Duane Monlux is the Head Coach of the Bellevue University Bruins. The Bruins finished third at the NAIA Baseball National Championship last season His record at Bellevue over seven seasons is 256-97-3. He was selected as Coach of the Year by the North Star Athletic Association for the 2016 season. This interview took place on February 12, 2017, after the Bruins split a double-header with the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Drovers.
Bob Broughton, courtesyrunner.com: I hadn’t originally planned on talking to you about today’s games [vs. Science and Arts of Oklahoma], but USAO’s got some pitching.
Duane Monlux: Yeah, they do. They had some good arms in both games, and not only that, in the games they played previously. They have some really good starting pitchers, they have the ability to strike people out. They’re a good team. They hit the ball well today, and they’re going to beat a lot of teams, that’s for sure.
BB: We had a lot of balls bobbled by the infielders,but they came up with a couple of big defensive plays in the outfield when they needed them [by RF Randy Ventura]. I’m thinking specifically of the sixth inning of the first game. The right fielder robbed you guys of an extra-base hit, at a point when it really mattered.
DM: Well, we got it back to 4-2, and that would have changed that inning. That was a heck of a play. They played a clean game. They’re a very good baseball team, with good pitching, good hitting, and pretty good defense. They went through the whole nine-inning game with no errors, and they’re absolutely a World Series-caliber team.