The Blueboys lost five key seniors following the 2011 season, but optimism prevails as the team gets set to take the field in 2012. Head coach Jay Eckhouse is counting on a group of core returners to mesh with a talented batch of newcomers and lead Illinois College to yet another successful season.
Several key players from last year’s 16-15 team return this year. Seniors Brian Boeving, Ryan Howard, Brandon Hott and Mitch Brasher, along with all-conference second baseman Dave Dalfonso, return and should provide a solid nucleus for a successful campaign.
After losing the majority of its pitching staff following the 2010 season, Illinois College returns all but one pitcher for 2012. The key returners include Josh McManus, Grant Boehne and Brian Davenport.
While there are plenty of holes to fill, Eckhouse is hoping the competition for spots during the preseason will have the Blueboys in midseason form when they open the season with a week of games in Ft. Myers, Fla. With what Eckhouse describes as an "outstanding" recruiting class coming in this fall, the Blueboys hope for big things in 2012.