Pitching, youth propel ISU Club Baseball to wins


Photo: John Scallon/Iowa State Daily

Aaron Hinnah plays during the club baseball game against Minnesota State in a doubleheader April 3 at the Southwest Sports Complex.

Emily Hejlik

Iowa State Club Baseball began its 2012 season on the right foot.

The unit also proved why its should be reckoned with.

“I was so pleased with how our team came out and finished off the series with a bang,” said Aaron Hinnah, coach and president of the ISU Club Baseball team.

The Cyclones traveled to South Dakota this past weekend, winning three of the four games against the Coyotes.

The first game proved to be the only mishap of the series in a 6-4 loss, with the squad finishing in dominating fashion winning 10-8, 15-7 and 17-1.

“We played good for our first outing; we put the bat on the ball all game long, we just didn’t find the gaps,” Hinnah said. “In this last game, I wanted to try to get some of the younger guys in the action, and they came out and stuck it to last year’s conference runner-up USD, who still had most of their starters in.

“We had an all-around outstanding performance in this last game with our team having a collective batting average of .530. You won’t see that much in baseball.”

Youth and pitching showed promise and look to be building blocks for the remainder of the season.

“Mitch Gerber played well for us right away,” said Aaron Ruff, second baseman. “He started at designated hitter and as a freshman was one of the highlights of the weekend for us. Dillon Dwyer, another freshman who started the third game for us, made a lot of quality pitches and looks to be a bright spot for the rest of the year.

“Kyle Tjossem, our freshman shortstop, gave us a glimpse of his defensive abilities and in games two and three showed the offensive spark that we hoped he could provide us with.”

Leadership from the upperclassmen was paramount to the team’s success as well.

“We had great leadership from our player/coach Aaron Hinnah, who is always a positive person,” Ruff said. “I think the older, upperclass players set a good example for the younger guys on what is to be expected and how we play.”

A strong weekend performance still leaves room for improvement.

“We need to concentrate on allowing less walks and allowing the defense to make plays behind the pitcher,” Ruff said. “Offensively, we need to cut down on the looking strikeouts a bit more and working to stay consistent throughout the year.”

Tjossem, freshman shortstop, reiterated the importance of leadership from the “elders” of the group.

“I definitely think that the older guys helped out by setting the tone and showing us what ISU baseball is about,” he said. “There are some good leaders on this team from the veterans, which will help the younger guys out throughout the year.”

Team chemistry seems to be the key ingredient to a successful season, mixed in with leadership and youth.

“Compared to last year, our guys were much more involved in the game, chatting it up and simply having a good time,” Hinnah said. “Guys were joking around with each other, bonding and forming the start of what is to be a great season.”