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Rockford College baseball team to lean on local talent

Friday, March 25, 2011  
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By Jay Taft
Posted Mar 25, 2011 @ 12:04 AM

— Rockford College head baseball coach Bob Koopmann is going with a little more local flavor this season, and he believes it will be enough to keep the Regents in the hunt for the postseason.
Rockford College won back-to-back Northern Athletics Conference tournament titles in 2007 and ’08 but fell short the past two seasons with an automatic NCAA Tournament berth on the line. With locals slotted to fill several positions, Koopmann said he hopes this is the year the Regents break through for that postseason bid.

"The seniors and juniors really want to rectify all of that. They want that automatic berth this year,” Koopmann said. "We have the team that can do it, but there are plenty of other coaches out there that are
thinking the same way.”

Infielder and pitcher Jake Nicholson, who came over from Rock Valley, and outfielder Kipton Bucey played high school ball at Stillman Valley and are penciled into Koopmann’s starting lineup. Curt Daughenbaugh, a returning starting outfielder from Dakota, catcher Jordan Shaver (Davis Junction) and Ryne Billesbach (Belvidere North), as well as pitchers Ben Korth (Orangeville) and Ryan Jacobson (Guilford), are expected to be constant contributors as well.

"A lot of our success will be tied to how that group does for us. They’re all from around here, and we’re going to need them,” Koopmann said. "For us, our offense has been the real, real strong point for a while. I think it’s going to be again this year.”

Koopmann expects his free-swinging team to win plenty of high-scoring affairs. The team went 3-4 on its spring trip to Phoenix, but still averaged more than 7 1/2 runs a game.

Games scheduled for Friday and Saturday were postponed because of poor field conditions. The Regents will try to get into the Midwest portion of their schedule at Concordia College in Moorhead on Sunday.

This story appeared at on March 25, 2011.

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