The 2013 season is looking promising for the Lincoln Christian University (LCU) baseball program, as a result of Head Coach Chris Headrick’s efforts in recruiting during the off-season. This season’s roster features 13 new players and seven returning players. This is the largest group of newcomers that the program has seen in the past eight years.
Commenting on his expectations for the season, Coach Headrick said, “We will be very strong and deep defensively. Our group of outfielders is the quickest I have ever been around and they are able to make big plays at any time. We have solidified a couple of positions in the infield, and as long as me make the routine plays every game, we will be competitive.”
The new players will have ample opportunity to contribute to improving on last year. Sophomore Ty Unger (Lincoln, IL) will be returning at first base with the potential to be the clean-up hitter in the batting order and improve on his .264 batting average from last year. Junior Chris Krause (Mt. Zion, IL) returns for his junior year as a team captain and starting catcher. He will look to improve on his .210 batting average from last year and he’ll bring with him his impressive .907 fielding percentage. Mitchel Brannock (Heyworth, IL) will also be looking to contribute as a freshman in the outfield as he comes to LCU from Heyworth High School.
LCU’s pitching rotation will be one to watch this year. Senior Justin Walen (Shelbyville, IL) was ranked in the top three of many NCCAA Div. II baseball categories last year. Two big additions in the off-season were sophomores Micah Wolfe and Joey Burge. Wolfe transferred in from Northwestern Ohio University (NAIA). Burge (Lincoln, IL) will be looking to contribute as he transfers in from John Wood Community College with experience on the mound. All three of these individuals will make up the front-end of what should be a very competitive starting pitching rotation. They will look to improve on the 8.13 ERA of the 2012 pitching staff. They also hope to improve on the 4-18 record that LCU posted last year.
According to Coach Headrick, “There is a sense of renewal for the guys this year. They are starting to figure out the potential that we have. As long as they keep their confidence up, there is no reason we shouldn’t have one of the best seasons that LCU has seen in a while.”The Red Lions will open their season on Wednesday, March 6 in St. Louis, MO, where they face St. Louis Christian College.