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 width=First year Illinois State head baseball coach Bo Durkac and the Redbird baseball team opened fall baseball practices on Monday as they prepare for the 2015 season. The team will practice in small groups before coming together for team practices Sept. 8.

Durkac welcomed back 17 returning players from the 2014 team that posted a 33-22 overall record and advanced to the title game of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Durkac also welcomes in 17 players new to the program, as well as an all-new coaching staff.

Mike Stalowy returns as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator after a successful playing career at Illinois State and a recent stint as an assistant at Valparaiso, while Michael Kellar joins the staff as pitching coach from Siena. Ryan Copeland and Clint Stroud will serve as student assistants.

Durkac stressed that what his team does in the fall directly impacts its performance in the spring.

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