Moraine Valley Community College baseball players are putting in the effort, and the returning head coach is ready to see what Cyclones baseball can do in 2023.
Head Coach Mike Kane had a brief stint as coach from 2014 to 2016 and returned to lead the Cyclones in January to a team constructed and recruited by previous coach Hugh Dennehy. He already likes what he sees, and he wants to build on what they have, which includes a solid returning core.
“This is a great group. They’re hardworking, and I think we’ll surprise some people,” he explained. “The leadership is great. It’s like we have four to five coaches on the field. These sophomores are showing the standard, and they understand this level of baseball.”
The sophomores leading the team in preseason include Gilberto Hernandez (Maine West), who threw a 4.50 ERA with nine strikeouts but also hit .240 with 22 RBIs last season; pitchers Daniel Rosado (Reavis) and Gus Velazquez (Eisenhower); big-hitting first baseman Danzel Lucas (Morgan Park), who averaged .333 last year at the plate; infielder William Miller (Evergreen Park); infielder Maxwell Hensler (Oak Forest); and transfer catcher/pitcher Ben Cash (Oak Lawn). Kane noted that Rosado and Velazquez will likely be the top pitchers.
A lot of incoming freshmen means adjusting to a higher level of ball, which the sophomores already are helping with. Everyone is eager to learn and compete.
“They want to work. They want to get better. As a coach, what more can you ask for? I think we’ll do well,” Kane said.
Coach Kane really wants his guys to keep improving all season and not make the same mistake in game 30 that they made in the 10th game. The coaches also want to zone in on each player’s weaknesses as well as have them get in 200 to 500 swings a day. Although the team has goals, they are looking at how to be the best they can by season’s end.
“I always want to win conference, but I really want the guys to improve and hit their peak by playoffs. That’s when our best should go against their best,” Kane explained.
Kane will be joined this season by returning Assistant Coach TJ Walton and newcomer pitching Coach Nick Chigas.
“I’m excited. I think we’re going to be pretty good. I don’t want to overstate it, but we have a good group. They’re really looking forward to the season,” Kane said.
For updates on Cyclones Athletics, visit mvcyclones.com.
For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or Vizzam@morainevalley.edu.