Eau Claire (WQOW) — Early on this season the Eau Claire Regis baseball team is off to a solid 4-2 start. The Ramblers are coming off back to back conference titles, including winning it outright in 2017 and sharing it with Altoona last year.
But this group is not as experienced as those teams, only having one senior in Cade Osborn. However, he is a good senior to return, after earning first-team all-conference last season as a pitcher and shortstop. Outside of Osborn though, Regis only returns three starters from 2018, so younger players will have an opportunity to step up and fill in some spots.
“We just don’t have quite as an experienced a team this year. We have one senior, he’s a very good senior, very talented player in Cade Osborn,” says head coach Andy Niese, who’s in his twelfth season with the Ramblers. “Our junior class is also talented, they just haven’t had quite as much varsity experience as prior groups. But there is certain talent there. The high school season is just so short, condensed, and intense that you know you really have to teach on the fly. Because once those 26 games start in eight weeks, it’s a challenge.”
Another challenge is juggling around both the pitching staff and lineup every game. Regis only has 19 players total in the program, and have only played one game so far this season with their entire team due to spring break trips. Players are having to be versatile, and play in different positions across the field.
“Who pitches has a ripple effect on at least two, three other positions,” Niese says. “Our corner outfield spots, left and right are kind of our flex positions right now. So we’re not necessarily looking at locking anybody in at this point, because of how we have to juggle our pitching staff. And most of our normal pitchers you could say, play other positions.”
The Ramblers are back in action on Monday night, they’ll travel to La Crosse to play Aquinas at 5 p.m.