Stout Baseball Hoping For Strong Season - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Stout Baseball Hoping For Strong Season

Stout opened up the year 6-9 in non-conference Stout opened up the year 6-9 in non-conference
The Blue Devils return 16 letterwinners The Blue Devils return 16 letterwinners
Stout head coach Toby Gardenhire Stout head coach Toby Gardenhire
Stout infielder Jake Lunow Stout infielder Jake Lunow
Stout pitcher Carter Vogt Stout pitcher Carter Vogt

Menomonie (WQOW) -- There might still be snow on the ground in Menomonie, but the UW-Stout baseball team is already 15 games into its season. 

The Blue Devils are 6-9 on the young season, but Stout has faced some tough teams during its non-conference season, including the Minnesota Twins Rookie League team. Head coach Toby Gardenhire says that experience will help Stout when the WIAC season begins.

"I think our conference is as tough as it gets probably in the whole country," says Gardenhire. "So when we went down on our spring trip that's what I wanted. I wanted to play teams that were similar to the teams that we play up here, and that's what we got you know, and we played them all well, so I think that's going to do nothing but help us going into these games"

Senior pitcher Carter Vogt adds: "I think playing that competition in non-conference games really sets us up well for our conference, because it's not a surprise, the WIAC is pretty stacked year after year"

It's the second year for the Stout program under Gardenhire. The team made strides in its first year under their head man, but with 16 letterwinners returning, the Blue Devils hope to continue moving up the conference ranks.

"I don't necessarily look at it as wins and losses. I look at it as how your program is going, what direction it's going, and this year we are definitely moving in the right direction. We've got a good group of young guys," says Gardenhire.

Vogt likes the Blue Devils chances in 2013, saying: "We'll compete. We've always competed with these teams and we're not scared of anybody. Baseball is a game where it could go either way. That's the beauty of it."

"We've been in every game pretty much so far," adds sophomore Jake Lunow. "We pitch to contact, our defense is making plays and getting outs. We've been playing pretty good and we hope to improve upon that. "

Stout opens up the conference season on Wednesday with a doubleheader against UW-La Crosse.


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