19 June 2013

Baseball: Winters enjoyed final season

Mike Winters: 13 years as coach (photo by J. Lindquist)
Coach Mike Winters said his 13th and final season on the Farmington bench was an enjoyable one.

The Tigers finished the 2013 campaign with an overall mark of 7-11 and went 7-7 in Missota Conference play, good enough for a third place tie in the final league standings.

"The kids competed and worked all season long," Winters said. "I have no complaints, only praise for the 2013 Tigers."

The seniors did an unbelievable job of leading us through a difficult spring. They are all MVP's in my book."

Winters and his staff awarded 20 varsity letters at the team's post-season banquet with nine of them going to seniors: Spencer Merle, Kevin Olund, Jordan Lugowski, Jared Lipinski, Kyle Mayer, Zach Huber, Isaac Toenjes, Caleb Eiffert and Turner Olson.

Underclassmen receiving monograms included Johnny Dittman, Nick Schoening, Jordan DeCroock, JD Hinks, Landon Neilson, Ryan Giebel and Jordan Beschorner and sophomores Bobby Eckert, Zach Speikers, Parker Holmstrom, and Austin Martinsen.

Other team members included  Nick Hessa, Tyler Clayton, Edgar Espino, Buck Lester, Kyle Johnsoan and Trent Seal.

Spencer Merle: All-Missota, Leading Hitter (.404) (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Merle won all-Missota Conference honors for the second straight season and Lugowski joined him on the all-league team. Dittman and Eckert received all-conference honorable mention.

Merle was the team's leading hitter with a .404 average and took home the team's batting award. Lugowksi, who hit. 400, was named Mr. D (4 errors) for his defensive efforts and Lipinski (1.03 earned run average) received the Top Gun Award given the top pitcher.

Jordan Lugowski: All-Missota, Mr. D (photo by J. Lindquist)
Eckert who batted .306 won Rookie of the Year honors while Olson, Toenjes and Eiffert shared the Coaches' Award.

Winters said the 2013 season featured many highlights, starting with the pre-season trip to Arkansas and ending with conference sweeps of New Prague and Chanhassen.

"It was good to watch the kids overcome a difficult spring by working their butts off both indoors and outside," Winters said. "They did everything we asked with no questions. They were one of the best groups ever."

While Winters won't be back at the helm next spring he is confident his successor will have a good nucleus on which to build the program.

"We started from four to six underclassmen," he said. "and two of our top three pitchers as far as innings pitched will be back. That will make for a good core."