloud State was the only one of six WCHA teams to win two games and advance to the Frozen Four which will be next weekend at Pittsburgh. The Huskies have two connections to Silver Bay. Senior captain Drew LeBlanc was the MVP of the WCHA and is one of ten finalists for the Hobey Baker award. Both his parents, Guy and Paula, were graduates of William Kelly high school. Drew also has been a counselor at the Silver Bay summer hockey camp. Joey Benik was the MVP of the Midwest Region as he scored twice in each game. He set the state record for goals his senior season at St. Francis and attended the Silver Bay summer hockey camp on numerous occasions.