The Le Mars baseball team will be playing a summer baseball game before May 20th for the first time on record when they take the field today against Sergeant Bluff-Luton. This is thanks to a change from the Iowa High School Athletic Association that shifted the start of the baseball season up one week to accommodate their new family week during the last week of July. Le Mars Head Coach Trent Eckstaine says it’s definitely new, but it also has been nice for his guys.
The Bulldogs will come out with a team that features just one senior, three juniors, and the rest are sophomores or younger. It’s important that the Bulldogs get those younger guys on the right page early to have a good start. Thankfully, Coach Eckstaine has seen the younger guys pick up varsity baseball well.
The Bulldogs will have to find pieces to replace a lot of their graduated talent in every aspect of the game, but the aspect that will require a lot of attention is the pitching rotation. Of the 34 games played last season by Le Mars, only eight of them had a starting pitcher that returned for this season. Seven of those eight starts came from sophomore Ayden Hoag who looks to be the ace of the rotation this season. For Coach Eckstaine, the key for the rest of the rotation will be consistency.
As the lone senior, Cal Eckstaine will be bearing a lot of the leadership role of this team with his dad as the head coach too. Coach Eckstaine says this will require Cal to be vocal and lead by example for the club.
The Bulldogs open their season tonight in Sergeant Bluff with a doubleheader against the Warriors in the MRAC. You can listen to the game on KLEM.