• U.P. Baseball 7/7: Gladstone 7, Escanaba 6
  • Escanaba Juniors 13, Gladstone Juniors 4
  • Menominee 4, Bark River 0, Gm 1
4181 articles
Wednesday July 8, 2020
BOYS ARE BACK: Bay Baseball Begins Second Year

ESCANABA---The Bay College Norse baseball team is back for its second season, with a new look for the 2019-20 season. Gone are the three Australian players who were a part of last year’s inaugural team. Also gone are pitchers Tyler Skufca, Justin Popelka, and Garret Finkbeiner, all of whom have aged out.

But Coach Mike Pankow has reloaded with some out-of-the-area talent, with two Canadians, a German, and one Dominican Republic native joining the roster.

And from the U.P.’s top high school team, the Gladstone Braves, come Jared Crow, Carson Shea, Cody Frappier, and Cooper Cavadeas.

”It's always exciting to get the kids back on campus," Pankow said at Wednesday's practice. "I'm excited to see all of the new faces, along with some guys from last year."

"I find it similiar to last year. We have a solid group of U.P. kids, and that's always going to be our backbone. But then adding kids from outside the area to compliment that is good. So we've added some international pieces, too."

Also coming into the Norse fold this season is Ben Snyder. The catcher/pitcher from North Central High School played last season at the College of Lake County in Illinois. Snyder says he missed the Upper Peninsula, so he transferred to Bay.

"Coach Pankow is doing a good job with this program, and I kind of missed home a bit," Snyder said. "I figured I'd come back and play some U.P. baseball. It's great to get back out ohn the field. I've been waiting for it all summer.The team looks great. We've definitely got some good young talent."

One of the returning players this season is second baseman Jeff Allen, a Waterviliet High School graduate who was hampered for much of last season by a hamstring injury. He is back for his second year.

”I feel like I'm going to be a lot more comfortable this year," Allen said. "I feel like I'll take on a lot more of a leadership role, kind of set the tone for the freshmen. Hopefully, we can keep building the foundation for the program."

Escanaba's Jake LaFave joins the team this year, as does Bark River-Harris's Matt Richer, who took a year off from baseball, and Logan Fish (Negaunee).

Some other returning players include Mason Korhonen (Bark River-Harris), Alek Santure (Superior Central), Alex Morehouse (Sault Ste. Marie), Dane Vanenheuval (Norway), Kyler Moir (Hillman), Ty Ziegler (Hortonville), Connor Olson (Washburn), Riley Johnson (Norway), and Ryan Clark (Harrison).

The Norse were 10-27-1 last season, and did not make the playoffs after getting swept in seven straight games by Dakota County Technical College.

Pankow said that experience will help the Norse to see where they need to get better heading into this sophomore season.

"We've got a great group coming in," Pankow said. "There's a ,lot to be excited about."

"I feel great," Allen said. "I feel like we have a good team this year. We're bringing in a lot of new pitchers. A lot of strong arms."

"I think on the defensive side of the ball, if we eliminate the mental errors, we will be a tough team to beat," Snyder said.

This year’s Norse team began practicing this week and will open the exhibition season with a doubleheader at Northland College in Ashland, Wis., on Sept. 21, and a game against Hibbing, Minn., on the 22nd.

Bay will play Delta College in a three-game series at home on Sept. 2829, and will host Miwaukee Tech in a doubleheader on Oct. 6.

Click the thumbnails in the ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS box above to see photos, videos, and see interviews with Panlow, Snyder, and Allen.

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SEASON OVER: Norse Fall To Playoff-Bound DCTC
Saturday May 4, 2019
Norse Baseball Team Swept By Dakota County Tech
Friday May 3, 2019
Norse Drop Baseball Regional Qualifiers On Road
Saturday April 27, 2019
Bay College Wins First Home Baseball Game, 28-3
Saturday April 20, 2019
Bay College Drops Doubleheader With Delta College
Monday April 8, 2019
Norse Finish Baseball Road Trip With Two Victories
Saturday March 30, 2019
Morrison Homers; Norse Top Carroll College, 11-5
Friday March 29, 2019
ANOTHER SPLIT: Norse Wrap Up Baseball Trip
Sunday March 24, 2019
Bay Norse Baseball Salvages Final Game In Illinois
Saturday March 23, 2019
STRONG FINISH: Skufca Throws Four-Hit Shutout
Friday March 15, 2019
Bay Baseball Team Earns Win, Eight-Inning Draw
Thursday March 14, 2019
ROUGH DAY: Norse Baseball Drops Doubleheader
Wednesday March 13, 2019
Norse Rally For First Baseball Win; Drop Nightcap
Tuesday March 12, 2019
NORSE FIRST TIME: Bay's Baseball Program Starts
Saturday March 9, 2019