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Raiders baseball team looks to defend Big Rivers Conference title

The defending Big Rivers Conference baseball champion Raider baseball team has four returning seniors, from left, Hunter Frey, Jake Giordana, Nick Bloomberg and Miles Lewis. (Photo Hudson Baseball Facebook)

The Raider baseball team won its first conference title since 1979 last season. If Hudson is to repeat this year it will look for contributions from a number of new faces.

The Raiders return four seniors, including three All-Big Rivers Conference selections and one All-State player. That experience was enough to have them picked to finish second in the BRC Coaches Poll this season, behind conference favorite Eau Claire Memorial.

Hudson opens the season with a nonconference game against Simley, Minn., this Thursday, April 10, at 4:30 p.m. at Grandview Park.

Headlining the group of returners is two-time All-BRC catcher Miles Lewis. Lewis earned second team all-conference honors as a sophomore and was named to the All-BRC First Team and All-State teams as a junior. He will be heading to the University of North Dakota to play baseball after he graduates.

The switch-hitting Lewis batted .353 with a .490 slugging percentage and .485 on-base percentage last year. A three-year starter, he is known as one of the top defensive catchers in the state.

Outfielder Jake Giordana is back after hitting .390 a year ago on his way to second team All-BRC honors. Pitcher and third baseman Hunter Frey also returns after batting .358 and going 2-0 with a 3.77 earned run average and earning a spot on the All-BRC Second Team.

Utility player Nick Bloomberg is the fourth returning senior while junior outfielders Bryce DuCharme and Ian Hutchinson, infielders Alex Barnard, Jack Koski and Collin Rayomme, and pitcher Sam Glade are back after earning varsity experience as sophomores. Rayomme, Koski and Hutchinson also add depth to the Raider pitching staff.

Newcomers include sophomore infielders Luke Meyer, Charlie Richards and Carter Elliott, outfielders Isiah Grancorvitz and Alex Jantz and utility player and pitcher Tyler Wilson.

Head coach Ryan Huppert begins his tenth year as the Raiders’ skipper and is the winningest coach in Hudson baseball history with 109 wins. Last year’s Hudson team won the BRC title with a record of 11-1 while finishing 14-2 overall and reaching the WIAA sectional finals.

The Raiders lost their season opener at Grandview Park to Simley, Minn., 4-2, on Thursday, April 10. The game was originally scheduled for last Thursday, April 3.

They will visit New Richmond for a 4:30 p.m. game Friday, April 11, and travel to Stillwater Saturday, April 12, for a 3:30 p.m. start.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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