College Baseball Season Kickoff Preview
Contact: Colton Andresen, Media Relations Coordinator
College Baseball Season Kickoff Preview
Loggers to Watch for on Opening Weekend
La Crosse, Wis. – The 2018 college baseball season begins with an opening weekend loaded with notable matchups. With 20 player signings announced thus far for the upcoming Northwoods League season, the La Crosse Loggers Baseball Club is looking forward to sharing updates on the success of incoming Loggers at their respective schools. The current Loggers roster is constructed of seven pitchers, three catchers, six infielders, and four outfielders from a total of 13 different universities across the country. This includes three programs ranked in the nation’s Top 25 according to d1baseball.com – #10 Texas A&M, #11 UCLA, and #25 Duke.
The Loggers have recruited heavily from the Pac-12 Conference, signing seven players from five schools – UCLA, Arizona, California, Washington, and USC. Freshman infielder Kevin Kendall, redshirt-freshman outfielder Jarron Silva and the nationally ranked UCLA Bruins open their season with a three game home series against the University of Portland beginning Friday, February 16 at 6:00 PM PT. The Arizona Wildcats also open up their season at home as they will play Bryant University in a three game set beginning February 16 at 6:00 PM MT. The Wildcats roster includes the 2017 top prospect out of Nevada Donta Williams and talented freshman shortstop Jacob Blas, who was ranked as the number 5 Impact Freshman in the Pac-12 for the upcoming season. Returning Logger Korey Lee and the California Bears will open their season at the San Diego Tournament, playing their first game against Cincinnati on Friday at 2:00 PM PT. The annual round robin tournament will also include a matchup of future Loggers as the Cal Bears will face San Diego at 6:00 PM PT on Saturday. Junior infielder Brhet Bewley and freshman catcher/first baseman Shane McGuire will represent San Diego on the Loggers roster this season. USC will open up their season at home against Utah Valley beginning at 6:00 PM PT Friday night, and recently signed freshman infielder Jamal O’Guinn will be the Logger to watch for the Trojans this season. To round out the Pac-12 preview, incoming Loggers outfielder Braiden Ward ranks as the number 11 Pac-12 Impact Freshman for the Washington Huskies, who will look to start the season strong with a four game set at Sacramento State beginning Friday at 6:00 PM PT.
The most notable matchup of the weekend for Loggers fans may be the three game series between #25 Duke and #14 Vanderbilt, with first pitch scheduled for Friday at 4:00 PM ET at Hawkins Park in Nashville. An experienced Duke roster that includes former Loggers Griffin Conine and Kennie Taylor, 2018 Loggers pitchers Bill Chillari and Hunter Davis, as well as freshmen standouts Mike Rothenberg and Steve Mann, looks primed for a breakout season in the ACC. Rothenberg is a switch-hitting catcher rated as the number 10 Impact Freshman in the top ranked conference in the nation for 2018. Tenth ranked Texas A&M will open their season at College Station with a three game series against Rhode Island beginning February 16 at 4:30 PM CT. The Aggies roster includes two future Loggers, right handed pitcher Christian Roa and infielder Bryce Blaum, who will look to make an impact with the SEC powerhouse. Two Loggers will take part in the Diamond 9 Sunshine State Classic hosted at Osceola Heritage Park in Florida this weekend as Grant Judkins’ Iowa Hawkeyes take on the Toledo Rockets at 5:30 PM CT and Sean Frontzak’s SLU Billikens face Old Dominion at 10:00 AM CT. Other Loggers in action this weekend include Penn State pitcher Eric Mock in a three game set at Elon University and North Florida lefty Eddie Miller in a home series versus Radford University.
The La Crosse Loggers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 185 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.lacrosseloggers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Loggers as your favorite team.