Baseball Preview: Eagle Grove Eagles

The 2021 baseball season was one of promise for the Eagle Grove Eagles, after electing to not play baseball in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and a cellar finish in the Top of Iowa West in 2019, the Eagles rose up to a 5th place finishing at 11-13 last season. With the sharing agreement with Belmond-Klemme, the Eagles played a 3A postseason where they quickly bowed out to Webster City in the first round.

Head Coach Jordan Miller primarily worked with a team comprised of freshmen and sophomores a year ago, but another season under the belt should help the Eagles against the best of the best in the Top of Iowa West. The top returning bat for Eagle Grove will be Jake Jeske, who had an eye-popping slash line of .523 AVG/.595 OBP/.754 SLG, along with 34 hits, 21 RBI and 13 extra-base hits a year ago. Cayden Schultz also brings back a valuable bat, with a slash line in 2021 of .311 AVG/.494 OBP/.443 SLG, with the Eagles only home run, 20 RBI and 5 extra-base hits. Other key returnees include Bryson Warren, Jordan Morris, Chris Williams, Blake Morgan and Mack Morgan.

The area where Eagle Grove will need to see improvement is on the mound, as the Eagles had the 3rd-worst ERA in the Top of Iowa West in 2021, sitting a 5.46. Jake Jeske and Cayden Schultz will likely be #1 and #2 in the Eagles rotation, as Jeske held a 4-2 record in 8 starts as a freshman, with 12 walks to 55 strikeouts and a 2.19 ERA. Schultz was 4-4 in 9 starts a year ago, walking 23 batters and striking out 52 batters with a 3.35 ERA. Blake Morgan and Jordan Morris make up the back half of the rotation, but both will need to lower their ERA from a year ago, with both pitchers over 6.00.

Eagle Grove kicks off their regular season on Monday, when they take on Southeast Valley at the Southeast Valley Baseball Field in Dayton, with first pitch slated for 7:30 PM.