The Kellogg Community College baseball team kicks off its 2022 season this week with the team’s annual spring trip to Louisiana, where they’ll compete against some of the top players in the nation.
The Bruins open the season at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, against Centenary College of Louisiana’s JV squad before taking on Louisiana State University Eunice – the No. 1 ranked team in the nation – for four consecutive games scheduled through Sunday.
KCC is perhaps more prepared than ever before for the competition; the team finished third in the nation at last year’s National Junior College Athletic Association Division II World Series, and is ranked second in the nation in the latest 2022 NJCAA Division II Baseball Preseason Poll, which was released late last month.
This year’s team boasts a 31-man roster, including several returners. Locals on the roster include freshman infielder Aaron Hughes (Battle Creek/Lakeview High School); freshman outfielder Drew Mitchell (Battle Creek/Harper Creek High School); freshman outfielder/pitcher Jackson Kitchen (Battle Creek/Lakeview High School); and freshman catcher Cooper Middleton (Marshall/Marshall High School).
“Our student athletes have been working hard on and off the field and are excited to begin this journey,” Head KCC Baseball Coach Eric Laskovy said. “We are looking forward to playing the defending National Champions in Eunice, Louisiana, while experiencing the amazing culture in that part of the country.”
This year’s schedule includes more than a dozen scheduled home dates with free admission played at Battle Creek’s Bailey Park, starting with a 2 p.m. Friday, March 18, contest against Jackson College.
KCC’s baseball team has established a continuing tradition of excellence on and off the field under Head Coach Laskovy, who last season earned his 500th career win after more than two decades coaching baseball at KCC and more than 15 years as head coach. The team has qualified for the NJCAA D2 World Series eight times since 1999 – including a third-place finish in 2021 – and has claimed 13 MCCAA Conference Championships, including 11 since 2005.
In addition to last year’s third-place finish at the World Series tournament in Enid, Oklahoma, the Bruins finished the 2020-21 season as both the Michigan Community College Athletic Association Western Conference and NJCAA Region XII regional champions. The team finished the year with a 19-7 conference record and a 37-13 record overall.
Seven KCC baseball players were also honored with postseason athletic awards from the MCCAA and the NJCAA, and 13 players earned postseason academic awards for exemplary achievement in the classroom; the team as a whole earned MCCAA and NJCAA All-Academic Team honors with a 3.08 team GPA. Sophomore Kyle Van Liere, of Mattawan, was named KCC’s 2021 Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Additionally, Coach Laskovy earned his 10th MCCAA Coach of the Year award and his fourth consecutive MCCAAWestern Conference Coach of the Year award.
For more information about KCC’s baseball team, including a full schedule, roster and other information, visit kelloggbruins.com.
Head KCC Baseball Coach Eric Laskovy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 269-965-3931 ext. 2536.
For more news about Kellogg Community College, view our latest press releases online at https://daily.kellogg.edu/category/news-releases.