Angels to have same look as 2012 Region 14C championship team
So what’s the best path for the Detroit Lakes Angels to take to follow one of their best seasons ever?
Stay the same.
That’s exactly the course of action the Angels are setting for the 2013 season, as they return the vast majority of their 25-15 state-qualifying squad from a year ago.
The Angels are poised to defend their Region 14C championship with a deep pitching staff and a potent batting lineup once again.
“Our goal every year is to make the regional playoffs and state,” said co-manager Phil Kirchner.
“We have some deep pitching and some good bats returning this year.”
The Angels’ team batting average last year was a solid .279, as the entire lineup were tough outs.
Region 14C MVP Mark Gulseth returns after a spectacular 2012 season where he hit .429 with seven homers and 27 RBIs.
“It’s always nice to return a player like Mark,” Kirchner said.
Taylor Fuhs also had another good year for the Angels last season, hitting .463 with 17 RBIs.
Chris Gilson is coming off a solid Concordia College career playing football and baseball, and will be looked upon for good numbers this season after he hit .302 with seven homeruns and 25 RBIs.
College player Connor McLeod will be a full-time player this year and will be another bolstered bat in an already high-octane lineup.
He finished with a .319 average in limited duty last year.
“Our top six to seven hitters are proven hitters, with lots of home runs,” said Kirchner, who rang up six round trippers last year himself, along with 25 RBIs and a .265 average.
“But to win in baseball, you need good pitching and defense.”
The Angels will not only have a deep rotation on the mound, but a good, top-heavy one, as well.
That staff will be led by University of North Dakota pitcher Brock Johnson, who can overpower batters.
He had a very impressive 0.94 ERA in 2012, while striking out 55 in 48 innings of work, and went 6-2 on the season.
Not far behind in the pecking order is another ace in Gilson, who had a 1.46 ERA with a team-high 61 strikeouts and a 5-1 record in 55.2 innings of action.
“We pitched 11 guys last year and we will need every one of them again this season since we have a 26-game regular season schedule,” Kirchner said.
The depth is solid, with Nick Polejewski returning along with Matt Huberty, Reed Oistad, Bryan Buhr and Trevor Tappe.
The pitching staff will be handled by two reiliable veteran catchers in Fuhs and Doug Dickey (.262 batting average).
At first base, Gulseth and newcomer Max Bentley will have reliable leather, with a host of infielders playing, including McLeod, Fuhs, Oistad, Ryan Berg and Buhr.
Kirchner and Gilson bring plenty of experience in the outfield, as well.
The Angels also will have a couple of Laker high school players seeing time in catcher Kirk McLeod and infielder Austin Eiter.
Other veterans who will contribute include Jon Tolbert (pitcher), T.J. Manning (outfield) and Nate Eidenschink (outfield).
Mark Jorgenson returns as co-manager, while Dean Jorgenson is back as statistician and Kim Fuhs as business manager.
The Hi-10 favorites will once again be Bertha and Detroit Lakes, with Perham returning a solid core and Breckenridge being a new addition to the Countryside League.
The Angels have two tournaments this summer, the first being in Sartell, June 1-2 and the second in DL at Washington Ballpark, June 7-9.
The team’s annual steak fry fundraiser will be Saturday, May 25, at the Sandbar, starting at 6 p.m. Cost is $20, with the meal and drinks included.
The Angels will face Wolf Lake at Washington Ballpark at 2 p.m. that day, with former Incredible Uglies band member Mike Gilson performing from 8-9 p.m. that evening after the steak fry.
Tickets can be purchased from Angels players or by contacting Kirchner at 841-0157.
The 2013 Detroit Lakes Angels schedule:
5 New York Mills
12 at Pelican Rapids
15 Fargo Mets
18 at Perham
22 Fargo Mets
25 Wolf Lake
29 Moorhead Spartans
1-2 Sartell Tournament
7-9 Detroit Lakes Tourney
15 at Bertha
15 at New York Mills
22 at Breckenridge
22 at Fergus Falls
29 at Midway
30 at Wadena-Deer Creek
6 Audubon (DH)
19-21 Hi-10 playoffs
26-28 Region playoffs