After an absence of anywhere from 15 to 30 years (based on available records) the Buccaneer baseball team reappeared as a varsity squad at Beloit College on March 4, 1986.
The gaps in the history of the program have been attributed to a lack of players, poor spring weather, effects of the Beloit Plan, and several more. But the fact is that baseball reestablished itself in 1986.
Rick Lemke, who had coached the club team previously, began the first of his two seasons as head coach in ’86, leading the squad to a 2-16 record, both wins coming in conference play.
The Bucs began their rebirth with a spring trip to Tennessee in March, where they faced Freed-Hardeman, Union, and Bethel twice each, dropping all six games. Back North they opened their home season on April 5 at Telfer Park, playing a doubleheader with Northern Illinois University which saw their record fall to 0-8. They recorded their first win of the new era in a 9-8 victory over the University of Chicago, then a Midwest Conference member, at Telfer on April 8 in the first game of a doubleheader.
Gerry Hoehn and Phil Calcina each drove in three runs in the win while Eddie Limon had two RBIs. Calcina finished with three hits and Hoehn, Dave Blanchette, John Carpenter, and Mike Clinton had two. Rob Dassow got the win on the mound, going the full seven innings while giving up 12 hits, striking out three and walking one.
Jack Wiedeman recorded the only other win that season in a 6-3 victory at Lawrence, scattering six hits while giving up no earned runs. Blanchette drove in three runs while Hoehn knocked in two. Carpenter had three hits.
Carpenter finished as the team’s leading hitter with a .364 average followed by Terry Hoerman at .349 and Calcina at .314. Clinton hit the team’s lone home run, that coming in the season’s second game at Freed-Hardeman. Dassow and Wiedeman both started six games, with Dassow posting a 6.20 ERA and Wiedeman 6.77. Second baseman Hoehn and outfielder Calcina both earned All-Midwest Conference honors at the end of the season.
Lemke guided the team to a five-win season in 1987 before stepping down. Don Amundson took over the squad in 1988 and had back-to-back nine-win seasons in 1989 and 1990 before Dave DeGeorge, a member of the 1987-89 squads, began his current 22-season career.
UP AHEAD IN BUCCANEER ATHLETICS
Go to www.beloit.edu/bucs to get the entire schedule and catch up on last week’s results.