• STILL RECRUITING — I chatted with McPherson College second-year football coach Paul Mierkiewicz today as he’s continuing to try and add players for the upcoming season.
Mierkiewicz basically inherited an empty cupboard at Mac last year and was forced to start as many as 11 freshmen during last year’s forgettable 0-10 season.
Mierkiewicz and his staff have been busy bolstering the numbers as the squad was under 50 last year, which is almost unheard of in this day and age. The Bulldogs at times barely had enough offensive and defensive linemen to get through a game.
Those were the two areas that Mierkiewicz concentrated on most. He says he should be two, maybe three-deep in both lines.
He’s hoping to have the team numbers near 90, though invariably some players who say they are coming don’t show up for whatever reason — cost, homesick or decide they just don’t want to play anymore or attend school anymore.
The Bulldogs appear to be well-fortified at wide receiver, where a number of pass-catchers will be employed. The Mac coach is hoping to change the team’s offense, which last year was vanilla mainly because of all the youth.
The Bulldog running game should be better as well as Mierkiewicz has recruited a junior college transfer from California who should step right in and be the workhorse.
While the football season may seem a long ways away, it really isn’t. It’s a little more than six weeks until the Bulldogs report for preseason drills.
• TENNIS COACH SPOT STILL OPEN — I also chatted with Mac Athletic Director Andrew Ehling and he reports there’s a lot of interest in the open McPherson College tennis job.
Justin Stuckey recently resigned after two tremendous seasons. He led the Mac men and women to nationals in each of his two years.
The Mac men’s team did not have a single senior, so whomever takes the job will be stepping into a win-now situation. The women’s team also has some quality players back.
Ehling is hoping the fill the position soon, as the tennis program is one of the bright spots in the Mac athletic program.
• ROYALS WIN DESPITE BULLPEN — In the third game of the I-70 Series on Wednesday, except the venue was Busch Stadium instead of The K, the Kansas City Royals’ bullpen blew not one, but two, leads before eventually winning a 3-2 decision.
The two teams are very similar. Both have struggled with starting pitching, though both Carlos Martinez and Edinson Volquez unfurled nothing but zeroes in this one. When it gets to be a bullpen game, that tends to favor Kansas City.
But the normally always-reliable Wade Davis faltered, blowing only his second save of the season. Davis had only pitched once in 10 games and showed the rust. Then after Kansas City grabbed the lead again, Joakim Soria coughed it up. Finally, the Royals won on an RBI by Alcides Escobar and Chein Ming-Wang was able to hold on to move to 5-0 on the year.
My Cardinals simply are spinning their wheels and have played awful at home. Their defense is among the worst in baseball, though I attribute that to manager Mike Metheny playing so many guys at a variety of positions. While versatility is great, it also doesn’t allow for players to get into a rhythm at their positions, hence the high number of errors.