Head Baseball Coach Jud Kindle at State Fair Community College is pleased with his team’s preparations for the upcoming season and is anticipating good outcomes for the team and individual student-athletes.  

“I thought we had a good fall,” said Kindle. “We have a very young offensive team. Coach Jordan Dey has spent time teaching our offensive approach and how we go about our day-to-day work. We have made good adjustments and great progress offensively. We are a little bit older on the mound, and we have some good leadership. Chase Carson (Topeka, Kansas) was phenomenal during the fall. Zach Buscshulte (Kansas City, Missouri) has stepped up and is going to play a big role along with Ben Haug (Marshall).”

Coach Kindle says the fans will see the team play a familiar style of baseball this season.

“We are going to get back to more of what our fans used to see,” said Kindle. “We want to do more of the small things like bunting and running. We want to be very aggressive on the base paths, not necessarily hit as many home runs as we did last season. We want to focus more on smaller things, and that’s what we are going back to this season. I think we will be a very good defensive team.”

The Roadrunners will be led by sophomores Carson, Buscshulte and Haug. Coach Kindle is also looking for sophomore Jack Lawton from St. Louis to step up and be a leader on and off the field.

“On the offensive side, we have a young group,” said Kindle. “We graduated a lot of our hitters last year. We are looking for leadership from Conlan Downey (Raymore Peculiar). He will be a consistent guy for us all year long. John Greenwood (Lebanon) is going to be one of our bigger bats this year. He will hit in the early to middle portion of our lineup and hopefully drive in lots of runs.”

SFCC is scheduled to open the season on Feb. 8 with a doubleheader at Coastal Alabama-East. The doubleheader will be the first of 11 scheduled road games to open the season. SFCC‘s home debut will be at 1 p.m. Feb. 25 at Liberty Park Stadium-Dey Field in a doubleheader against Ellsworth Community College. SFCC is scheduled to open Region 16 play at home against St. Louis Community College on March 9.

“The seasons are changing,” said Kindle. “It’s colder for longer periods of time. We are very blessed that we can take a couple of trips. We’re going to Alabama early to play five games and then going back to Dallas the next week to play four more games. Those are all quality opponents. Our region is probably the strongest that I’ve ever seen it from top to bottom when it comes to talent. We must use our non-region games to work out all the kinks and get ready for a very competitive Region 16 schedule.”

Coach Kindle has set goals he wants to see his team achieve in the upcoming season and has developed strategies to help move the student-athletes toward success.

“Our first is to host a sub-regional,” said Kindle. “We want to put ourselves in a position to be a top four-seed to earn that opportunity. We want to win that sub-regional and win the regional. Those are the three main goals. We did that a couple of years ago. Home field advantage is huge in the playoffs.

“We have to be consistent,” said Kindle. “We can’t ride a roller coaster. We have to be consistent with the way that we go about our business on a day-to-day basis. We must constantly try to be a better version of ourselves every day. We must work on our weaknesses throughout the year and find the formula for us as a team to win. That usually happens when a team does all the small things right, and that’s what we will focus on.”

-- David Rohrbach, SFCC Athletics

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