Baseball team ready to play in April

By : 
Chad Smith
Spring Valley Tribune

The Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland baseball team is off and running with the 2019 season schedule this week. The team will look a little different this season as Dakotah Rostad takes over as head coach.

He said this season is already off to a different start than last year as they spent the previous week outside polishing up their baseball skills.

“It’s a blessing and we’ll take it,” Rostad said. “It’s tough to get kids mentally ready when you’re stuck inside through mid-April like we were last year. We’ve spent the last week breaking down the fundamentals of the game.

“We’ve been working on everything, including the fundamental approach we want the kids to take in each at-bat. We’ve worked on the basic concepts of proper footwork when fielding baseballs. The biggest things we’ve been doing is testing everyone out to see what kind of arms we’re going to have on the mound this spring.”

Because of the pitch count rule in Minnesota high school baseball, Rostad says it’s vital to have as many arms as possible, especially at smaller schools. In grades nine through 12, the team has 22 players on the roster this spring. The numbers are up as last year’s team had just 12 players on the roster. There are some veterans back from last season to build around.

“Senior first baseman Jacob Welch is back this year,” Rostad said. “Drew Copley is back after not playing last season due to injury. He’ll be one of our number one guys, no matter where he’s playing. In fact, Copley signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Riverland Community College.”

Rostad takes over the head coaching position after spending the last two years as the junior high baseball coach. Looking up and down the roster, Rostad says they’ll have a lot of players who can play multiple positions, sometimes even in the same game.

The Bulldogs were 7-10 last season in a schedule that struggled to get games in because of weather. The team ended its season in a slugfest, dropping a 12-11 decision to Byron in the first round of the Class 1AA tournament.

Schedule

GMLOK was scheduled to kick off the season on Monday, April 1, with a road game at Dover-Eyota. The field there isn’t ready yet so GMLOK will actually play that game at home. The Bulldogs were scheduled to host Lyle/Pacelli the next day before finishing the first week on Friday with a road game scheduled for Houston.