Kimball Express 2008 preview

Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
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The Kimball Express look to defend their Central Valley League North Division title again this year. Tom Marquardt will enter his 21st year of managing, after leading the team to an 11-3 division record and a 22-9 overall record last year. Though the field will seem slightly different after the recent renovations and new concession stand, the team will look very similar to last year. Eight of the nine starters for the Express will be returning this season. Offensively, the team will be aided by the power-hitting second baseman Brian "Main Street" Marquardt, who led the Express with six homeruns. Scott Marquardt and Adam Beyer will also help offensively after hitting .375 and .364 last year, respectively. Additionally, Brooks Marquardt will add speed on the bases, as he stole 18 bases in 2007. Pitching will be a question for the Express, as ace starter James Brubaker has taken a job in Grand Rapids and will play in few games this year. Pat Arnold, Brooks Marquardt, Adam Magnuson and Brett Thomson all started games for the Express last year and will be relied on this year to eat up innings.  The only new players for the Express this year will be Andy Dingmann and Kyle Winter. Dingmann, a senior at Kimball High School, will help the team as a utility player. Winter, a 2003 graduate of Kimball High School, will play at the corners of the infield and may see some innings as a relief pitcher. The only member of the Express that will not be returning this year is outfielder Mike Arnold, who played for five seasons. Arnold hit .320 with 17 homeruns and 117 RBI in his career with the Express. Arnold will most likely be replaced with Ramsey Simons or Matt Dingmann, brother of Andy. The season will begin Sunday, April 20, in Pearl Lake with the first pitch at 2 p.m. Brooks Marquardt