March 8, 2013
GALESBURG—Carl Sandburg College baseball coach T.J. Lindburg admits his team may not have any superstars, but that doesn’t mean he thinks the Chargers can’t put together a quality season.
“We don’t have anybody lineup-wise that’s going to be an all-American, hit double figures in home runs, hit .400-plus,” said Lindburg, in his sixth season as head coach, “but I think we’re going to have a group of guys that is going to be able to play a good, team offensive baseball game.”
Sandburg starts its season at noon Saturday with a doubleheader against Westmoreland County (Pa.) to kick off its Spring Break trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Chargers will play seven games there against six teams over a span of five days. Sandburg’s first home game is scheduled for noon March 17 against McHenry at the William “Bill” Hungate Baseball/Softball Complex.
The Chargers bring back solid pitching depth in sophomores Kyle Mesecher (Stronghurst, Ill./Burlington Notre Dame), Ted Moreland (Princeville, Ill./Princeville) and Tim Chick (Monmouth, Ill./Monmouth-Roseville), but Lindburg also likes the team’s newcomers on the mound.
Left-handed freshman Zach Zwenger (Glendale, Mo./Hazelwood West), freshman Tim Rossell (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg) and freshman Jeff Trokey (St. Louis/Troy Buchanan) are among those who figure to see innings. Overall, 14 of the 28 players on Sandburg’s roster could see time in the middle of the diamond.
“I like our pitching depth,” Lindburg said. “As long as we can keep the ball down in the zone, we have a lot of guys who have movement that you don’t see at this level very often.”
Sophomore Andrew Sprenke (St. Charles, Mo./Francis Howell Central) is back at third base after hitting .270 with 22 RBIs last season and should play a key role in the middle of the Chargers’ lineup.
“He started off the year great and fell off toward the end, which a lot of freshmen do when they see how many games we play,” Lindburg said. “He realizes what he has to do to take care of his body and stay strong.”
Brett Martinez (St. Louis/Mehlville), last year’s starting shortstop, moves to second base to make room for sophomore Brian Pflum (Burlington, Iowa/Burlington), a transfer from Loras.
“Brian is basically every coach’s dream,” Lindburg said. “He’s not going to go to a showcase and light up pro scouts’ eyes with one tool, but every tool is above average.”
Billy King, an all-Arrowhead Conference outfielder last season, is back after leading the Chargers in 2012 with a .346 average, 45 hits, 10 doubles and 28 runs. His 22 RBIs tied Sprenke for second on the team.
“He’s a nice left-handed bat with some pop,” Lindburg said. “Billy’s a very versatile player because he’s got a little pop in his bat but can also really run. When he gets on base he can make things happen.”
Lindburg said it may take some time for Sandburg to develop a regular lineup, but he thinks the sky is the limit for the Chargers this spring.
“Honestly, the highest ceiling I’ve had since I’ve been here is with this team,” Lindburg said. “The only negative to that is that a lot of guys, especially on the pitching staff, are freshmen. If that ceiling comes to them quicker, it’s definitely the highest ceiling I’ve had since I’ve been here.”
2013 Carl Sandburg College baseball team: Brendan Butrimas, Luke Carroll, Tim Chick, Cory Cook, Colton Crain, Blake Durflinger, Don Giamanco, Lucas Giertz, Michael Harp, Josh Josephson, Billy King, Jon Kupfert, Kyle Mesecher, Brad Moody, Ted Moreland, Brian Pflum, Brett Martinez, Tim Rossell, Rebel Schott, Connor Shaw, Andrew Sprenke, Josh Swank, Jeff Trokey, Josh Wade, Jake Warner, Ryan Wendt, Travis Windsor, Zach Zwenger. Coach: T.J. Lindburg. Assistant coaches: A.J. Fields, Chad Scott.