MOUNT PLEASANT - A center piece of the Central Michigan baseball program's success will roam center field in 2012 as the Chippewas return just one outfielder from their starting lineup a year ago.
Sophomore Nick Regnier will look to build on the success he had in his redshirt freshman season in which he started 47 games and had 10 multi-hit contests. A mainstay at the top of the lineup for much of the season, Regnier scored 28 times and finished the year 8-of-9 in stolen base attempts.
A fresh face but familiar name is expected to join the Novi, Mich., native in the outfield as his younger brother Logan is expected to contribute at one of the two corner spots. The younger Regnier was ranked as the No. 10 player in the state of Michigan coming out of high school and should provide speed on the base paths, as well as in the outfield, for the Chippewas.
Two seniors also appear to be in the mix for playing time in the outfield in second-year players Tom Lally and Randon Henika. Lally started 21 games in the outfield last season and had six multi-hit games and will look to contribute at a number of positions this season as he can also play second and third base. Henika started 12 games in right field last season and appeared in an additional 28 contests. Despite struggles at the plate, Henika was a key defensive replacement in right field and finished the season with three outfield assists.
Redshirt freshman Neal Jacobs joins the ranks in 2013 and will compete for a corner spot after displaying his power during the Fall World Series. Fellow redshirt freshman Ryan Heeke and true freshman walk-on Tyler Frank will provide depth.
The Chippewas open the regular season next Friday at Louisiana-Lafayette for a four-game series versus the Ragin' Cajun. A complete series preview will be available on CMUChippewas.com next week.