College Baseball: New CLC coach hopes to emulate alma mater's success

Saturday, April 8, is an important date for first-year Central Lakes College Raiders baseball head coach Brian Voigt as he will go up up against his former school, Riverland, and his former head coach, Scott Koenigs.

Brian Voigt
Brian Voigt

Saturday, April 8, is an important date for first-year Central Lakes College Raiders baseball head coach Brian Voigt as he will go up up against his former school, Riverland, and his former head coach, Scott Koenigs.

Koenigs has coached teams to six MCAC conference titles, two region championships and two appearances in the NJCAA Division III Worlds Series. And that is where Voigt wants the Raiders to be in the near future. Voigt has played for teams that attained a high level of success.

"I grew up in a small 1A school at Southland and we were a young team," Voigt said. "We were starting to build a tradition and we had down years, but we progressed to being second in the state. Then I went to Riverland Community College and I was able to take part in turning that program and went to the World Series with two 30-win seasons before going to Augustana.

"Then I went back to Riverland and coached for two years working with the pitchers and had some guys move on which is always the goal. I then took a graduate position at Northern State and was out there for the last two springs."

Voigt begins his head coaching career when the Raiders open their season with 10 games in Tucson, Ariz., starting with a game against Itasca Saturday, March 11. His goal for CLC is to be competitive in those games.


"We have been outside three days this year," he said. "I just want to be in the games down there early on. I feel that we are really competitive with the teams in our area, and I tell my guys that I just want to be in the game at the end."

Voigt has five returning players from last year's Raider team that finished with just one win in 28 games last season. One of those players is Brady Moulzolf who was a division co-player of the week last season.

"Brady comes from Royalton and had success in high school," Voigt said. "He is a shortstop with a good arm and great speed. He will be someone that we look to at the top of the lineup with his .310 average."

Moulzolf is helping his younger teammates adjust to the mechanics of hitting which include bat speed and the way you stand in the batter's box. He is hoping those lessons lead to success.

"One of my team goals is to do well in region play," Moulzolf said. "We didn't do very well last year and I hate having losing seasons like that."

Another returning player is outfielder Jake Hyytinen.

"Jake is a sophomore from Aitkin which has a great program," Voigt said. "He was kind of a staple in their offense and he hit .333 last year. He was a high school infielder. He might not look good but wherever he plays he is going to get it done. This year he will play some outfield, third base and some first base."

Hyytinen is working with young players on understanding the strike zone and that there are fewer pitches to hit in college. He also is pushing the importance of team.


"What I learned most from last year is that we have to be a team and come together," Hyytinen said. "I don't think we did that very well last year and with this group this year I think we have a shot at having an above.500 record and making the playoffs."

Seven local players are on the roster and it is one of the key points of emphasis for Voigt in building a successful program.

"When you start recruiting, you have to start local and there is a lot of talent in this area, and were lucky to get some of the better kids in the area to come here in this turnaround process," he said. "We are recruiting local talent hard and we want the majority of our roster to be local kids, with some kids from other areas to help compete for national titles."

Twelve pitchers are on the roster and Voigt points out the importance of having second-year pitchers on the roster. A key pitcher from last year, Austin Larson, won't be pitching early in the season after tearing his ACL, but he is in his final year of eligibility and Voigt hopes Larson will be able to pitch sometime this season.

Offensively, Voigt is working with players on their baserunning.

"We need to target being able to take that extra base," he said. "If you hit a ball in the gap, and the outfielder takes an extra couple of steps, I want us to take that extra base, and get working on getting that timely hit."

Raiders roster

No., name, position, high school


1-Derrek French, INF, Crosby-Ironton

2-Brady Becker, UTL, Staples-Motley HS

3-Mike Tveitbakk, INF, Anoka HS

4-Jacob Swendsrud, UTL, Staples-Motley

5-Eric Kossan, UTL, Staples-Motley
6-Levi Jeska, OF, Isle

7-Brady Moulzolf, INF, Royalton

8-Blake Backowski, C, Ramsey, MN/PACT Charter
9-Jacob Hyytinen, OF, Aitkin

12-Alex Guggisberg, INF, New Ulm Cathedral


13-Devon Brown, INF, Freeport, Bahamas

14-Austin Larson, OF, Litchfield

15-Alonzo Knowles, OF, Freeport, Bahamas

17-Cody Baran, C/OF, Hinckley-Finlayson

18-Brendan Ehlers, LHP/1B, Anoka

22-Nik Gasner, OF, Austin

23-Austin Bivins, INF, Yakima, WA/West Valley HS

26-Zack Winger, INF, Brainerd


Raiders schedule

March 11, Itasca CC at Tucson, AZ, 4 p.m.

March 11, Illinois Institute of Technology JV at Tucson 8:30 p.m.

March 12, Bismarck State College at Tucson, 10 a.m. (2)

March 13, Fraser Valley at Tucson 3 p.m.

March 13, Lake Region State College at Tucson 6 p.m.

March 14, Williston State College at Tucson, noon

March 14, Concordia University (Wis.) JV 3 p.m.


March 15, Arizona Western College 6 p.m. (2)

March 18, at Des Moines Area CC Tournament 1 p.m. (2)

March 19, at Des Moines Tournament 1 p.m. (2)

April 1, Itasca in MN West Crossover at Worthington 2 p.m.

April 1, Rainy River in MN West Crossover 4;30 p.m.

April 2, Rainy River in MN West Crossover 9:30 a.m.

April 1, Minnesota West in MN West Crossover 4:30 p.m.

April 5, Itasca 2 p.m. (2)
April 8, Riverland 2 p.m. (2)

April 14, Minnesota State CTC 2 p.m. (2)

April 15, at Ridgewater 1 p.m. (2)

April 19, at Northland 2 p.m. (2)

April 20, at Riverland 2 p.m. (2)

April 22, St. Cloud Technical 1 p.m. (2)

April 23, Century College 1 p.m. (2)

April 25, at Minnesota State CTC 2 p.m. (2)

April 29, Ridgewater 1 p.m. (2)

April 30, Northland 1 p.m. (2)
May 3, at St. Cloud Technical 2 p.m. (2)

May 4, at Itasca 2 p.m. (2)

May 7, at Century College 1 p.m. (2)

May 10, St. Cloud Technical 2 p.m. (2)
May 12-13, Regional play-in series at TBA

May 18-21, Region 13 Tournament at St. Cloud

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