The Grand Forks Channel Cats carry the worst team batting average in the Northwoods League, a .233 mark, 31 points below next-to-last Mankato.
It shouldn’t be that way, according to first-year manager Mike Huber.
“I’ve told the boys that I know the secret, that I know the
secret to hitting , that I know how to get you to the pros, ” Huber said.
His comments came Sunday after one of his pupils, infielder, Ray Goirigolzarri cracked his fifth home run of the season, best on the team and third most in the league.
“He’s one of the players who has taken the opportunity to use me as a tool to get there (pros),” Huber said. “If I had the whole team to do that, it would be over with, I tell you.”
Goirigolzarri and Steve Checksfield in particular have been Channel Cat players who have worked with Huber on improving their hitting techniques.
Goirigolzarri carries a .326 batting average, best among current players. He leads the team in hits (30 for 92) and is third in runs batted in, with 13.
Checksfield, after a 3-for-5 day on Sunday, is hitting .191 with 7 doubles and 7 RBI resulting from his 18-for-94 performance in 25 games.
“It’s the choice of the boys to do what they want to do, ” Huber said. “Checksfield has been a student of mine, and Rich Hofman has been a student a little bit. They’re free to use me. If they don’t, they’ll either learn the hard way or do it on their own, and I wish them good luck.
Hofman, a recent addition to the Cats, is batting .250 (9-for-36) with 3 doubles and 2 RBI.
Huber is the head baseball coach at Morton Junior College in Chicago. During the school year, Huber is a physical education teacher employed by the Chicago Public School System.
He is a 1989 graduate of Illinois State and holds his master’s degree from Chicago State in 1998.
[Herald Staff Writer, By Virg Foss]