Lindenwood baseball season preview


Photo by Mallary Vasquez

Freshman third-baseman Jack Meyer catches the ball to get an opponent out during the baseball game at Lindenwoo University.

Joshua Calloni, Sports Editor

Lindenwood’s baseball team is set to kick off games later this month, as the Lions will look to build on a 2022 season in which they went 27-24.

In that 2022 season, the Lions posted a successful conference record, going 16-12. That was good enough for third in their division, and fifth overall in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. They hit for a team batting average of .271 and slugged 19 home runs as a team. As for the team’s pitching, it had a combined team earned run average of 4.57, and allowed opposing batters to hit .281 off of them.

One thing that will likely need to be cleaned up ahead of the first game for the Lions this season, is their defense. In their 2022 season, the team made 76 total errors, which is good for a combined team fielding percentage of .956.

Looking ahead to the 2023 season, the team will be led by four coaches. Head Coach Doug Bletcher, who is coaching in his 16th season at Lindenwood, and assistant coaches PJ Finigan, Adam Core, and Cliff Brown. The team’s roster is also shaping up to be different from the roster the Lions rolled out for the 2022 season, as over 15 new players are listed on the team that did not appear in a game for Lindenwood previously.

“The ‘prove it’ factor. Whether these guys were passed up by D1s out of high school or previously at a Community College or perhaps turned down some kind of an opportunity at a D1 and chose to go elsewhere,” Bletcher said. “This is an opportunity to prove people wrong about the recruiting process or the school that they chose to attend and play at. I can say, it is neat to see the higher level of commitment towards their individual goals as well as team goals at this level.”

The Lions will compete in the D1 Ohio Valley Conference for the first time. The move to Division 1 will pit the Lions against new opponents, such as Tennessee Tech University, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, and University of Minnesota – Mankato, amongst others. All in all, the Lions will play roughly 55 games over the course of the next four months.

“It’s not meant to be easy and the guys are going to have to go through fire to accomplish their goals,” Bletcher said. “When we fail, they have to get up off the floor and continue the fight and we are going to fail. It’s not if, it’s when in our sport and how often. Regardless, we have an opportunity to be stronger every time we fail. Ultimately, the goal is to play our best game, the last game of the year.”

The Lions’ season is scheduled to kick off this Friday, Feb. 17, with a series against Nicholls State University, though the three-game set is an away affair, to be played in Louisiana. The Lions’ first home series is the following week when they welcome the University of Minnesota – Mankato to campus for three games. From there, the season lasts through May 20.