In Head Coach Pat Bloom’s ninth season at the helm of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point baseball team he finds himself dealing with a unique problem.
“On our 30-man roster we have 18 guys that can pitch--that’s a lot. We really don’t know who our starting pitchers are going to be,” Bloom said.
But too much pitching isn’t a problem any coach will lose sleep over, especially at the college level.
“The key variable is always going to be pitching. You always have to make sure you have pitching depth,” Bloom said.
The Pointers resume action Saturday when they travel to Florida for their annual Spring Trip, and with eight games in seven days it will be the perfect opportunity for Bloom and his new coaching staff to gauge their pitchers.
Last season Bloom had five assistant coaches for the Pointer’s WIAC Championship run. During the offseason each of them moved on from the program.
They have been replaced by a three-man crew consisting of former UW-Oshkosh standout Jeremy Jirschele and former Pointers Steve Considine and Jeremy Richter.
“We really hit a home run with that one,” said Bloom regarding the addition of Jirschele. As a four-year letter winner for the Titans, Jirschele was twice selected as the WIAC Position Player of the Year as well as First Team ABCA All-American, twice. Jirschele still holds the WIAC record for career doubles, 53, and is second in career hits, 253.
“Our other assistants are doing a really great job as well. We turned over effectively after losing all five assistants from last season,” Bloom said.
Along with his assistants, Bloom also commended his two senior captains: infielder Justin Jirschele, younger brother of Coach Jirschele, and pitcher Ryan Iverson.
“They’re outstanding in their roles,” said Bloom. “Not only are they great players, they’re also solid young men. You couldn’t ask for two better guys.”
With a surplus of pitching coupled with the bats of Jirschele, and junior infielders Dan Douglas and Sean Gerber the Pointers seem poised to make another successful run in the WIAC, but Bloom wants his team to be focused on Florida first.
“People think because we go down there during spring break that it’s like spring training, but there’s nothing “spring training” about it. All of these games count,” Bloom said.