L.M. baseball off to hot start

Published 6:28 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Lake Mills baseball team pulled out its seventh straight win Monday night at home, beating North Butler 10-7.

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The win kept the Bulldogs with an unblemished record as they continue their best start to a season in over 10 years.

Lake Mills sophomore Mason Fritz leaps backwards to make the catch and record the out against North Butler Monday night. – Lory Groe/For the Albert Lea Tribune

What makes the start that much more incredible, is that it’s being done with Chris Throne, a first-year head coach, at the helm.

Throne talked about his coaching style and why he thinks the team has adapted so well to him.

“My coaching style is very vocal,” Throne said. “I love being able to show my excitement to the guys when they are playing well, but also they know when they make a mistake, I will get on them, because they know I expect a lot.

“They have adjusted because I said from the start, this is how it’s going to be. (I) told them, ‘If you guys can give me everything you have, then I will be right there with you every step of the way.’”

Although after looking at the schedule at the beginning of the year,Throne knew they matched up well with who they played, he said the team has played well above his expectations so far.

The Bulldogs have dominated in many of their wins, including 10-run wins over Northwood-Kensett and North Iowa. Through their first seven games, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 63-24 and their doing it with five sophomores in the starting lineup, accompanied by some experienced upperclassmen.

“Cael Boehmer is our best pitcher and leading the team in batting average,” Throne said. “Gabe Irons has hit two home runs and has come up big in key spots. Grant Fjelstad is the leader of our outfield while playing center field, but everyone knows their role and is excelling in it. That’s what makes our team special.”

Throne said one of the biggest keys to success for the Bulldogs this season has been their never-give-up attitude. He said the one word they keep using is ‘battle’, and with that, they never feel like they are out of a game.

With just over two-thirds of their regular season remaining, Throne said team confidence is very high.

“They know what they are capable of,” Throne said. “But they also know any sort of lack of focus or intensity can start  us  down a path that we don’t want.”

The Bulldogs play again Wednesday when they travel to Bancroft to take on North Union and will have a tough test against perennial powerhouse Newman Catholic next week.

“Being my first year as head coach, these guys will have a special place with me,” Throne said.  “This start is just making it even better.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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