MARK COUCH | SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
St. Norbert Baseball opened its 2016 season in Auburndale, Fla. at the Central Florida Invitational Tournament. The team went 3-5 during its trip to Florida.
St. Norbert’s team ERA through its first eight games was 7.43. Of course, that might be inflated because they haven’t played many games, but that number will need to be lowered significantly if the Green Knights expect to win a conference title and make it to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Jake McMahon ’17 started two games on the mound for St. Norbert and went 1-1 during the Florida Trip, with a respectable ERA of 3.00.
As a team, the Green Knights are hitting .276, while their opponents are hitting .319. Jason Malkowski ’18 leads St. Norbert with a .375 batting average. The Green Knights are being outscored by two runs per game.
With 15 of 32 players being freshmen and only nine being upperclassmen, the St. Norbert baseball team is very young. Almost half of the team is playing their first season of college baseball, so there will be a learning curve to get used to the game at the college level. Head coach Tom Winske will be relying on his few seniors to step up and lead the inexperienced team.
The Green Knights have finished second place in the Midwest Conference for three straight seasons. This year, they will be looking to take the MWC title from the defending champion, the Ripon College Red Hawks.