On Saturday Sept. 18, Duluth’s Wade Stadium was filled with not onlly current CSS baseball players, but also with CSS baseball greats returning for the Saints Baseball Alumni Weekend.
“Sometimes when people hear ‘Alumni Game’ they think of old, washed up, former athletes. But each fall, when we play our Saints Baseball Alumni Game, the former CSS baseball players are far from old and washed up,” Baseball Coach Corey Kemp said enthusiastically as he spoke about the feeling of playing ball recently with current team players and former greats.
This year it was more than just a reunion. The gathering of talented baseball players was particularly special, for the baseball Saints celebrate their 25th anniversary in this upcoming season.
This tradition escalated into something of greater significance. What could be better than inaugurating the fall baseball season by getting together and playing a friendly match of baseball against former baseball alumni? Not only was it a great way for current baseball players to get to know the former greats, but a grand way for gaining experience and practicing.
The current CSS baseball team found themselves in Wade Stadium playing against some of the former best names that the college has ever seen. After the first inning, the team was behind 1-0. But after 14 incredible, unanswered runs from current baseball players, the CSS Saints won by a final score of 14-1.
Even though current players showed an incredible amount of expertise, Kemp still felt nostalgia. “We lost 6 very good seniors from last year’s team. Three of them were a few of our best hitters, and so we need to find new Saints to replace them.”
But his reminiscence did not last long. David Vogelgesang took charge in the field, and hit for the “cycle”-- a single, double, triple and home run.
“Only one other Saint in our program's history had accomplished that feat.” Coach Kemp said excitedly.. Vogelgesang's surprising accomplishment helped boost Kemp's morale,and the coach said he was also happy to see that the team is in really good shape.
“Juniors Brandon Peterson and Tom Juberian were also very impressive batting in the middle of our lineup,” Kemp said. “We had one freshman and two sophomore pitchers pitch very well, and our defense was outstanding.”
Though the alumni game ended quickly, the day’s celebrations and festivities had just begun.
Since this year marked the 25th year of Saints Baseball, 15 of the great Saints Baseball players in the program’s history and one head coach were honored.
“We chose our Alumni Day as the day to reveal the team because it was important to us to include as many players from our past as possible,” Kemp said.
Following the game, a social hour took place at 5:30 p.m. at Somers Main Lounge on the campus of St. Scholastica. It was then followed by a dinner and awards presentation honoring the 2010 Saints.
The evening concluded with current assistant coach Tom Berrisford’s induction into the Saints Baseball Hall of Fame. Kemp, who called the assistant coach, “Tommy,” said, “[Berrisford] is a great teacher of the game of baseball and we are lucky to have him working as an assistant coach and an alumnus of our baseball program.”
It appears that the Saints are off to a good start, but we’ll have to wait for spring to know for sure.