After a down year, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) baseball team is looking to bounce back this season.
Last season the Pointers finished 27-15 overall, as they missed the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in seven years.
So far this season, UWSP is off to an 8-3 start following its trip to Florida last week, and will return to action against UW-Platteville (5-9) with a pair of doubleheaders Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, in Whitewater, as the games were moved due to unplayable field conditions in Stevens Point and Platteville.
“We’ve got a core group of juniors and seniors who are wearing a little bit of a chip on their shoulder from having been part of what was a disappointing finish for us last year,” said 10th-year UWSP baseball head coach Pat Bloom.
“I think that they’re really motivated to want to right those wrongs and to get our program back up to the standard that its been accustomed to performing, which is being a nationally-recognized and respected program that competes for championships at a conference, regional and national level.
“I think that they understand the recent history and tradition of success we’ve had here, and they want to get us back to where we belong,” said Bloom.
After winning six out of the previous seven WIAC Tournament Titles, the Pointers finished third in the WIAC last year during the regular season and were swept in the WIAC Tournament to put an end to their season.
UWSP lost three-time First Team All-WIAC infielder Justin Jirschele, who is currently in the Chicago White Sox minor league system, and First Team All-WIAC outfielder Bryan Clark from last year, but is led by the return of three seniors atop its lineup in shortstop/outfielder Dan Douglas, catcher Ryan Schilter and first/third baseman Sean Gerber.
Douglas (.440 average, 17 runs scored this season) is a four-year starter and was a First Team All-WIAC selection in 2011, Schilter (.413, 18 runs scored, 16 RBI) was a first team All-WIAC selection last year and a Pre-season First Team All-American pick this season, and Gerber (.390, two home runs, 17 RBI) was a First Team All-WIAC selection the last two seasons.