Sports

Hard work to define M-P baseball

While a teammate watches the pitch from first base, M-P senior Kenny Engels throws a pitch during practice. -
While a teammate watches the pitch from first base, M-P senior Kenny Engels throws a pitch during practice.
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When M-P pitcher Frankie Nelson said his team is going to make its mark this season by playing dirty, he wasnt talking about throwing punches.
Were going to play hard, were going to win with the small ball, he quickly added.
The mentality of this new Tomahawk baseball team under first-year head coach Kurt Koshelnik is all about aggressive play. Nelson goes on to describe their game plan as scrappy baseball.
The Tomahawks lost a lot of seniors to graduation last year, but this new team looks future-oriented. M-P returns seven guys from last year including Nelson and injured senior Alex Austin, both of whom pitched in relief last year. Theyre joined by seniors Ryan Botham behind the plate, Riley Gilbertson at first base, Mike Gange at second base, Ryan DiMascio at shortstop and Johnny Kruick in the outfield.
Other than that, theres a number of new faces on this M-P team.
With pitchers from the classes of 08, 09 and 10, this season should provide a glimpse of the future. Nelson is expected to be joined in starting duties by junior Tyler Holm and sophomore Brennan Steinbach.
Koshelnik credied Nelson for helping instill his philosophy of aggressive play in the bullpen.
Nelsons kind of led the charge with the pitcher bunch, said the coach, who was an assistant last year when the team went 10-6 in conference under Josh Rosenbach. Theyve been doing a lot of bullpen work, throwing every day. I want these guys ready to throw every other day we have a game.
The players echoed their coachs hope that the teams new work ethic shows up in their offensive play.
On the bases were going to be aggressive. We want to take extra bases when theyre given to us, Koshelnik explained. At the plate, were going to be aggressive. Were not going to pass up fastballs. We want to return those, well hit those hard.
M-P senior Joe Bray will lead off the batting order, but with a small-ball game, the Tomahawks are counting on strength throughout the lineup.
Whatever the season holds for these guys, Koshelnik is counting on hard work to be their trademark.
If I get these guys to buy into the mentality that theyre going to work hard, things are going to go good for us, he said. Well take it as it comes.

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