M-O Baseball Favorites Battle Weather Issues To Get Rolling
When will the M-O Conference baseball season begin?
It is tough to say as Mother Nature continues to throw shutouts at the area diamond squads. To date nearly a dozen diamond clashes have been postponed due to the continued winter weather.
If and when the M-O Conference finally gets underway, two teams should pace the 7-team circuit....Peshtigo and Wausaukee. Both teams return some talented players as they try to unseat three-time defending champion Coleman in the top spot.
Conference play is tentatively scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 8 with Gillett heading to Coleman, Crivitz at Wausaukee and Peshtigo visiting Lena-STAA. It doesnt look like any of these clashes will be played with the pending weather forecast.
Niagara, a first year baseball program, received an opening round bye and will host Lena-STAA on Thursday, April 10.
The top four teams in the final standings last year were Coleman 10-0, Peshtigo 7-3, Wausaukee 6-4 and Crivitz 5-5. Coach Kent Caspers Cougars own a 30-game winning streak in conference play.
Strong Pitching Key
For Peshtigo Success
With 8 returning letterwinners, the Bulldogs could be the team to beat in the M-O. Entering his 21st year as the Bulldog baseball boss, Pat Robbins has plenty to smile about especially with the return of all-conference pitchers Jordan Berth and Zach Neumann.
Also back in the fold are seniors Darius Dohl (1b), Dakota Keller (of), Andrew Majewski (infield) and DJ Messenger (of) along with juniors Marcus Sharkey (catcher) and Brendon Thomas (inf).
Other varsity prospects looking to earn playing time are juniors Jacob Bloch, Jordan Jones, Zac Pickl, Jacob Swanson and Matt Zeske. The lone sophomore is pitcher/infielder Tyler Marquardt.
Pitching will be our strength as we have two quality veterans in Jordan and Zach back along with left hander Pickl, Robbins said. Offensively we struggled at the plate last year and must improve there.
Robbins, who will be assisted by Bill Wickman and Troy Jones, has already seen his troops lose a trio of games to the weather...Oconto Falls, Marinette and Three Lakes.
Outstanding players lost through graduation for Peshtigo include 3-year starter at shortstop Trevor Bero, pitcher/infielder Matt Borkovec, Derek Koronkiewicz-first base for two years along with outfielders Tom Quigley and Derek Maye.
Rangers Look To
Improve On State
Run, 15-7 Record
After making their way to the WIAA state tournament last spring, Wausaukee is looking for bigger and better things in 2014. Second year coach Paul Moser returns 7 letterwinners, including top pitchers Beau DeLaet and Aaron Schlies.
Seniors Eddy Self and Brennen Gabriel will join DeLaet as leaders of the team along with juniors Schlies and Orlando. A pair of sophomores, Conner Kempinski and Russell Smith, are also expected to provide plenty of help.
Our team speed and senior leadership will be key, but we also dont have a lot of depth,, Moser said.
Other varsity prospects include senior Timmy McTrusty, junior Zach Zeutzius and sophomores Bailey Brix and Taylor Ehmke.
Possible starting lineup for the Rangers would be Self leading off and playing the outfield, DeLaet pitching or catching, Schlies (p/c), Gabriel (infield), Orlando (inf), Smith (inf), Kempinski (inf), Brix and Zeutzius in the outfield.
A trio of players from last year will be missed from the lineup in second team all-conference picks Cole Lewandowski and Zach Struve along with infielder Dillon Meyers.
After getting a clash with Elcho snowed out Tuesday and at Laona-Wabeno Thursday, the Rangers are in a wait and see mode for a Saturday game at Oconto Falls.
Pitching Key For
Coming off a 5-5 M-O campaign and losing a number of key players, the Crivitz Wolverines will be in for a learning campaign in 2014.
Returning players are juniors Jake Sawinski P/Inf and Colton Lange P/Inf, senior Spencer Schwartz OF/P and Tim Sotka (of) along with sophomore Brock Kueber 1B/P.
Joining them will be newcomers sophomores Ethan Littleton P/Inf and Brett Mans OF and freshmen Kershaw Stumbris C/Inf and Tommy Sawinski P/Inf.
Pitching will be our strength this year with Jake Sawinski as the ace of our staff. A lot of question marks as we look to rebuild with the loss of 7 seniors from a year ago. We will be awfully young as some underclassmen will have to fill some key roles but I feel this year we are as talented as weve ever been since Ive been here. But our young guys will have to grow up in a hurry if we want a chance to compete in the top half of a very competitive conference, coach Jeff Dorschner said. Weaknesses will be lack of depth and experience as well as hitting.
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