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Baseball

2011 Baseball Team
 
 
 
Head Coach: Doug Greenslate, #36 (13th year)
Baseball Coach Emeritus: Terry Bocian
Assistant Coach: Brandon Bard,
Student Assistant Coaches: Austin King & Nick Kissane
 
2014 Record: 17-14, 9-7 WHAC
 
Schedule & Results | Team Roster | Coach Profiles
Season Outlook | Dennis Molnar Award | Pro Signings
 
Team Statistics: Career Records
2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 |
2012 | 2013
2014
 

2014 Schedule & Results

DATE OPPONENT SITE TIME / SCORE RADIO

Sun. - Sat.,

March 9-15

Russ Matt Central Florida Invitational Winter Haven, Fla.  
Sun., March 9 vs. St. Xavier (DH) Winterhaven, Fla. W 5-4 (9), W 8-6 (9)  
Mon., March 10 vs. Trinity Christian Auburndale, Fla. L 1-19  
Mon., March 10 vs. Clarke Auburndale, Fla. L 1-5  
Tues., March 11 vs. Trinity International (DH) Lakeland, Fla. L 4-5, W 11-1  
Wed., March 12 vs. Trinity International Auburndale, Fla. W 12-1  
Wed., March 12 vs. Purdue North Central JV Auburndale, Fla. L 6-11  
Thurs., March 13 vs. Trinity Christian (DH) Frostproof, Fla. W 2-0, L 2-5  
Fri., March 14 vs. St. Xavier Lakeland, Fla. L 7-12  
Fri., March 14 vs. St. Ambrose Lakeland, Fla. W 10-9  
Sat., March 15 vs. St. Xavier Groveland, Fla. W 7-5  
Sat., March 15 vs. St. Ambrose Groveland, Fla. L 10-11  
Tues., March 18 vs. Calumet St. Joseph (DH) Kimble Stadium Canceled  
Tues., March 18 @ Cornerstone* (DH) Grand Rapids, Mich. L 2-7, W 5-4  
Thurs., March 20 vs. Grand Rapids Community College Kimble Stadium Canceled  
Sat., March 22 @ Madonna* (DH) Livonia, Mich.

Postponed

 
Sun., March 23 @ Madonna* (DH) Livonia, Mich.

Postponed

 
Mon., March 24 @ Muskegon Community Collge Muskegon, Mich. Postponed  
Thurs., March 27 @ Grand Rapids Community College Grand Rapids, Mich.

Postponed

 
Sat., March 29 @ Siena Heights* (DH) Adrian, Mich.

Postponed

 
Sun., March 30 @ Siena Heights* (DH) Adrian, Mich. W 13-10 (10), L 3-4  
Tues., April 1 vs. Davenport JV Kimble Stadium Canceled  
Wed., April 2 @ Davenport* (DH) Caledonia, Mich. L 3-13 (8), W 3-2  
Thurs., April 3 vs. Purdue North Central(DH) Kimble Stadium Canceled  
Sat., April 5 vs. Lourdes* (DH) @ Cornerstone Kimble Stadium L 6-12  
Sun., April 6 vs. Lourdes* (DH) @ Cornerstone Grand Rapids, Mich. W 5-4, L 0-6 Listen on the Radio
Tues., April 8 vs. Olivet (1, 9 inning & 1 7 inning JV) Kimble Stadium W 10-0, W 7-1  
Wed., April 9 vs. Cornerstone* (DH) Kimble Stadium W 7-1, W 6-4  
Thurs., April 10 @ Davenport JV Caledonia, Mich. 4 p.m.  
Fri., April 11 vs. Concordia* (DH) Kimble Stadium L 4-9 (13), W 6-5  
Sat., April 12 vs. Concordia* (DH) Kimble Stadium L 0-4 (5)  
Tues., April 15 vs. Calvin (DH) 5th/3rd Ballpark Postponed Listen on the Radio
Wed., April 16 vs. Madonna* (DH) @ Cornerstone Grand Rapids, Mich. W 5-4, W 2-1 (8)  
Thurs., April 17 @ Calvin Grand Rapids, Mich. L 7-8  
Fri., April 18 vs. Grand Rapids Community College (DH) Kimble Stadium 2 p.m.  
Mon., April 21 @ Muskegon Community College Muskegon, Mich. 3 p.m.  
Tues., April 22 vs. Hope (DH) Kimble Stadium 2 p.m.  
Wed., April 23 vs. Davenport* (DH) Kimble Stadium 2 p.m.  
Sat., April 26 vs. Northwestern Ohio* (DH) Kimble Stadium 1 p.m.  
Sun., April 27 vs. Northwestern Ohio* (DH) Kimble Stadium 1 p.m.  
Wed., April 30 @ Indiana Tech* (DH) Fort Wayne, Ind. 2 p.m.  
Thurs., May 1 @ Indiana Tech* (DH) Fort Wayne, Ind. 2 p.m.  

Mon. - Thurs.,

May 5-8

WHAC Tournament

TBA TBA  
*Denotes WHAC game
All game times EST
Schedule subject to change
 

Roster

No. Photos Name Pos CL B/T Hometown/High School (College)
1 Tanner Lung Tanner Lung INF So.* L/R Goodyear, Arizona/Desert Edge
2 Brad Slis Brad Slis INF Jr. R/R Marysville, Mich./Marysville
3 Paul Woloszyk Paul Woloszyk INF/OF Fr* R/R Lapeer, Mich./Lapeer East
4 Colin Brand Colin Brand INF So.* R/R Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Northern
5 Michael Priest Michael Priest INF Fr. R/R Grand Rapids, Mich./GR Catholic Central
6 David Foster David Foster LHP Jr. L/L Mount Pleasant, Mich./Muskegon Community College
7 Casey Wila Casey Wila INF Fr.* R/R Grand Rapids, Mich./West Catholic
8 Taylor Pawlanta Taylor Pawlanta INF Sr. R/R Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Eastern
9 Seth Holton Seth Holton INF/DH Sr. L/R Grand Rapids, Mich./Davenport
10 Brendan Penny Brendan Penny LHP/OF Jr. L/L Grand Rapids, Mich./Catholic Central
11 Kyle Kranz Kyle Kranz RHP/DH Sr. R/R Mason, Mich./Mason
12 Logan Bush Logan Bush RHP Fr. R/R Saugatuck, Mich./Saugatuck
14 Photo Not Available Kyle Orlowski OF Sr. L/R Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Community College
15 Tyler Fults Tyler Fults LHP Jr.* L/L Grand Ledge, Mich./Grand Rapids Community College
16 Kevin Schafer Kevin Schafer LHP Sr. L/L Grand Ledge, Mich./Grand Ledge
17 Tyler Strevel Tyler Strevel RHP/INF Fr. L/R Belding, Mich./Belding
18 Kenneth Hartger Kenneth Hartger C/RHP Sr. R/R Grand Rapids, Mich./Comstock Park
19 Justen Caudill Justen Caudill INF/RHP So. L/R Monroe, Mich./Monroe
20 Greg Chulski Greg Chulski C Jr. R/R Kenowa Hills, Mich./Muskegon Community College
21 Cody Ritsema Cody Ritsema RHP/INF Fr. R/R Grand Rapids, Mich./Kenowa Hills
22 Doug Zelenka Doug Zelenka OF Fr.* L/R Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven
23 Mark Buitendyk Mark Buitendyk C Fr. R/R Grand Rapids, Mich./GR West Catholic
24 Jay Topp Jay Topp RHP So. R/R Parchment, Mich./Parchment
25 Mark Lepri Mark Lepri INF/OF Jr. R/R Shelby Township, Mich./Wayne State
26 Christian Potter Christian Potter RHP Jr*. R/R Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian
27 Greg Baranyai Greg Baranyai INF Sr. R/R Hillman, Mich./Alpena
28 Elliot Drain Elliot Drain OF Jr. R/R Lowell, Mich./Lowell
29 Jimmy McDonagh Jimmy McDonagh INF Sr. R/R Battle Creek, Mich./Battle Creek Lakeview
31 Photo Not Available Matt Krzykwa LHP Jr. L/L Grand Rapids, Mich./GR Catholic Central
32 Cameron Malkewitz Cameron Malkewitz OF Fr. R/R Grand Rapids, Mich./Kenowa Hills
33 Kaleb Ort Kaleb Ort RHP Sr. R/R Lowell, Mich./Lowell
34 Jake Ritsema Jake Ritsema RHP Jr.* R/R Grand Rapids, Mich./Kenowa Hills
35 Seth Holton Phillip Holt RHP Jr. R/R Holland, Mich./Kalamazoo Valley Communtiy College/Madonna
37 Eric Berki Eric Berki RHP/INF Fr. R/R Saline, Mich./Saline
38 Ryan Ramsey Ryan Ramsey OF/RHP Fr. L/R Williamston, Mich./Williamston
39 Tyler Golembiewski Tyler Golembiewski C/INF Fr.* R/R Phoenix, Arizona/Seton Catholic
42 Ben Walton Ben Walton 1B Fr. L/R Marshall, Mich./Marshall
44 Bryan Mitzner Bryan Mitzner LHP So.* L/L Shelby Township, Mich./Warren DeLaSalle
45 Mike DeClarke Mike DeClarke RHP/C So. L/R Lansing, Mich./Lansing Catholic Central
* Denotes red-shirted one year (RS)
 

Coaches

Doug Greenslate DOUG GREENSLATE Head Coach -- Doug Greenslate begins his 13th year as the head coach of the Saints with an overall record of 337-267-3. Greenslate's teams have averaged nearly 25 wins per year during his tenure as head coach. Doug guided the Saints to their first NAIA regional and Heartland Super Regional championships in 2005 earning the College's first appearance in the NAIA World Series. Greenslate prepped at Anchor Bay High School in New Baltimore, Michigan, earning first team All-State honors in baseball. He played one year each at Mott Community College and Macomb Community College before transferring to Aquinas College in the fall of 1980. He has been a Saint ever since. Greenslate had a stellar pitching career both in college and in the semi-pro ranks. He was a member of the 1982 NAIA State championship team and a two time NBC national champion team member of the Grand Rapids Sullivans. Greenslate gained experience as a head coach managing several summer teams to City League titles. His summer teams advanced annually to the AABC Stan Musial Tournament in Battle Creek. He also assisted legendary NAIA Hall of Fame coach Terry Bocian for 16 prosperous years at Aquinas before taking over the helm nine years ago. Under the direction of Greenslate, Aquinas pitching staffs have annually been ranked as some of the top staffs in NAIA baseball. Doug holds both bachelors and masters degrees from Aquinas College. He and his wife, Ann, are proud parents of two sons, John and Joe. Doug is also the Director of Physical Services with the Physical Plant department of the College.
 
Coach Bocian TERRY BOCIAN Baseball Coach Emeritus -- Coach Bocian was the head baseball coach at Aquinas College for 30 years. During his time he led the Saints to 1079 wins and became the first collegiate coach in Michigan history to record 1000 victories. During his tenure Aquinas had 30 consecutive winning seasons, made 30 consecutive post-season appearances, and had 27 consecutive seasons with 30 or more wins. Aquinas won seven NAIA State Championships and finished as runner-ups on ten other occasions. The Saints also won the WHAC championship six times in nine years. During his tenure 34 players were awarded All- American honors and another 17 players were given Academic All- American honors. Coach Bo was named Michigan NAIA coach of the year ten times and Region coach of the year four times. He has also served as Aquinas Athletic Director since 1978, expanding the athletic program from eight sports to its current level of 24 sports. He was named NAIA region AD of the year on three occasions and has served as region chairman for eight years.
 
Coach Bo was inducted in the Grand Rapids Catholic Central Hall of Fame in 1989, the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He was also given the GR March of Dimes Warren Reynolds Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. He also was named Grand Rapids Catholic Central Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2002.
 
Brandon Bard

BRANDON BARD Assistant Coach -- Coach Bard begins his first season in the Saints baseball program.  He will primarily be working with the AQ hitters and catchers.  Prior to joining the Aquinas staff, he had been the head coach of the West Michigan Rip Tide select 18 and under team for the past seven seasons.  His teams were selected from players along the lakeshore from Manistee to Holland.  Bard led the Rip Tide to six tournament championships including a national tournament qualifying tournament at Notre Dame in 2012.  His squad went on to finish fifth in the nation.  In addition to coaching the Rip Tide he spent one year with the Muskegon Community College softball program as the squad won the Michigan state championship and NJCAA National Championship.  Bard was an outstanding prep standout at Muskegon Mona Shores before playing two successful years at Muskegon Community College for coaching legend Cap Pohlman.  He then transferred to Grand Valley State where he helped the Lakers to GLIAC championships.

 

Coach Bard's younger brother, Andrew, was a baseball standout at Aquinas College and graduated from the College in 2011. 
Coach Greenslate states" more impressive than Brandon's resume is his ability to teach and relate to young players.  He is a great addition to the staff."
   
Austin King AUSTIN KING Student Assistant Coach - Austin King joins the baseball staff after a very productive four year career with the Saints. King, an outstanding infielder and competitor, was a four year starter as a shortstop and third baseman. Coach Bocian states, " Austin was as good in the infield as anyone we ever had suit up and that includes two players who went onto play professionally." King was an outstanding competitor and a key to the Saints success. He will work with the infielders this year as well as help the hitters. Austin is also playing on the Aquinas golf team this year as he finishes his degree and looks forward to his May graduation. King prepped at Forest Hills Eastern where he was an outstanding three sport athlete.
   
Nick Kissane NICK KISSANE Student Assistant Coach - Nick Kissane becomes part of the staff after finishing his baseball career and completing his athletic training degree. Kissane prepped at high school power Grand Ladge. Nick went onto two successful seasons at Lansing Community College before coming to Aquinas. Nick was an outstanding infielder/catcher and hit in the #3 spot for the Saints for two seasons. Kissane earned All-WHAC recognition and also spent summers in the Ohio Wooden Bat League. Nick will graduate in May and will begin graduate studies in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training next year.
 
 

Season Outlook

 

The Aquinas College baseball team is looking forward to building on the success they experienced last year after posting an overall record of 25-20 and a third place conference tournament finish.  The Saints are optimistic about their chances for competing for a Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) championship based on the twenty players returning from last year’s team and a strong class of newcomers.  The Saints will find it difficult to replace the leadership and play of last year’s graduating class.  This year, nine seniors enter their last campaign with much to prove and more to gain. They will lead a team that welcomes nine freshman, six red shirt freshman and four transfers.  This year’s optimism is based on the pitching staff, which boasts experience and depth.  Although the bullpen needs to be reworked, there is a good balance of right handed and left handed arms to choose from.  Quality pitching should give the Saints an opportunity to compete in every game. 

 

This year’s team will need to fill some holes offensively, but have the manpower to do so.  The Saints will have a new leadoff hitter, as well as a new three and four spot hitters.   The offense has the ability to produce some power, but will rely on a strong bunting game and successful situational hitting.

 

Defensively, this year’s team will be adequate.  The biggest concern is the left side of the infield with new players starting at third base and shortstop.  The outfield will be solid defensively.  Overall, they throw well and are an athletic group.  An experienced pitching staff with catchers that can receive and throw very well should hold the opponents running game in check.   

 

PITCHING

The Saints are entering the 2014 season with more quality experienced pitching than they have had in a few years.  Leading this year’s staff are seniors Kaleb Ort and Kevin Schafer.  Although their career numbers aren’t eye popping, both have matured and had past success.  Ort is a big, strong, right handed pitcher with a power arm.  His fastball touches 90mph to go along with an excellent curveball. It’s no wonder that Kaleb is a pro prospect.  Kevin Schafer has made steady gains throughout his career.   Kevin is a lefty and posted a 5-2 win/loss record last year.  He struck out 40 hitters in in 49 innings pitched, with teams hitting only .194 against him.  Ort and Schafer are two of the top pitchers in the conference.  The other senior pitcher is right hander Kyle Kranz.  Kranz is a hard worker, with limited success, but he will get plenty of opportunity this year, as a veteran of the bullpen and as a spot starter.

 

An experienced junior class is expected to provide quality depth.  This group is headed by left handed transfer David Foster.  Foster was one of Muskegon Community College’s top pitchers last year and has transitioned nicely into one of the top four league pitchers on this year’s staff.  Three returning left handed hurlers will also see plenty of time from the mound.  Tyler Fults, Matt Krzykwa, and Brendan Penny give the Saints the ability to start five quality left handed pitchers.  Fults and Krzykwa will compete for league starting spots, and Brendan Penny will be a reliever this year as he will be the team’s starting centerfielder.

 

Junior right handed pitchers are Jake Ritsema, Christian Potter and Phil Holt.  Jake Ritsema returns after sitting out last year due to Tommy John surgery.  Jake had 25 appearances with eight starts his first two years in the program.  He’s worked hard to return to form and should provide the team a steady, experienced and reliable option out of the bullpen.  Christian Potter looks to rebound from a year of nagging injuries to add depth as a starting pitcher.  Potter has better prepared himself as a two sport athlete this year.  The hockey season took its toll on several players last season and Christian is determined to be more of a contributor.  He’s competing for league starts, where there’s no shortage of competition.  Phil Holt is a transfer from Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Madonna who is competing for league starts as well.  As Holt becomes more familiar and comfortable with the program, look for him to be a quality contributor and a valuable addition to the staff.

 

Only two sophomore hurlers will pitch for the team this year.  Right hander, Jay Topp returns after gaining minimal experience last year.  He started three games and pitched only fourteen innings last year, mainly due to the amount of games postponed due to the poor weather last season.  Left hander, Bryan Mitzner returns after a red shirt season last year.  Bryan is a two sport athlete as well, playing basketball for Aquinas.  Mitzner has worked hard in the off season to compete for meaningful innings and should see more valuable innings as the season progresses.

 

The freshman class is comprised of four right handed pitchers capable of making an impact on this year’s team.  Cody Ritsema, the younger brother of Jake Ritsema, a talented multi-sport athlete from Kenowa Hills High School, enters his initial campaign anxious to contribute.  Cody has the talent and competitiveness to make a big impact for the team this year.  Logan Bush has a bright future ahead of him, with his live arm.  A star player from Saugatuck High School, this right hander could surprise a few in his performance as he gets opportunities.  Tyler Strevel, one of Belding’s best players last year, joins the program.  Strevel will focus on becoming a pitcher for the Saints and will contribute in non- league and junior varsity games, along with classmate Eric Berki. Berki, a right handed thrower from Saline, is a location pitcher that will gain valuable experience throughout the year.

 

There are many pitchers battling for starting spots, but the bullpen is a crucial concern of the coaching staff.  Fortunately, there are quality arms to choose from with plenty of experience.  Right handed options include; Jake Ritsema, Kyle Kranz, Cody Ritsema and Logan Bush.  Lefties will include Brendan Penny, Matt Krzykwa and Bryan Mitzner.

 

INFIELD

The infield has a new look with some familiar faces.  The left side has strong competition with no clear cut winner at third base or shortstop.  Seniors Jimmy McDonagh and Greg Baranyai will compete at third base for the majority of playing time.  McDonagh’s advantage is offense, while Baranyai displays strong defensive skills.  McDonagh hit .341 in eighteen games last season and is determined to have his best season and take over the position.  Baranyai is making a transition from first base to the hot corner.  The key for Greg being successful and gaining more playing time is his offense.  The coaching staff is confident that Baranyai can provide consistent power and run production.  Baranyai and McDonagh are coming off a very successful, but taxing hockey season.  They will be pushed for playing time from red shirt freshman Casey Wila.  Wila has displayed desire and perseverance in his second year in the program.  Casey has the ability to swing the bat and showed last fall he could challenge for valuable playing time. 

 

The shortstop position will be played by senior Taylor Pawlanta and junior Brad Slis.  Pawlanta will transition from second base and start at his third different position in four years.  Taylor has had a solid career for the Saints, averaging 36 games and a .281 batting average his first three seasons.  His experience and personal demeanor has earned the respect of his teammates, as Taylor was voted one of three team captains and the only senior to receive that honor.   Look for Pawlanta to play in the outfield as well.  He played outfield his entire freshman year and could see plenty of action in right and center fields.

 

Brad Slis has only played in sixteen games in two years for the Saints, but is solid and capable of winning the shortstop position outright.  Slis is the team’s top student base on grade point average.  He  has dedicated himself to becoming a valuable contributor and the coaches have taken notice.  Others contributing at shortstop could be Colin Brand, the Saints most skilled infielder, and Mike Priest,  a freshman from Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School.  Priest will gain experience in non-league and junior varsity games this year.  Mike will see some playing time in the outfield as well.

 

The second base position will be played by sophomore, Colin Brand.  Brand is the Saints best defensive infielder, and his offensive skills will allow him to become an impact player in the lineup.  Look for a breakout season from him.  Senior Seth Holton will be the primary backup to Brand a second base.  Holton swings a strong left handed bat and is projected to be the Saints designated hitter.  Seth can also play left field and the coaches believe his potent bat will force them to keep him in the lineup in various roles.

 

Other players that will battle for playing time in the infield are second baseman Tanner Lung and utility player Paul Woloszyk.  Woloszyk is a redshirt freshman that plays second and third base.  Lung is a sophomore who uses the small ball game to contribute and battle for playing time.

Junior transfer, Mark Lepri, will play first base for Aquinas this year.  Mark had an impressive fall, displaying excellent bat speed and power.  Mark’s size and strength are welcome additions to the middle of the Saints lineup.  Sophomore, Justen Caudill and Freshman Ben Walton are underclassmen that will compete for playing time at first base.  Caudill is a strong left handed hitter, working to find a position defensively.  He’s also a designated hitter candidate.  Walton prepped at Marshall High School, where he displayed above average power hitting left handed.  Ben enters his first year with the ability to provide a spark on offense, while he works on his defensive skills.  Both players will contribute more in non-conference and junior varsity games until they gain experience and develop their games.

OUTFIELD

The outfield was hit heavy by graduation, but is one of the team’s strengths this year.  The lone senior is Kyle Orlowski.  Kyle started 36 games last year and hit .315 with an on base percentage of .427.  A very solid all-around player, who hits left handed, Kyle will play mostly right field.  Playing in left field this year is junior Elliott Drain.  Drain started twenty-three games last year and posted some impressive statistics.  He hit .392 and led the team in slugging percentage (.532) and on base percentage (.456).  Elliott is an excellent athlete and one of the team’s top players.  His dedication to the game and work ethic has been noticed by his teammates, as he was voted a team captain.

 

Another team captain, by vote of the players, is Brendan Penny.  Penny has pitched for the Saints the last two years (29 appearances, 6 starts, 5-7 record, and 3.86 ERA), but will start in centerfielder this year.   Brendan has big shoes to fill, taking over for his brother Mike, who was an all-league performer, but Brendan is very capable.  He’ll also continue to pitch and be a left handed stopper out of the bullpen.  It will be interesting to see how the coaching staff pieces the defense together when Brendan enters the game in the late innings.  Others in the mix to play outfield, as mentioned earlier, are Seth Holton and Taylor Pawlanta.

 

Newcomers making an impact in the outfield this year are; red shirt freshman Doug Zelenka, and first year players Ryan Ramsey and Mark Buitendyk.  Doug Zelenka has been a strong contributor to the hockey team his first two years and looks to make that same positive impact on the diamond for the baseball team this year.  Doug is a right handed hitter and strong defensive leftfielder and should see a significant amount of playing time.  Ryan Ramsey, from Williamston High School, has impressed the coaching staff with his work ethic and positive attitude.  Ryan is the most improved player on the team since last fall and will gain experience in mostly junior varsity games this year.  Mark Buitendyk, a freshman from Grand Rapids West Catholic, is a welcome addition to the team this year.  Mark has been primarily a catcher throughout his baseball career.  He’ll continue catching for the Saints, however, the coaches feel that with Mark’s ability to swing the bat, transitioning to the outfield will give him opportunities to contribute more quickly in the program.

 

CATCHING

The receiving corps for the Saints this year is in the capable hands of a couple of veteran catchers.  Senior, Ken (KJ) Hartger is preparing to have his best season.  Hartger has seen limited duty throughout his career and is ready to handle a heavier load his final year for the Saints.  Hartger has always displayed a strong arm and quick release that can shut down the opposing team’s running game.  The coaches feel confident he’ll provide consistent offense.  Greg Chulski, a junior transfer from Muskegon Community College, had an impressive fall and goes into the season as the number one catcher for the Saints.  Greg is a very hard working catcher that throws well and has displayed a solid bat.  He quickly established a good rapport with the pitching staff in the fall and is a leader behind the plate.

 

Mike Declarke is a sophomore catcher that has developed into a fine receiver with a strong arm.  Mike is a left handed hitting catcher, which adds another dimension to the corps.  He also could make an impact for the team from the mound as a reliever.  Tyler Golembiewski is a red shirt freshman that has shown steady improvement and the willingness to work hard to contribute.    He’ll be joined by Mark Buitendyk and will catch countless innings in the bullpen this year, while they gain experience in junior varsity games.

 

SCHEDULE

The Saint’s open their season in Florida during spring break.  The team has an ambitious schedule playing thirteen games and one junior varsity contest in seven days.  The schedule includes formidable opponents from the Chicagoland Conference (Trinity Christian, Trinity International and St. Xavier), as well as Clarke and St. Ambrose Universities from the Midwest Collegiate Conference.

 

The Saints open their northern schedule March 18, home against Calumet St. Joseph, another team from the Chicagoland Conference.  The always tough Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference play opens the next day against Cornerstone.  Aquinas plays local rivals Davenport and Cornerstone in mid-week contests, and other WHAC foes on weekend doubleheaders throughout the spring.  Thirty-two conference games will be played, with the top six teams qualifying for the conference tournament, to be held at Indiana Tech this year.

 

Aquinas plays local rivals Hope and Calvin, with the Calvin doubleheader being played at Fifth Third Park April 15.  Other non-league games include contests against Olivet and Purdue North Central.  The Saints will also play ten junior varsity games against local colleges from Muskegon and Grand Rapids in order to develop their younger players.  

 

Dennis Molnar Award

Aquinas initiated the Dennis Molnar Award after the star first-baseman was killed in a car accident in Grand Rapids in November 1973. Molnar, a native of Toledo, Ohio, and graduate of Cardinal Stritch High School, player both baseball and basketball during his two years at Aquinas and was an outstanding hitter. Dennis led the team in home runs in 1973; some of his hitting records still stand. Molnar was also a fine student, a hardworking individual, and one of the most popular students on the Aquinas campus. The Molnar Award is awarded annually to the team's most valuable players after a vote by the team.
1974 Greg Antor 1975 Tim Matchinsky
1976 Tim Matchinsky 1976 Steve Lewis
1977 Tim Matchinsky 1977 Bob Jones
1977 Dennis King 1978 Kevin Chaney
1978 Dennis King 1979 Rick Heuvelman
1979 Mark Fredrickson 1980 Dave Gumpert
1980 Mark Hendrickson 1981 Don Kinney
1981 Mark Hendrickson 1982 Don Kinney
1982 Matt Niewiadomski 1983 Kevin Vizard
1984 Mike Heffron 1984 Tom Enslen
1985 Kim VonKronenberger 1985 Orlando Villareal
1986 Kevin Kendrick 1986 Clint Scollard
1987 Augie Tiseo 1987 Tim Komorous
1988 Jim Johnson 1988 Andy Postema
1989 Dan Zang 1989 Jim Johnson
1990 Paul Bastien 1990 Rod Rojas
1990 Matt Jones 1991 Tim Sullivan
1991 Jeff Readwin 1992 Jay Martin
1992 Joe Stacey 1993 Tom Vos
1993 Kurt Huizenga 1994 Kurt Huizenga
1994 Randy Shagena 1995 Nick Ursul
1995 Troy Wilcox 1996 Chris Waligora
1996 Chad Addicott 1997 Chad Addicott
1998 Jason Bialochowski 1998 Brian O'Toole
1998 Shawn Veenstra 1999 Travis Harden
1999 Shawn Veenstra 1999 Doug Austin
2000 Shawn Veenstra 2000 Brock Place
2000 John Pike 2001 Sean Ford
2001 Doug Austin 2001 Chris Laska
2002 Jason Ladd 2002 Greg Skiba
2002 Brandon Bailey 2003 Kyle Kracht
2003 John MacLeod 2004 Matt Bocian
2004 Tim Muma 2005 Kyle Finch
2005 Matt Soergel 2006 Tim Muma
2006 Matt Soergel 2006 Matt Spitzley
2007 Matt Soergel 2007 Lee Moser
2008 Bud Giddings 2008 Drew Oosterhouse
2009 Corey Gross 2009 Jon Morse
2009 Marc Sobota 2010 Joe Welton
2010 Jon Good 2010 Kennen Less
2011 Austin King 2011 Vince Misiewicz
2011 Kennen Less 2012 Ryan Grigonis
2012 Michael Penny 2012 Nick Kissane
2013 Michael Penny 2013 Nick Kissane
2013 Josh Drake    
 

Pro Signings

The following players have signed professional contracts and played professional and / or coached in professional baseball. Below they are listed with the team that they originally signed with:
Player Year Team
Lee Moser 2008 Sioux Falls Canaries
John MacLeod 2006 Atlantic City Surf
Aaron Reid 2002 Gary Southshore Railcats
Sean Ford 2001 Johnstown
Travis Harden 2000 New York Mets/Evansville
Sonny Thompson 1998 Boston Red Sox
Troy Wilcox 1995 Cincinnati Reds
Dave Joppie 1995 Oakland A's (Manager/Coach)
Kurt Huizenga 1994 Houston Astros
Randy Shagena 1994 Florida Marlins
Andy Postema 1987 Detroit Tigers
Paul Assenmacher 1983 Atlanta Braves
Dave Gumpert 1981 Detroit Tigers
Tom Rentschler 1981 Texas Rangers
Greg Antor 1974 Boston Red Sox
Mike Vernier 1972 Atlanta Braves