The student news site of Wayne State College

The Wayne Stater

The student news site of Wayne State College

The Wayne Stater

The student news site of Wayne State College

The Wayne Stater

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Wildcat baseball sets their sights on 2024 season

Grab some seeds and tie up those laces, as the college baseball season is just about a month away! 

The Wildcats wrapped up the 2023 season with a record of 25-26 overall and a 18-16 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. This placed them at the middle of the pack at the end of the season landing in the number eight spot for NSIC standings.  

The Wildcats did make a run in the NSIC post-season tournament but didn’t go too far into the bracket. They fell to the eventual third place team and an NCAA tournament participant in the Augustana Vikings, before taking a win against the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs in 15 innings to keep their playoff hopes alive. WSC then was eliminated by the Minnesota-Crookston Golden Eagles 7-5 in an all-or-nothing game. 

With that NSIC tournament run and only graduating two seniors form the 2023 team, Head Baseball Coach, Alex Koch, has a great deal of confidence in this 2024 team.  

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“We didn’t have a huge freshmen class,” Koch said “We brought in a huge freshmen class last year, so as far as recruiting, we brought in some pieces that we thought we needed to develop. We are really sophomore [and] junior heavy this year. Still fairly young, but have some experienced pieces to come in and help out as well.” Koch will be going into his tenth season as the Wildcat’s head baseball coach with an overall record of 188-201 and a 140-126 record in NSIC play. 

Some of the players on this 2024 Wildcat team are hungry for a shot at the NSIC post-season tournament. Such is the case for Quinn McCafferty, a transfer short-stop from Western Nebraska Community College hailing from Big Horn, Wyo.  

“I’m just coming in competing every day at practice, just looking to earn that starting shortstop job again,” McCafferty said. 

Coach Koch is confident with the starting nine he has listed down. “Our starting nine have all returned, except for Hunter Babe,” Koch said. “Hunter Babe was a senior first-baseman for us, and we brought in a very talented junior college first-baseman. His name is Kaden Young. Great left-handed bat and even greater defensively. Pretty excited to have him in the line-up. He makes our line-up a lot stronger.”  

McCafferty is hoping this team can get out to a hot start. “I think that’s one thing we struggled with last year, early on, was just trying to kind of find out how to hit as a unit and hit as a team. I think that’s one thing we can carry over this year is and get started on a hot note.”  

The Wildcats will open their season against Minnesota Crookston in Fort Scott, Kansas on Friday, Feb. 21 at 2:00 p.m. in a four-game series. It looks like a get-back-series is in order for the Wildcats as they look to make a statement to the team that crushed their playoff dreams last season. With a sophomore and junior heavy line-up, good arms on the mound, and a head coach that is rolling into his first whole decade of Wildcat baseball, these Wildcats are hungry for a strong start to the 2024 season. Some might even say they are starving.    

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