MOSS, No - On a sun-splashed Sunday morning, Shields manager Brian Howard sits down to have a coffee and think a little about the past season and the new season knocking at the door. “We had a little bit of a rough period during the season last year, maybe the players were a little discouraged after a couple of tough losses in the middle of the season,” said Howard. He takes a sip of his coffee, smiles the smile of a happy man, a proud man and continues, “…but we finished strong, that’s what’s important. I’m extremely proud of the way the team finished”. Howard has left last season in the past and his focus is set completely on 2015.


Moss won't return the exact same team this coming season, but most of their roster remains intact. To keep improving, the Shields are relying on the return of their core position players.


The Shields pitching rotation will return 3 of their 4 starters from last season. Can top starters Christian Hågensen and Joel Dietrich add on to their strong finish to the 2014 season? Who will step in and fill the hole as the 4-5 pitchers for Moss this year?


Though the Shields saw a huge increase in their homeruns and runs scored totals last season, it was pitching and defense that pulled them through in a couple close wins. "The biggest difference in our club last year was that our starting pitching got deeper into games," Howard said. "And we return those people, so I feel good about that. And the people that caught the ball behind them, they're back, too."


“There are some players and pitchers on the cusp that could help play an important role at some point in 2015,” said Coach T.J. Collins. One of Collins’ points of pride is giving every player a chance to prove them self. As he puts it, "Everyone is going to get an opportunity with us. We want this to be a place where the players get the opportunity to showcase their ability and what they have learned.”


Howard is very encouraged about the opportunities that lie ahead for the team and club. “This year we want to add a big part to the foundation of Moss Baseball with things like adult/youth baseball cups and baseball clinics. Hopefully these foundations will help start trends and traditions that last for years and help create a broader baseball culture,” said Howard. He added, "You know what they say about the road to success always being under construction."


Here are some of the notable dates this spring for fans to monitor:


First Full squad practice

April 8, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


First Spring Training game

Away vs. Kongsberg, April 18, Time: TBD


Second Spring Training game

Away vs. Ås, April 19, Time: TBD