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2014 Spring Preview: Park baseball team hopes to build in new season

Park senior pitcher/outfielder Kyle Strand will return for the Wolfpack this season. (Bulletin file photo)

Spring brings hope for many baseball teams.

For Park, they hope to turn the tables on close games this season. Last year, close losses plagued the Wolfpack in a 1-15 season. They lost two games a by a run and another pair by three. Their lone victory came against Hastings in a 7-5 win.

Senior pitcher/outfielder Sam Domeier will return for the Wolfpack after rebounding from a season-ending injury in the football season. Senior pitchers/fielders Tavier Simmons and Kyle Strand also return for the Wolfpack.

Domeier had a shutout going through much of their Section 3A playoff game with St. Thomas Academy. Offensively, though, the Wolfpack did not have enough firepower to get past the Cadets in a 2-1 loss.

Park will also need new players to step up with the graduation of pitcher Max Stedt, who also generated runs when batting. The Wolfpack lost a key defensive player in infielder JT Bickel to graduation.

“We are excited about all our players and are waiting to see who rises to the top and competes for the Wolfpack,” second-year coach John McGowan said.

The Wolfpack have a solid turnout for participation numbers. McGowan anticipates having depth on the pitcher’s mound. Offense and the infield remain the bigger questions. They mustered 3.1 runs per game last season.

“We will need some players to step up and provide some offense for us as well as fill some gaps in our infield,” McGowan said.

An ever-tough Suburban East Conference and Section 3 await them this season. State champion Mounds View returns its core. Eastview and Burnsville will be teams to beat in the section.

“Our boys are working hard, they love this game and will show great effort,” McGowan said.

When the Wolfpack get to take the field for competition remains a mystery due to the slow winter thaw. They had to wait until April 27 for their first game in 2013, and they squeezed in five double headers to get the bulk of their games in.

—Matthew Davis