Stout Baseball takes Hot Start to Florida

Sam Nemec

UW-Stout closed out the regular season by sweeping St. Thomas, 9-2, 7-1. / UW – Stout Sports Information Photo

After making improvements in 2019, the University of Wisconsin—Stout baseball team continues to make strides by starting the 2020 season off with a 3-1 record. Having pitched a shutout in game one, and then bringing in 11 runs in game two, the Blue Devils have found success in all facets of the game already.

Sophomore Charlie Szykowny led the way offensively for the Blue Devils on opening weekend hitting for a .583 average and claiming his first WIAC baseball athlete of the week honors.

“It feels great to get off to a hot start, always fun when you are winning ball games,” Szykowny said. “Putting up lots of runs is the name of the game and we all contributed to that over the weekend.”

Things are looking up for the baseball program, and Senior captain Reid Akerman has high expectations this spring, “I think we have the most talented team we’ve had in my four years at Stout. We expect to win now, and it is becoming ingrained into the culture we are trying to develop,” Akerman said.

While they have lost some key players to graduation, they’re also bringing back some talented and experienced guys to go with a strong freshmen class as well. Nonetheless, the group has managed to stay close–which has become a strength of theirs.

“We are an extremely close-knit group,” Akerman explained. “The camaraderie helps us stay focused and loose, which is when we play our best baseball.”

The team shares a common goal to compete for a national championship. To achieve that, it requires hard work and commitment – something this team is all in on.

“We have outworked any team in the WIAC and hopefully that will show this year. We may not have the most Division 1 transfers or the most players in the draft, but I can say with confidence we are the hardest working team out there.” Akerman added, “Especially the seniors who have put in 4 years and countless hours into this program.”

The Blue Devils are led by their seniors: Kasey Bass, Joe Hailing, Kyle Hamilton, Alex Jinkins, Phil Schmit and Ben Vanhove who look to let their impact on Stout’s baseball program be known.

“I truly believe if we play our game, we can beat anybody and compete for a national title,” Akerman said.

Next up for UW-Stout baseball is a trip down to Fort Myers, Florida for spring break. There, they’ll compete in the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic for five non conference games. First game is against Babson College (MA) at 3 P.M. (ET) on March 16th.