Infusion of youth to help Detroit Lakes
The Detroit Lakes Angels baseball team is defying the action of aging by getting younger, with an infusion of youth in the lineup for the 2010 season.
The Angels will have several veterans returning, but have added a good amount of young, talented players.
"We have a few guys in their 30's, but have added more younger guys to the roster," said co-manager Phil Kirchner. "It's a good mix I think."
Those Angels returning from the 15-14 team from last year who have good veteran experience include Kirchner, Taylor Fuhs, Phil Doll, Bryan Buhr and Chris Gilson.
Jeff Smerud is a seasoned vet addition from Cherry, as well, and will see time pitching and in the infield.
The pitching rotation will be a bit different from a year ago, but with ace Matt Huberty returning -- but only in a limited basis after he moved to the Twin Cities.
Huberty went 4-3 in 2009, with a 2.58 ERA.
"Matt will pitch for us on the weekends mostly," Kirchner added.
But the Angels will have some young arms on the mound, including Gilson, who had a solid season in 2009.
Gilson was 2-3 with two saves with a 2.25 ERA in 2009.
Four-year Mayville College player Fuhs will also see some time on the mound, as will newcomer and DLHS graduate Brandon Johnson (U of M -- Crookston player) and vet Chad Griffin.
Frazee graduate Trevor Tappe will also be an important contributor, as well.
Buhr has also been an anchor after going 6-1 with one save and a 2.91 ERA.
DLHS graduate Jon Tolbert will also provide good depth in the rotation, as well.
"We also gained two new players and pitchers Kirk Beebout (Clear Lake, S.D.) and Robert Cox (Hawley) to add to the pitching depth," Kirchner said. "But pitching is always a concern with a game-heavy schedule and a tough Hi-10 League."
The Angels' defense should also be solid, with DLHS grad and U of M -- Crookston player Reed Oistad added in the infield.
Jake Kiebke (DL) also will be a top-notch force in the infield, after hitting .351 last season.
Each of Oistad and Kiebke will play either second base or shortstop.
Doug Dickey is also back to catch, with Fuhs and Johnson also seeing time behind the plate.
The outfield will also be athletic with returners Marcus Mooney, Tappe and Gilson seeing time, along with Kirchner.
Nate Eidenschink will also see time in the outfield.
"Gilson is a great athlete in centerfield," Kirchner said.
Offensively, the Angels should be a tough out and should be better or around their .287 team average from a year ago.
Fuhs (.333) and Huberty (.342) were two leaders at the plate, along with Dickey (.340) and Gilson (.333).
"We should have a top one through five lineup, with some speed," Kirchner said. "Overall, our averages should be pretty good."
Last year was the first one in the Angels' four seasons they didn't make the Regions or state.
"Our goal is to return to state, but the Hi-10 League is a very tough one this year," Kirchner added.
The Angels will also hold their seasonal steak fry fundraiser May 22, at the Sandbar in DL.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling Kirchner at 218-846-0613.
The Angels open their season May 8, by hosting Hawley.
Detroit Lakes Angels 2010 schedule:
12 Moorhead Spartans
15 at Fergus Falls
16 at Dent Wildcats
23 Dent Bulldogs
26 Fargo Mets
31 at Bertha
2 at New York Mills
5-6 at Sartell Tournament
12-13 DL Tournament
23 Pelican Rapids
25 at Wadena-Deer Creek
27 at Dent Bulldogs
30 at Perham
2 Alumni Game
10 Wadena-Deer Creek
14 New York Mills
16 at Bluffton
17 at Midway
18 at Vergas.