Huskies need a few good men

By Wes Swietek

HELP WANTED: Baseball players. Some travel, no heavy lifting required. EOE. Contact Spanky McFarland at NIU.

New NIU baseball coach Spanky McFarland hasn’t yet resorted to taking out the above ad, but that’s not because he doesn’t need the help.

McFarland, recently hired to ressurect NIU’s baseball program, is in the position of being in charge of a baseball team that faces a major obstacle: It has no players.

To help rectify the situation, McFarland is holding an open tryout for would-be Huskies on Sept. 4, 3 P.M. at Huskie Diamond.

“I’m looking for good athletes,” McFarland said. “Guys who can run, throw and my priorities as a head coach is pitching and defense so that’s what I’m looking for first and foremost.

“If you can hit that’s a plus. We are going to run, throw, field and hit and in that order. I think the first three are the most important.”

Being in shape for the 40 or so games that are scheduled for this season, McFarland said, is just as important as baseball skills when evaluating talent.

“My advice is to be in shape. If you don’t make it because you’re not good enough, that’s one thing but if you don’t make it because you’re not ready is something else,” McFarland said.

The prospect of fielding a team entirely composed of walk-ons.