Hawks' slow start not too surprising
Lee Pulaski, email@example.com
A rough start doesn’t bother Shawano Community High School baseball coach Robert Wolff.
The Hawks’ first game, a 10-0 loss to Oshkosh North, was the first time they had been outside this season. The second game, a 9-1 loss to Denmark, was closer than it appeared.
“It’s hard to gauge,” Wolff said. “We still haven’t practiced on our home field yet. I think the morale is up. We’ve talked, we’ve stressed what we need to do.”
To win games, the SCHS will need a combination of consistent pitching and putting the ball in play, he said.
“Our pitching staff is going to keep us in ballgames this year,” Wolff said. “We’re going to have to hit the ball. We’re not going to shut anybody out. We do have some good kids throwing, but we’re going to have to score runs.”
Pitchers Taylor Prey and Clint Dallas both return for their senior seasons. They each had a conference win on the mound a season ago, half of the Hawks’ four Bay wins.
Also taking the mound for the Hawks this season will be juniors Grant Wainio, Tommy Stueck and Jack Lacy.
“I’ll be relying a lot on Dallas and Prey to do a lot of the pitching,” Wolff said. “But you know how that works. If games keep getting pushed back, it’s going to be everybody on deck. I won’t have that luxury to pick and choose when we pitch.”
Chase Henning, a second-team all-conference selection a year ago, is a good bet to lead the bats. The junior center fielder hit .333 a season ago, only second on the team to graduated senior Hunter Ludvigsen last year.
Junior Zack Sousek had a .250 average last year.
On defense, the Hawks are dealing with losing six graduated seniors, including Ludvigsen, who was the team’s Most Valuable Player, and Josh Carlson, the Defensive Player of the Year.
Sousek is starting at shortstop. Junior Ky Schmidt is playing second base. Prey, Dallas and Stueck will spend time at first base when not pitching. Senior Cody Urban and Grant Wainio are the primary catchers. Alex Frechette is starting in left field.
Multiple guys are trying to earn the starting spots at third base and right field, Wolff said.
It helps that the program is growing.
“I was happily surprised,” Wolff said. “I think we’re at 42. When I first did an initial estimate back in December, we were thinking we would have to eliminate a level. We didn’t have to do that.”
AT A GLANCE
Shawano Community High School baseball schedule
April 22 at Oconto
April 28 at Luxemburg-Casco
April 29 vs. Luxemburg-Casco
May 3 at Oconto Falls (doubleheader)
May 6 at New London
May 8 vs. New London
May 10 at Antigo (doubleheader)
May 12 at Seymour
May 13 vs. Seymour
May 17 vs. Marinette (doubleheader)
May 20 at West De Pere
May 22 vs. West De Pere
May 24 vs. Bonduel
May 27 at Denmark
May 29 vs. Clintonville