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Austin Eiter will be a mainstay at shortstop this season. Brian Basham/Tribune

Detroit Lakes Baseball Preview

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When the snow finally does clear for the 2013 Detroit Lakes baseball season, the Lakers will be fielding a quite inexperienced and young team.

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With a couple of crucial injuries carried over from the winter season, along with a big graduating class last year, the Lakers will have plenty of new players in new positions.

“We really have about four guys who saw a lot of innings last year, after that, it’s pretty inexperienced,” said DL head coach Steve Fuhs. “Right now, it’s hard to judge the players we do have because we’ve been indoors every day.”

The Lakers will have some seasoned arms in the starting rotation in seniors Tyler Gebhart, A.J. Matter and Austin Eiter.

From there, it will be a mix and match of pitchers to fill in the rest of the rotation.

“Those three had some innings last year and they will be our go-to guys,” Fuhs said. “They will have to throw a lot of innings.”

With the potential of having up to four to five games a week due to postponements early in the season, Fuhs will have to put some first-time varsity pitchers out on the mound.

The junior class does have a bevy of arms, including Jackson Lyngaas, Sam Voz, Brandon Dahring, Jeff Gailfus and Ben Thompson.

“We won’t have a lot of strikeout pitchers, so the key will be to play good defense and make the routine plays,” Fuhs added.

The infield will be relying on three-year starter Kirk McLeod at catcher, who will be the field general and helping run the pitchers.

Eiter will be at shortstop when not pitching, while Matter returns as an experienced first baseman.

“I expect a great year from Kirk and he will be able to help the pitchers out and contain the running game,” Fuhs said.

Junior Ryan Wokasch will back up McLeod at catcher.

Gebhart and Voz will also see time at third base, while senior Nick Groth gains his chance to hold down second base, along with junior Cole Hegg.

Lyngaas and Gailfus also will see time at shortstop behind Eiter.

The outfield will be manned by senior Richie Grossman, who brings the most experience, while Dahring, Thompson and junior Chris Roach will help fill the other slots.

The Lakers will start the season without senior Taylor Magnuson and Reed Johnson, who both would have filled pitching and infield duties.

The top of the batting order will feature the most experienced bats in McLeod, Matter, Eiter and Grossman, while the middle and back end of the order will be filled with the new players.

“It will be a work in progress, no doubt,” Fuhs said. “But we will have to improve each week.”

Perham will be the hands-on favorites in the Mid-State Conference and Section 8-2A, while Fergus Falls and Roseau will also be in the mix at the top of the section.

Terry Eiter will assist Fuhs, while Mike Even will coach the B-team and Jake Blow the ninth grade team.

If weather permits, the Lakers open at home against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Tuesday, April 9, before hosting Fergus Falls April 12.

The 2013 Detroit Lakes baseball schedule:

April

9 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

12 Fergus Falls

16 at Crosby-Ironton (DH)

23 Park Rapids (DH)

25 at Staples-Motley (DH)

30 Wadena-Deer Creek (DH)

May

2 at Perham (DH)

7 Pequot Lakes (DH)

14 at Moorhead

16 Hawley

17 at Pelican Rapids

20 at Bemidji

23 at Thief River Falls (DH).

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Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN. 
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