MEQUON, Wis.- Concordia Wisconsin finished in third place during the NAC regular season in 2011 with a 14-8 league record, but the Falcons bowed out of the league playoffs via a pair of tight (12-11 and 9-6) first round losses to #2 Aurora and #1 Concordia Chicago respectively.
Much of the CUW offense returns, hoping for a healthy and productive 2012 season. Senior Austin Sarauer (Campbellsport, Wis.) , who hit .379 in Arizona action before injury ended his 2011 season, will be a welcome returnee. Sarauer led the Falcons in several offensive categories in 2010, hitting .366 with five homers and owning a strong .559 slugging percentage.
Sophomore infielder Harry Steldt (West Bend, Wis.) posted an impressive .358 batting average in 2011 with three home runs and 21 RBI. Senior Adam Martz (West Bend, Wis.) started all 41 games last season, hitting .308 and driving in 36 runs; the most of any returnee. Senior Daniel Mueller (West Bend, Wis.) was also a significant contributor offensively, scoring 32 runs and driving in 26 while hitting at a .291 pace.
As a team the Falcons (18-23 overall) hit a robust .302 last season, but their pitching staff allowed opponents to hit. .334.
Gone is graduate Derrick Pankow who ate up twice as many innings as any other CUW performer on the mound while posting a 6-4 record.
Senior Matt Parrent (Kewskum, Wis.) who was 4-2 and senior Ryan Baglow (Walled Lake, Mich. ) who wound up 3-3, are both back as is sophomore Matt Scasny (2-1) who was impressive with a 3.23 era in a pair of late season starts.
"This may be the most talented group of freshman pitching prospects we've ever had. Between Dylan Hinckley, Joel Sharon, Tyler Adams, and Collin Bernreuter (among others) along with transfer Andy Mueller, we may find the depth with that group that we lost in Pankow last year. We are excited about our youth on the mound," praised Coach Val Keiper.
CUW is preparing for a sunny March 16th Arizona opener against Dordt College.