Big East baseball stars honored

Cedar Grove-Belgium, Ozaukee land handful of players on all-league team

Brad Katte
Ozaukee Press staff

Cedar Grove-Belgium High School pitcher Brad Katte only had a record of 4-5 this season, but he dominated in another category.

Katte whiffed 125 batters, the most in the state, according to

That helped the junior to a first-team selection in the Big East Conference.

“He did very, very well. I thought he was the best pitcher in the conference,” coach Tom Race said.

Katte pitched 64-2/3 innings. He allowed 29 runs (17 earned), walked 35 and had an earned-run average of 1.84.

He started nine games and had one complete game. Opponents hit .211.

His record didn’t show his skill “because we were a younger team. He pitched in a lot of games, and we didn’t win all of those games,” Race said.

Katte also played left field and first base. His hitting improved as the season wore on, and he was moved to the No. 3 spot in the batting order. He hit .297 for the season with three triples, one home run and four RBI.

Katte will pick up about 40 more games this summer with Sheboygan American Legion Post 83’s team.

The Rockets’ other first-team selection was leadoff hitter Jeffrey Emperley.

He played half the season at second base and later moved to shortstop.

Emperley hit .391 on the season and had an on-base percentage of more than .400, Race said.

He stole eight bases and was chosen as the team’s most valuable player.

“He was just a very, very intelligent baseball player. Intense would be a good way to describe him. Every game, every pitch he was focused,” Race said.

Ozaukee landed two players on the first team, both of whom received double recognition.

Sophomore Noah Miller was a unanimous selection to the first team as a position player — he played shortstop — and made the second team as a pitcher.

Miller had 29 assists and 21 putouts while making three errors. He had a fielding percentage of .943.

“He covers a wide space, made a lot of plays on top of (second base) and went into the outfield along the third base line,” coach Steve Kowalkowski said.

“He’s a quick and heady player.”

On the mound, Miller had a 3-2 record. He pitched 48 innings and struck out 80 while walking nine. He had an ERA of 1.73.

“That was a surprising aspect of his game. We knew what he had at shortstop,” Kowalkowski said.

“His pace and command of the ball is outstanding.”

Miller hit .515 on the season with a .558 on-base percentage. His 20 RBI led the Warriors. He had three home runs, three triples and nine doubles.

In addition, Miller made the all-district first team and was an all-state honorable mention.

Junior Brent Hoffmann made the first team as a position player, handling the hot corner or shortstop when Miller pitched. He earned honorable mention as a pitcher.

He had eight assists and 17 putouts, making four errors. His fielding percentage was .862.

At the plate, Hoffmann hit .440 with an on-base percentage of .574. He tied for second on the team with 17 RBI. He hit one home run, two triples and six doubles.

On the mound, Miller went 3-3 in 45 innings. He whiffed 62 and walked 34 with an ERA of 2.8.

He was the Warriors’ primary pitcher last season and settled into his role this year, Kowalkowski said.

Hoffmann earned honorable mention all-district recognition as an infielder.

Regardless of who was on the mound, Warrior senior Mitch Weyker provided a solid target, making the second team as a left-handed catcher.

In the regular season, Weyker had five passed balls and gunned down five runners trying to steal, as well as picking off another at third base in 48-2/3 innings.

It didn’t matter that he was a lefty.

“He’s been able to get his body in position no matter what,” Kowalkowski said.

At the plate, he had a walk-off base hit and a .383 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot.

“The leadership he brought to this team by far was one of his greatest attributes,” Kowalkowski said.

Weyker also made the all-district academic team.

Besides Hoffmann, the Warriors had two players earn honorable mention.

Sophomore Simon Bares played second base. He had 10 assists, 25 putouts and eight errors while turning one double play. He had an .814 fielding percentage.

At the plate, Bares hit .362 with a .492 on-base percentage. He knocked in 15 runs.

After playing third base last year, Kowalkowski moved Bares to second, a more natural position for him.

“He’s got a good feel for over there,” he said.

Freshman Matt Miller, Noah’s cousin, handled catching duties when Weyker played outfield.

He had three passed balls in 19 innings and caught one runner trying to steal.

“Being a freshman, he really took on that role,” Kowalkowski said.

 Miller also played third and second and pitched.

He hit .250 with an on-base percentage of .404.

Aside from Weyker, who graduated, Kowalkowski gets the rest of his all-conference talent back next year, along with most of the other players on a team that qualified for state for the first time in school history.

“We’re filled with pure talent all the way through. They’re interchangeable, and you’re not losing much by moving guys around,” he said.

He said he hopes to get Danny Johnson some more time on the mound, as well as Jacob Eibs.

“Our pitching depth might increase next season,” Kowalkowski said.

Ozaukee tied for fifth in the Big East at 7-5 but beat conference co-champ Random Lake in the playoffs.

“My message to them is they should want  to increase the intensity at the practice level. They should start taking on the mentality that teams have to beat us now,” Kowalkowski said.

The Rockets had one player earn honorable mention recognition, senior Wesley Katte, Brad’s older brother, as a utility player.

Katte played right, left, catcher, pitcher and second base.

“It was really hard on him because he didn’t know how to play any of those positions, but when I asked him to do it he said OK and did his best,” Race said.

Katte is an Eagle Scout who is entering the Air Force.

“The kid worked hard every day. He’s just a top-notch kid,” Race said.

With three hits in an eight-inning victory over Sheboygan Lutheran this season, Race said, Katte won the game.

“He hit a spot in the season where he was slapping base hits to right field all day long,” he said.

He hit .333 on the season with an on-base percentage of .419. He had one double and seven RBI.

Race said Katte improved dramatically since his freshman season and was voted the team’s most improved player.

The Rockets went 6-6 in the Big East and lost in the playoffs in extra innings to the Warriors.




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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