Steve Gow

for the Lake County News-Chronicle

The ol’ horsehide

The Mariners baseball team lost only one player to graduation last season, but it has lost a couple of starters for other reasons already this spring. Now they have three holes to fill in their lineup. The only certainties so far are that senior Zach Duresky will return as the dominant arm on the mound and junior Marc Small will be behind the plate after an injury claimed his 2013 season. Senior Luke Small, junior Spencer Tiboni, sophomore Nate Bauck and freshman Nick Perfetto will back up Duresky on the mound.

Last season for the most part, Luke Small was at shortstop, senior Jonah Koehler was at second and sophomore Justin Ketola and Tiboni were in the outfield. With that said, however, there is a new sheriff in town in the person of new head coach, Ward Wallin. Larry Otterblad and Mark Otterblad will be his assistants. They could very likely see things from a different perspective. A lot of positions may not be decided until the team and coaches get outdoors. We’ll see what we’ve got when they say, “Play ball!” .Last season the Mariners finished at 4-10 with a 3-5 record in conference.

In the battle for the title of the Polar League conference, Two Harbors must lead the favorites as they return nearly everyone. Floodwood, Carlton, Moose Lake and South Ridge will also be in the hunt. In section 7A you have the usual favorites in Chisholm, Deer River and Ely along with Floodwood, Carlton and South Ridge.

Hockey news

Six teams have already committed to return to play in the North Shore high school hockey Holiday tournament. Robbinsdale Cooper, an entrant since 2001-02, will not be one of them. Cooper, due to a lack of bodies, has thrown in the towel and folded its program. Cooper will merge with Robbinsdale Armstrong.

Also, Avery Peterson of Grand Rapids was named player of the year by USA Today when the publication named its initial 18 player national boy’s high school hockey team. Minnesota had seven boys on the team and five girls on that team.

I’m looking at Boston College to beat Minnesota for the Frozen Four title this weekend and for BC’s Johnny Gaudreau to win the Hobey Baker trophy.

Those Twins

After six games the Minnesota Twins are doing the exact opposite of what I’d said they would do last week. They are 3-3 in this span and scored 38 runs and given up 38 runs. Their inability to consistently throw strikes has made this year’s starting pitching look almost as horrible as the last few seasons, but they are at least scoring runs.