With a veteran core returning for the 2020 season, Albion College baseball coach Scott Carden said having the fall scrimmage against Hillsdale College rained out was a disappointment but it wasn't tragic, either.
Carden said the Britons could have eight men who were significant contributors to the 2019 squad that advanced to the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament in the field this spring.
"It would have been super valuable to see the team compete against outside competition," Carden admitted, noting that replacing all-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association shortstop Joe Turnbull remains the biggest question mark heading into the season. "However, there is a better culture in the program – a better mindset, if you will – and having the scrimmage rained out didn't hurt us."
The series of practices in the fall allowed Carden to tinker with new ideas.
"We used the summer and fall to look at areas where we could improve offensively. We want to swing to do damage while eliminating the bad outs," Carden said about his team that slugged 105 extra base hits last season. "We don't want safe hitters. It's about learning how to hit with two strikes while not changing the approach to drive the ball into the gap and find your way to second base."
The pitching staff will be led by Scott Grant, who returns for his senior year with confidence after pitching the Niagara Power to victory in the New York Collegiate Baseball League championship game.
Bret Chesla, Tristan Ellis, David Kauff and Colton Wiskur form a unit that gives the Britons more good options on the mound than ever in Carden's opinion.
"The guys are capable," Carden said. "The question is who is going to fill the top level roles."
Albion is scheduled to begin the season Feb. 28 when it takes the field in Westfield, Ind., against Manchester University. The Britons home debut is scheduled for March 14, a doubleheader against Bluffton (Ohio) University.
Get the latest information on the team by following @BritonsBaseball on Twitter. General athletics news can also be found @GoBrits on Twitter, AlbionAthletics on Instagram and at facebook.com/albionathletics.
Joe and Julie Serra have given a $5 million leadership gift to launch a fundraising initiative to make two dreams a reality. The first is a newly expanded fitness and student activity facility at the site of the current Dow Recreation and Wellness Center. The second is a new or renovated facility for the volleyball, men's basketball and women's basketball teams that currently call Kresge Gymnasium home.
The College is continuing to raise funds in support of both projects. To learn more, call 517/629-0446 or email email@example.com.