Monday, February 27, 2012

Year two of building UIS baseball program in full swing

New University of Illinois Springfield baseball coach Mike Zandler doesn’t see a lot of gray area when it comes to his approach for the upcoming season.

“What we can do is make the players better and at the end of the year see where we’re at,” he said. “I have tunnel vision in that respect. That’s how I’m gauging how we do.”

Year Two of building the UIS program is under way, and Zandler is in his third month with the Prairie Stars. The Falls Church, Va., native was formerly an assistant at NCAA Division I Davidson College. He was introduced at UIS last December as a replacement for Brian Grunzke, who is now an assistant at South Dakota State.

The Prairie Stars’ roster is an equal mix of newcomers and returning players from last year’s 8-35 inaugural season. Zandler worked primarily with pitchers at his previous post, so expect UIS to benefit from his expertise.

The Stars’ four starting pitchers, in no particular order, are sophomore Barry Arnett, senior Ethan Morris, Illinois-Chicago transfer Jacob Frerichs and freshman Kyle Schildroth.

The team was featured in an February 25, 2012, article in The State Journal-Register.

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