Young Resorters’ hopes for success on diamond hinge on pitching

Greg Ceilly of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – Pitching will be the key for a young Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah baseball team this season.

The Resorters’ pitching staff had control problems last year which hurt them in several games as they struggled through a rough season. Elkhart pitchers allowed 99 walks in 18 Central Lakeshore Conference games combined – an average of 5.5 per contest.

“As always, we strive to be competitive each and every game, but mostly we need to improve our pitching. Too many free bases by way of walks, wild pitches and stolen bases have plagued us in the past,” said Hill.

“In order for us to be successful, it all starts with pitching. We have a team that can hit and can play defense, but neither of those will stop walks and free bases.

“We are a young team that is looking to gain some valuable experience in order to compete for a conference championship in the next year or two,” said Hill.

Elkhart returns two starting pitchers from 2013 in junior Stuart Zelle and sophomore Bailey Klug. The other starters back include senior infielder Danny Schneider, senior outfielder Jed Hersey, junior catcher Elliot Van Oss, sophomore infielder Stephan Clemens and junior infielder Gunnr Johnson.

Schneider was an All-CLC honorablemention infielder last year. He led the Resorters in RBIs with 11, triples, five and runs with 13 in league play. The Resorters’ top returning hitter in CLC games batted .308 and had one home run. Johnson hit .294 in CLC games last season which ranked fourth on the squad.

Hill, in his eighth season at Elkhart, pointed out the key players he expects to lead the team this season.

“Elliot caught all of last year for us. We expect him to lead the charge, both offensively and defensively and from a leadership standpoint,” said Hill.

“Danny may have one of the top-three bats in the conference but has been bothered by some injuries, so we are hoping that he will stay healthy enough to provide a solid punch in our lineup.

“Stephan was injured most of last year but is healthy this year and will solidify the infield at shortstop, hopefully for the next three years. A couple other veterans and some newcomers will all provide necessary defensive and offensive punch,” said the coach.

“Our strength and weakness is our inexperience. On the plus side, these kids reby ally like baseball and have a short memory and are willing to quickly move forward onto the next game.

“On the negative side, they will find themselves in some higher pressure games then they have previously played up to this point in their careers,” said Hill.

In-team competition should help the Resorters, according to Hill.

“We have a bigger squad this year and guys are having to compete for playing time. Competition breeds success, so we are hoping our guys fight and prepare for playing time,” he noted.

Looking at varsity newcomers, Hill said the freshman class and a couple new juniors will give the team quality innings this year and in the future.

Hill surveyed the CLC race.

“As always, Howards Grove and Sheboygan Lutheran/Kohler will always be near or at the top of the conference,” he said.

“The other top teams will be based on pitching depth as the season combines a lot of games over a short amount of time. Any team can catch a hot streak and finish at or near the top.”

Lutheran/Kohler and Cedar Grove- Belgium shared the CLC title last season. Howards and Ozaukee tied for third. The Resorters finished last with an 0-18 record (0-23 overall).

June 13 – @ Cedar Grove
June 16 – Random Lake (2), here
June 18 – @ Plymouth (JV)
June 19 – @ Ozaukee (JV)
June 20 – Sheb. Lutheran/Kohler, here
June 23 – @ Oostburg
June 24 – @ Sheboygan Falls
June 25 – Ozaukee, here
June 27 – @ Howards Grove
June 30 – Cedar Grove (2), here
July 2 – @ Sheb. Luth./Kohler
July 7 – @ New Holstein
July 8 – @ Grafton
July 9 – Oostburg, here

July 10 – @ Ozaukee
Seniors – *Jed Hersey (OF), Jason Meyers
(IF), and *Dan Schneider (IF).
Juniors – *Stuart Zelle (P-IF), *Elliot Van
Oss (C), *Gunnr Johnson (P-1B), Josh Farrar
(P-OF) and Trevor Rebedew (OF).
Sophomores – *Stephan Clemens (P-SS),
Owen Kalbacken (C-OF) and *Bailey Klug (PIF). Freshmen – Jordan Bahr (P-3B), Brennan
Cain (P-OF), Tyler Schultz (P-OF), Max Kossman (2B-P), Andrew Sitko (OF) and Dyllan
* - Returning letter winner.

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