SPORTS

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March 11, 2008

Baseball at a glance

The Recap:

2007 was an up-and-down season for baseball. While the Maroons put together a couple of winning streaks, they also had some losing skids and finished the spring at an even 17–17. A few rough breaks last year in the annual spring break trip to Phoenix benched three key players with injuries. Most notably, the lineup had to fill in the hole left by then–second-year catcher Scott Hofer, who led the team in batting average (.448), slugging percentage (.600), and tied for the most RBIs (23) as a rookie.

Strengths:

Bad weather canceled this weekend’s pair of doubleheaders in Terre Haute, IN, and delayed the start of the season two weekends, but the squad will head into 2008 with its pitching and outfield in place. Second-year pitchers Joe Pankow and Alex Garbier, whose innings were limited by injuries last season, will return and add some depth to the Maroons’ rotation.

Weaknesses:

Even with the availability of Pankow and Garbier, the Maroons will have to make up for losing two of their strongest starters. Dan Cozzi (6–2, 3.60 ERA) graduated at the end of last season, and fourth-year Dominik Meyer will be unavailable after undergoing Tommy John Surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm. Meyer overpowered opposing batters last spring, holding them to a .229 batting average on a 1.84 ERA and pitching two shutouts in his eight starts. He’ll move over to first base for his senior season.

Who to watch: Scott Hofer

A healthy Hofer should give the offense an extra jolt. He showed what he could do at the plate as a first-year, and this year will test how quickly he can get his swing back after playing in only five games in 2007.