Congratulations Wood Ducks! Century's Men's Baseball team is heading to the NJCAA DIII World Series for the 2ND time in 3 years! The Wood Ducks are ranked #2 nationally, with a record of 38-7. View the games here (May 23-28).
As a member of the Century College baseball team, you'll have the opportunity to participate in a complete, comprehensive, nationally–ranked baseball program, which includes an 18–20 game fall schedule, and a 56–game spring schedule.
The fall and spring game schedule is very competitive, with numerous games scheduled with nationally– ranked teams from all over the country. The fall baseball season begins in late August and runs until November 10.
Spring practice begins January 10. The team takes a spring trip to Florida in March where they play 12-14 games, and also have 10-12 games scheduled in the Metrodome beginning mid-February. The team travels to play scheduled games in Illinois, Nebraska, and Kansas on occasion.
The Century College baseball team plays and practices on campus on their brand new baseball complex. The on-campus facilities include indoor and outdoor batting cages, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and much more.
The 2015 team will have some big shoes to fill as they try and replace 22 sophomores from a very successful 2014 squad who was ranked #1 nationally most of the 2014 season. The Wood Ducks finished the 2014 season with a 39-12 record, falling 1 game short of a repeat appearance at the NJCAA World Series.
In 2015, there will be numerous new faces on the field for Century. On the pitching staff, redshirt sophomore Mitch Degrasse (Eau Claire, WI) will look to rebound from Tommy John surgery in 2013 when he was the ace of the staff that year. Alex Freese (Osceola, WI), Josh Stuempert (Woodbury), and Patrick Mulvaney (White Bear Lake) are the only other returning pitchers who saw innings in 2014. Nate Olin (Somerset, WI) is a redshirt freshmen who was hurt in 2014, but looks to be ready in 2015.
The Wood Ducks do have some very talented freshmen pitchers who are battling for spots in the rotation including: Ryan Schlosser (RHP - South St. Paul), Isaiah Strassburg (LHP - Chippewa Falls, WI), Corey Roach (RHP/3B - Brookings, SD), Trenten Rabel (LHP/OF - Forest Lake), Chase Gurule (RHP - Roy, Utah), Josh Buschette (RHP – Sauk Centre), and Christian Zellner (RHP - White Bear Lake).
“Inexperience on our pitching staff is the biggest thing we have to overcome this year,” stated Head Coach Dwight Kotila. “We have to replace our top 5 pitchers who all signed with NCAA DI and II colleges after last season, and 2 others who went to NCAA DIII colleges. We expect Mitch DeGrasse to be ready to go now that he is almost 2 years removed from Tommy John surgery, and we do have a talented freshmen group of pitchers who have a chance to be good if they can keep developing.”
The Wood Ducks return only 1 starting position player from 2014, and that is 2B Skylar Cary (.431; 9-2B; 30 RBI). Other returning sophomores who saw action in 2014 include: 1B Bo Howard (.385; 1-HR); CF Spencer Merle; OF Garrett Ganskie, and SS/3B Eric Olheiser.
A pair of NCAA D1 transfers will help add experience and talent to the lineup. Justus Nelson (C) and Axel Twenge (SS/3B) both transferred from the University of North Dakota. Jeff Holmes (OF - Oakton CC, IL) is another transfer that will add depth to the OF. Some incoming freshmen that are fighting for starting spots include: Owen Carlson (C – Owatonna); Andrew Penney (OF – Fargo, ND); Matt Hasselquist (C/1B – Chisago Lakes); Wes Anderson (SS – Duluth East); Carter Roach (2B – Brookings, SD).
“Even though we have to replace 7 starting position players from 2014, we did bring in some talented transfers and freshmen who will be very good players once they get more experience,” stated Kotila. “I expect us to be pretty good defensively, and the offense will improve as the season goes on.”
Century opens the 2015 season in Millington, Tennessee and USA Stadium where they will participate in the Babe Howard Classic February 26 - March 1. The team will also travel to Orlando, Florida to play 12 games at the RussMatt Invitational March 11-20, and to Illinois for 6 games March 26-29.
“We had a tremendous season in 2014 being ranked #1 nationally most of the year, and we had 12 players move on to NCAA DI, II, III, and NAIA schools,” stated Head Coach Dwight Kotila. “This year, we have a lot of new faces, and it will take a little more time to get some of them game ready. But if everyone works hard and stays focused, I feel we will be in position to make a run towards another berth in the NJCAA World Series.”
Director of Athletics/Head Baseball Coach Dwight Kotila, 651.779.3325