California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Cal Lutheran Baseball welcomes new head coach

Photo contributed by Ryan Jorgenson
Erik Scherer has been acting as head coach of the Kingsmen baseball team since February 2023.

Earlier this month, California Lutheran University announced that Erik Scherer will become head coach of the Kingsmen baseball team. Scherer, who had been the assistant coach of the Kingsmen since the year 2000, was promoted to head coach, taking over from Marty Slimak who served in the role for 30 years. 

“I look forward to continuing the strong traditions here,” Scherer said. “Cal Lutheran Baseball has been a tremendous program for a long period of time. We are up for the challenge of continuing to have a good standard of excellence and raise the bar as high as we can.”

According to Scherer, Slimak left before the first game of the 2023 season due to medical reasons, and he has been acting as head coach since. However, Scherer was officially announced as head coach on Sept. 14. 

“I’m just very thankful to the people who have helped me get into this position. I’m so thankful to Coach Slimak for his years of guidance and leadership, Scherer said. “I’m thankful to the university for giving me this opportunity. I’m thankful to the assistant coaches that worked with me last year and were immediately on board with me taking that position and continuing all summer and into the fall.”

Junior infielder Josh Quinn said Scherer’s transition as head coach has been smooth, and the players on the team are looking forward to a good year. Quinn said the team will run similarly to how it has in the past, and that they hope to make positive changes. 

“He knows the game more than most, just in terms of a psychological way, because I think more people think it’s more like a physical aspect, not a mental one,” Senior pitcher John Frazier said. “You can be really good, but like, if not mentally stable when you’re out there like you can get frustrated [and] let your emotions show even if you’re the best guy in the field.” 

According to Frazier, 11 seniors were lost from last season, but Scherer said the new mix of players have tremendous character and are excited to see what path they carve this season. He said he hopes to maintain the standard of excellence and raise the bar as high as possible.

Last season, the Kingsmen baseball team won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament for the second straight year, beating No.1 seed University of La Verne en route to victory. 

The Kingsmen returned to official practice on Sept. 16. 

“We had a really good feeling…the returning players had worked hard to continue to improve, and the new players had come in and brought a lot of new excitement and athleticism to the program,” Scherer said. 

Scherer said he is now in charge of new responsibilities: recruiting, transportation, scheduling, and player clearances. 

“I’ve gained a new respect for the work that head coaches have to put in addition to practice and games. That part is easy,” Scherer said. “There are so many things that no one ever sees that they work so hard at to run an entire program. I’m still learning.” 

Scherer said he hopes to play a more prominent role in his players’ lives, such as academics and personal growth.

“We wanna be more community-oriented this year and do a little bit more off the field as well,” Quinn said. 

The Cal Lutheran Kingsmen baseball team’s season begins in the spring, and they will look to become SCIAC Tournament champions for the third year in a row.

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