Antigo High School graduate and current Indian Hills Community College pitcher Nick Marshall has been named the opening day starter for the Northwoods League’s Wisconsin Woodchucks.
The Northwoods League is one of the biggest collegiate summer baseball leagues in the nation with 22 teams in total, including the Woodchucks who call Wausau’s Athletic Park home.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to play in such a great league,” Marshall said. “It has always been a goal of mine since I started playing ball.”
Teams generally play a 72-game schedule from late May to mid-August, but the season was delayed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
League officials decided to play a “pod” format this season, to cut down on travel and possible exposure to the coronavirus. The Woodchucks are in a six-team Wisconsin-Illinois pod, along with Fond du Lac, Green Bay, La Crosse, Rockford and Wisconsin Rapids.
The season begins Wednesday, July 1, with Marshall getting the start for the Woodchucks in a road contest at Fond du Lac.
The pod’s schedule will run until August 20, with a two-day playoff series capping the pod season.
The Northwoods League teams, working in consultation with state and local officials, have each developed a plan for safe operation in their respective locations. Fans will be allowed into ballparks, but will be placed into social distanced box seats or picnic tables in most locations.
“Patience, creativity and a focus on safety have paid off for Northwoods League fans and players,” Northwoods League President and Commissioner Gary Hoover said in a statement on the league’s website. “This next phase represents tremendous effort by our affiliates to safely bring baseball back into their communities, and to provide their fans with a timeless way to spend quality time.”
Marshall, a six-foot-three, 190-pound sophomore at Indian Hills in Centerville, Iowa this past school year, was able to begin his season, making two starts before the season was cut short due to the coronavirus.
Marshall threw a complete game shutout against Des Moines Area Community College and was named Indian Hills’ Student-Athlete of the Month for March.
He is in his first year with the Woodchucks.