Scouts to converge on McKinzie

By Fred Konrath

The NIU baseball team will get a chance to display their talents at McKinzie Field Friday afternoon when a group of major-league scouts visit DeKalb to see which Huskies have the skills to play at the major-league level.

Head coach Joe “Spanky” McFarland feels this will be a good day for his Huskies to get some exposure.

“Hopefully, we’ll have some people that will impress them for another visit,” said McFarland. “The thing that’s nice too about it (scouting) is it gives them a chance to see how our facilities are coming along.”

Since the Huskies are only in their third season as a Division I team, they have a lot to prove and the improvement is getting better day after day.

Even Gene Lamont, the manager of the Chicago White Sox, had nothing but praise when he visited McKinzie Field about a month ago.

“He said our field is in great shape, better than most of the major-league teams,” said McFarland.

Next on line for the new field is better bleachers and a closer view for the fans.

“Our playing surface is right where we want it to be. My assistant Pete (Tsotsos), he works hard out here, and the grounds crew has been doing a tremendous job,” said McFarland.

McFarland is looking for this year to turn the corner. In their first year as a collegiate Division I team two years ago, the Huskies had all walk-ons. Last year, they had a recruiting class that was ranked in the country, and this year the Huskies have another good recruiting class to go with last year’s.

McFarland’s looking forward to a winning season and to show the nation and major-league scouts that baseball at NIU is on the rise.