Steve Duncan Era Begins as New Washington University Baseball Coach
St. Louis, Mo., February 23, 2010 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team will begin a new era under first-year head coach Steve Duncan when the Bears take the field for the 2011 season opener against Division I St. Louis University on Sunday, Feb. 27, at 2 p.m.
Duncan grabs the reigns at Washington University after spending the last three seasons as an assistant coach at Johns Hopkins University. He takes over for former head coach Ric Lessmann, who managed the Bears for 17 seasons, posting a 396-231-1 record; Washington University went 17-15 a year ago.
The Bears return six starters from last year’s team in addition to welcoming back a majority of their impact players on the mound.
Senior Matt Skinner will start at first and classmate Miguel Davis will man third base. Senior Travis May and sophomore Greg Gleicher will patrol the middle infield while junior Joe Noon and sophomore David Madson will split time behind the plate.
Skinner came on strong during the second half of 2010, finishing the year with a .330 average while knocking in 20 runs and scoring 22 times. May proved to be one of the Bears’ more versatile offensive weapons, hitting .327 with four home runs, 29 RBIs and eight doubles with a .525 slugging percentage, which ranked second on the team.
Senior Matt Bayer will again serve as the Washington University’s designated hitter after hitting .346 with two home runs, 26 RBIs and a team-high nine doubles a year ago.
Junior Brandon Rogalski, freshman Kyle Billig and sophomore Stephen Bonser will begin the season as Washington University’s primary outfielders, with Rogalski also expected to eat up a lot of innings on the mound. At the plate, Rogalski enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign, hitting .369 with three home runs, 32 RBIs and a .533 slugging percentage.
Senior Ben Ingell, sophomore Matt Polites and Bayer will also see some time patrolling the outfield for Washington U.
Joining Rogalski in the starting rotation will be seniors Bryce Hrovat and Adam Merzel in addition to sophomore Max Gordon. Hrovat was 4-2 with a 5.36 earned run average last season, striking out 44, while Gordon was 1-0 with six appearances.
Senior HT Flanagan, sophomore Taylor Berman, senior David Liebman, senior Zachary Cain and Bonser should also see significant action as relievers.