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Lynx club baseball team should be in mix of region competition
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

April 02. 2013 10:10AM
Brandon Valley’s 2012 high school club team’s season came to a close in the Region 1A title game against the Washington Warriors, who dominated the 8-1 game.

But this season, head coach Grant Hieb and the Lynx hope to turn the tables on the competition.

“We’re going to be strong defensively, and like always, it’s just a matter of our pitchers throwing strikes,” Hieb said. “But we should have a good chance this season.”

The Lynx return with several seasoned players from last year’s squad that posted one of the best records (18-8) in a number of club seasons.

Hieb will look to a variety of seasoned veterans this year, starting with Cole VanderBeek, who will staff second base. He’ll fill in for the injured senior Brady Mutschler, who will sit out the spring season as he recovers from shoulder surgery. VanderBeek will also be the leadoff hitter for the Lynx.
Hieb is equally excited to have junior Jacob Adams back.

“He’s probably one of the best hitters in the state,” Hieb said. He’ll return to third base this season and will close out games on the pitcher’s mound when needed.

Junior Lucas Lunstra, coming off a successful youth summer VFW baseball season, will move from the infield to outfield this season, Hieb said.

Senior twins Jared and Jacob Mulder, whom Hieb says are very solid defensively, will both have opportunities on the pitching mound this season. Jared will also play first base and Jacob will largely handle the catching duties.

Three other seniors will staff the outfield for Brandon Valley: Troy Nelson, Dylan Tibke and Jacob Bruget.

Junior Nic Peterson, who stepped into a varsity role last season following Mutschler’s injury, will also see some playing time in the outfield.

“We’re going to have some competition for the outfield,” Hieb assured.

The Lynx shortstop role will be filled by Luke Bauske, which allows Adams to return to third base.

“We want our defense to be solid up the middle and Jacob has a good first step (off the base),” Hieb said.

Four players on the Lynx roster will start on the mound, beginning with Tommy Gardner, who Hieb deems as the team’s “No. 1 pitcher. Last year, he was throwing better than anyone,” Hieb said.

Also getting the nod are starters Jared Mulder, Bruget and Bauske. Lunstra, pegged as a utility player, will also see some time on the mound.

Although the weather has kept the club team off the playing field, Hieb said the team has been training at Legends and the Avera Sports Dome in Sioux Falls. “So I’ve gotten to see a few of the guys hit and have seen our pitcher’s throw,” Hieb said.

In region competition, Hieb points to Sioux Falls Lincoln and Washington as the biggest threats. In the state, he looks to Brookings, whom return the vast majority of their infield from last year.

As for the Lynx, Hieb said Brandon Valley will be in the mix.

“From top to bottom of the lineup, it’s going to be tight all the way,” he said. “We’ve got a good group of kids, I can’t complain.”

The Lynx were scheduled to open their season last weekend in Kansas City, but a late winter storm there cancelled those games. Brandon Valley was also scheduled to face Roosevelt at Harmodon Park Tuesday afternoon. This weekend, the team will hit the road to face Rapid City Central and Stevens. Brandon Valley will host Brookings in their home opener April 9 at Legion Park in Valley Springs. The doubleheader will start at 5 p.m.
2013 BV Club Team Schedule
April 5–at R.C. Central
April 6 – at R.C. Stevens
April 9-Brookings
April 12 Huron
April 13-Fargo, N.D.
April 16-at Mitchell
April 18-at Yankton
April 19-Wahpeton, N.D.
April 22-Mitchell
April 25-S.F.Washington
April 26-Huron at Brookings
April 26-at Brookings
April 27-Sturgis
April 29-at O’Gorman
May 2-S.F. Lincoln
May 3-at Harrisburg
May 4-Yankton
May 6-S.F. Roosevelt
May 7-O’Gorman
May 9-at S.F. Washington
May 10-at Pierre
May 11-Watertown
May 14-at S.F. Lincoln

Lynx junior Jacob Adams will be the "big bat" for Brandon Valley this season. Lynx head coach Grant Hieb pegs him as one of the state's best at the plate. Challenger file photo

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