Baseball finalizes its 2021-2022 roster; adds 14 new players to the mix

The+baseball+team+held+game+two+of+their+fall+world+series+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+24.+Their+season+will+resume+on+Friday%2C+Feb.+19.

Emily Morris

The baseball team held game two of their fall world series on Saturday, Oct. 24. Their season will resume on Friday, Feb. 19.

Christian Tate, Sports Reporter

The Golden Grizzlies’ baseball team has just put its finalized roster down for the 2021-2022 season and boasts 14 fresh faces who are ready to don the black and gold.  

Players Brandon Decker, Caleb Fuller, Brad Goulet, Aleksei Goldhill, Brett Hagen, Thomas Green, Chase Keeney, Josh Korson, Quinton Kujawa, John Lauinger, Peyton McGregor, Hunter Pidek, Chas Sagedahl, and Christian Stelling now play under the Golden Grizzlies banner. Head Coach Jordon Banfield seems happy with the team that he and his staff have built, and seems to have high hopes for the upcoming season. 

“I couldn’t be more excited about the group of newcomers we’ve added to the roster for the 21/22 season,” Banfield said in a press release. “I’m confident that this group, in addition to our earlier signees, address the main areas in terms of pitching and infield defense we need to improve in order to make a move toward the top of the Horizon League.” 

During the 2020-2021 season, the Golden Grizzlies’ baseball team won 18 out of their 47 games and finished the season with a .383 win percentage. Coach Banfield is hoping these new players will shore up the holes in his team and help them get to a positive win percentage — maybe even making a run at the Horizon League championship.

Many of the players signed were pitchers, both right-handed and left. The majority of them have both high-school accolades and collegiate level experience playing baseball against the best the NCAA and high school circuit has to offer. 

Some players in this group of signees already have experience playing against the best players in the nation, and one of the standout players amongst the group is Chas Sagedahl. The former Dallas Baptist left-handed star allowed only one run when he faced off against North Carolina, who was ranked 13th in the nation. 

Sagedahl would then notch a 6-6 record with a 2.47 ERA in 14 starts, while having a team-best four complete games to his name. He would lead his team in innings pitched with 83.2 and finish the season with the fifth-most strikeouts in the nation with 110, averaging out to 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings.  

Chase Keeney, a former left-handed pitcher for Southeastern Community College, has built quite a reputation as a shutdown player who can toss a shutout on any night. The three-time Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 4A Northeast All-District player has been selected for the All-Metro (Cedar Rapids) team three times, has made the Mississippi Valley All-Conference team in his high school career three times, and threw four consecutive complete game shutouts while recording 86 strikeouts with only six walks allowed in 59 innings of play during the 2018 season. 

Keeney was a standout in the 2020-2021 season as well, making 11 appearances with 11 starts and posting a 7-2 record with six complete games. He notched 45 strikeouts and a 3.96 ERA in 63.2 innings of work. 

With other pitching signings like national standouts Illinois Springfield Christian Stelling and Quinton Kujawa , the Golden Grizzlies’ pitching core has definitely been strengthened. Coach Banfield has also made efforts to improve the fielding positions to make a more well-rounded team with infielders Thomas Green and Brad Goulet, as well as outfielders John Lauinger and Peyton McGregor. 

With the team’s holes shored up, a solid returning cast of players and a good coaching core, the outlook for this season gets more positive with each passing day. Still awaiting the release of the 2021-2022 schedule, the date of the first game is currently unknown.