LCC baseball has lofty expectations - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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LCC baseball has lofty expectations

LCC baseball

The 2023 LCC baseball team is pictured at the :CC Aviation Center in Mason.  Photo by Kevin W. Fowler

Jayden Hewitt

By Jayden Hewitt
Sports Editor

Baseball season has begun for the LCC men’s baseball team. With that means high expectations and optimism from Head Coach Steve Cutter.

Cutter’s squad went 44-11 and lost in the third round of the NCJAA Division II World Series in 2022.

“Last season's team was extraordinary; we came back with a fifth-place finish from Oklahoma,” Cutter said. “This current team has a lot of talent, and we have depth combined with experience.

“Where they finish the season remains to be seen. I am thrilled to see their impact on and off the field and really look forward to what is possible for this upcoming season.”

The Stars roster’ is made up of 45 players, including 12 returnees and 33 newcomers.

Key returnees include Conference Player of the Year utility player Hunter Lay, as well several post-season award-winning players: pitcher Elijah Stark, outfielder Payton Mazzola, catcher Noah Bright, infielder Shane Judah and infielder Chris Hege.

LCC’s roster is stacked with talent, with Lay leading the way. Lay hit .385 last season with a team-high eight homers, 58 RBIs and a team-high 36 steals.

Key newcomers include several transfer players, including catcher/outfielder Jabin Bates (Findlay), pitcher Jeff Agar (Lake Michigan), pitcher Sam Nagelvoort (Spring Arbor), infielder/outfielder Preston Leon (Bowling Green) and pitcher Isiah Lindsey (Lake Michigan).

Cutter also mentioned several key freshmen: outfielder Will Bowen, pitcher Sean Bartlett, pitcher Nick Baker, pitcher Gavin Walters, infielder Talon Rowe and pitcher Christian Arquette. He said these first-year players will provide depth and see valuable playing time.

The incoming players and returnees will look to not only play well, but fill shoes left by some key departures, including catcher Bobby Cavin (now playing at Madonna College), outfielder Ryan Rifenberg (University of Fort Lauderdale), outfielder Blake McRae (Eastern Michigan University) and pitcher Grant Dittmer.

The team started the season 2-0, with wins in Illinois over Parkland College, 4-3, and Lake Land College, 8-7.

The first two games in Illinois are followed by a spring trip, a trip that will have LCC playing 13 games in 13 days.

The Stars will travel to Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Missouri for the games and take on five nationally ranked teams, including the defending national champion, Pearl River.

Cutter spoke about the trip, and how it helps the team.

“This marks the second year of this style of spring trip,” Cutter said, “where we travel very intentionally around, playing the best teams in the country that we can.

“The spring trip is an excellent gauge of where our team is at right now. Last season we started the year 1-6 on it, and finished the regular season 43-9, so no matter how we begin, it is an opportunity to grow in challenging environments in warm weather.”

Cutter said his team has lofty expectations.

“We are pre-season ranked number five in the country, and with that comes some very high expectations,” he said. “We have and will continue to focus on processes over results, and believe our environment is one of the best … filled with love and trust.”



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