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Season preview: Baseball

Mar 21, 2017


provided by Morgan Holmes

Morgan Holmes, senior, steps up to the plate preparing to take an at-bat.

With the temperatures altering a lot lately, it has given signs of spring to be on its way, with that, the baseball season.

The Royals are ready to get back on the field and show their opponents all the progress they have made since last year.

“I want to get back on the field with the guys I have been playing with for years,” said Morgan Holmes, senior captain.

Last year the Royals had an overall record of 7-12 as they went 1-7 during conference play. When it came time for sections, the Royals stepped it up and won their first two games against Washburn and Armstrong. They then faced the Wayzata Trojans and lost 1-0, after that game they fell to St. Louis Park to end their season.

The Trojans also went on to win sections and later state.

The Trojans finished on top of the Lake Conference with a 16-3 overall record with a 7-1 conference record. The Edina Hornets were close behind with a 16-4 overall record but a 5-3 conference record.

The Royals, who were at the bottom of the Lake Conference standings, will again have a tough season. The team expects to be more of a threat this year in the Lake.

“We have a new group of guys that should bring some new energy and competitiveness to the team,” said Tommy Auth, junior.

With the weather being very unpredictable many sports aren’t able to start practicing yet, but the baseball team has taken advantage with being able to practice inside.

They have had captain’s practices going on ever since January, and will continue until tryouts begin. At captain’s, the team practices hitting, throwing, taking ground balls and some practice their pitching. The three captains this year are Holmes, Ben Wahlen and Matt Shaw, seniors.

The players have been putting in a lot of this extra work to help prepare for tryouts.

“Holmes, Alex Olson, senior, and I will go workout at our club facility a couple times a week to get in extra reps,” Shaw said.

Tryouts started March 20 and go until the 24, which will be played inside unless the weather starts to warm up. The team will continue to play inside until the weather warms up.

“I am excited to get a chance to play alongside the new players for a year,” Holmes said.

They will have new guys on the team, but they will also have a new coach. Former head coach Pat Berger will no longer be apart of the coaching staff after 10+ years, 3 of those being a head coach. Jason Mihalakis will take over as the head coach of the baseball team this year.

The players are excited to see what he will bring to the team.

“I think our new coach will really help turn the program in the right direction. He wants to make Hopkins baseball back into the powerhouse it once was and help us win a lot of games this season and the seasons to come,” Auth said.

Usually getting a new coach takes some time to get used to and be on the same page, but the players aren’t expecting that. They don’t think it will be a tough transition from their old coach to coach Mihalakis.

“Mihalakis has done a great job at getting to know the players and our skill sets,” Holmes added. “He has got the same goal as any other coach and that is to work hard and make it to the state tournament.”

That isn’t only the coach’s goal, it is also the players. Both parties will be working hard to make that goal a reality this season.

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