The Madison Broncos amateur baseball team will open the 2013 season on Saturday, when they go to Freeman for a 1 p.m. game.|
The Broncos finished the 2012 season with a 24-11 overall record and a 15-7 Cornbelt League mark. Madison placed third in both league play and the league tournament.
Madison will return a solid nucleus to the 2013 team. Manager Trent Miller welcomes back key veterans Greg Biagi, Nick Bird, Jordan Brown, Chris Brozik, Matt Burpee, Eric Hortness, Trevor Johnson, Mitch McNary, Brian Miller and Ray Wagner. Joining the veterans this season are Steve Schmidt, Jon Waba, Brock Selgestad, Matt Schoeberl and Doug Iverson.
"Anyone who has watched us play in the past may notice a few different faces on this year," Miller. "Since we have lost some key players at certain positions, you will see some guys where they have not normally been on defense. Our lineup may change a bit, and our pitching rotation will have more guys in it."
Madison won two games in the State Tournament last year before being eliminated.
"The more experience that we get from the State Tournament, the better we will get," Miller said. "However, we are not guaranteed a spot in the State Tournament. We will use the season to develop and get better as a team."
The top five hitters returning to the Broncos lineup include Biagi (.447), Burpee (.429) Brian Miller (.357), Hortness (.354) and Bird (.336).
Bird led the team in home runs with six while Brian Miller had four.
Burpee had 13 doubles, Bird had 10 and Biagi ended the season with nine.
"We don't do one thing great, but we do a lot of things well. We are a pretty solid team, but there's room for improvement in hitting, pitching and defense," Miller said.
Miller's main concern is being able to find the best product to put on the field in the postseason.
There are 10 teams in the Cornbelt League this year. Tea and Dell Rapids Mudcats have dropped out of the league.
However, Miller believes there are several great teams in the league yet.
"There is the potential for a lot of teams to be tough to beat this year," he said.
Madison will begin the 2013 season on the road on Saturday when the Broncos go to Freeman for a non-league contest starting at 1 p.m.
The Broncos' first home game is Wednesday, when they host the Lake Norden Lakers in a 7:30 p.m. game.
The first league game is scheduled for May 19 against the Canova Gang at Flynn Field at 2 p.m.
May 11 at Freeman, 1 p.m.
May 14 at Emery, Dimock-Emery, 8 p.m.
May 15 Lake Norden, 7:30 p.m.
May 19 Canova, 2 p.m.
May 22 Salem, 7:30 p.m.
May 29 at Lennox, 7:30 p.m.
May 30 Canistota, 7:30 p.m.
June 6 at Dell Rapids, Dell Rapids PBR.
June 9 at Harrisburg, 2 p.m.
June 11 Freeman, 7:30 p.m.
June 13 Flandreau, 7:30 p.m.
June 16 at Colman, (doubleheader) 4 p.m.
June 20 Lennox, 7:30 p.m.
wJune 22 at Lake Norden (doubleheader) 2 p.m.
June 23 at Canova, 2 p.m.
June 27 at Flandreau, 7:30 p.m.
June 30 at Canistota, 5 p.m.
July 7 Humboldt (doubleheader) 2 p.m.
July 11 Dell Rapids PBR, 7:30 p.m.
July 18 at Salem, 7:30 p.m.
July 26 at Dell Rapids, District 4 Tournament.
Aug. 7 at Sioux Falls, State B Amateur Tournament.