Solid senior class key to JC's success
Strong senior classes have become an annual characteristic of the Jamestown College baseball program. This year is no different. After graduating eight talented seniors last May, the Jimmies are once again led by five upperclassmen that have been...
Strong senior classes have become an annual characteristic of the Jamestown College baseball program.
This year is no different.
After graduating eight talented seniors last May, the Jimmies are once again led by five upperclassmen that have been successful on and off the field.
"Successful programs have seniors that are not only leaders on the field, but are also dedicated student-athletes," said JC coach Tom Hager. "We've been fortunate to have a number of kids that fit into both categories, and that's the case again this year."
Seniors Jed Steiner, Nate Burgard and Chad Christianson have been on the Jamestown College campus for four years, excelling both on the diamond and in the classroom. The same can be said for Geoff White, a three-year veteran of the program, and Kyle Anderson, a key contributor for the last two years.
"This senior class has been outstanding," Hager said. "The thing that sticks out to me is how hard they work. These guys work hard every day and that's been a major factor in the success we've had as a program."
All five players have played key roles in the team's success this year. The Jimmies (33-12-1) head into the Region III Tournament at Jack Brown Stadium hoping to extend the careers of their talented senior class.
In order to do that, they'll have to win the tournament that begins Friday at 10 a.m. with Si Tanka-Huron (22-19) playing Dakota State (31-14) followed by the Jimmies taking on Mayville State (24-16) at 1 p.m.
o Jed Steiner: A three-year starter at catcher, the Dickinson native has been an invaluable member of the program since he arrived both offensively and defensively. This year, he's hitting .330 with two home runs and 30 runs batted in. Hager says his work behind the plate is second to none.
"When Jed steps on the field, he's a difference-maker," Hager said. "His ability to handle the pitching staff, call a game and completely shut down the opposing team's running game has been outstanding.
"Jed is also a first-class student-athlete. He has meant an awful lot to our program."
o Nate Burgard: A three-year starter at second base, he makes up the other half of the Jimmies' dynamic Dickinson duo. Solid with the bat and the glove, this year Burgard leads the team with 31 runs batted in.
"Nate is a true student-athlete. He is a role model on and off the field," Hager said. "He's a blue-collar worker who has turned himself into a complete player. He's as effective in the field as he is at the plate.
"It's really been fun this year to watch Nate get to play with his brother (Jeremy). I see a lot of Nate in Jeremy, and that's exciting."
o Chad Christianson: A former standout at Midkota High School for his coach/dad Rick, he has served as an ideal utility outfielder for the Jimmies.
"Chad has been a spark plug for our program over the years. He's done a great job as our fourth outfielder and he's just a tremendous kid," Hager said. "Not only is he a student-athlete, but he's also a father and he's done a great job handling all of his responsibilities."
o Geoff White: A three-year member of the pitching staff, the Kelowna, British Columbia, native has won 18 of his 27 decisions for a winning percentage of .667. This year, he is 5-2 with a 2.31 earned run average.
"Geoff has been Mr. Consistency over the last three years. Every time he goes to the hill, you know you're going to get a quality outing," Hager said. "The other thing about Geoff is that he is extremely competitive. He does not like to lose in anything and that's rubbed off on everyone."
o Kyle Anderson: After serving as the designated hitter last year, the Bremerton, Wash., native has done a solid job at first base this season. He's also a threat in the middle of the lineup with a team-high five home runs. Last year, he slugged 10 long balls.
"Kyle brings an exceptional personality to our team. He's a very big reason why we great team chemistry," Hager said. "Every successful team has players like Kyle.
"On the field, the improvement he's made defensively has been outstanding. He's playing first base as well as the great defensive first baseman we've had in our program in the past."
Sun sports writer David Selvig
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