Ozaukee baseball heading to Appleton

After nervous sectional semifinal, Warriors roll to title

OZAUKEE’S BASEBALL TEAM is going to state for the first time in school history. The roster includes Mason Kell, Blake West, Mitch Weyker, John Brooks, Philip Paulus, Logan Bell, Jacob Eibs, Matt Miller, Brent Hoffmann, Noah Miller, Danny Johnson, Simmon Bares, Jack Genzmer, head coach Steve Kowalkowski and assistants Tim Miller and Nic Erdman. The team added a beloved stuffed raccoon named Carl they received from Kewaskum as a good luck charm and has yet to lose with the creature in the dugout. Photo by Mitch Maersch
Ozaukee Press staff

After three playoff games that could serve as advertisements for heart medication, Ozaukee High School’s baseball team had enough drama.

The Division 4 sectional final against Sturgeon Bay in Random Lake would not be a walk-off or comeback one-run victory.

This time, the Warriors took it to the Clippers early and often in a 13-2 shelling.

One year after going 3-20 in a rebuilding mode with no seniors on the team and three years after not fielding a team due to a lack of players, the Warriors are going to the state tournament in Appleton for the first time in school history.

“It’s unreal. Last year we were like 3-20, and this year we’re going to state. It’s unbelievable,” junior Brent Hoffmann said.

“The feeling is just awesome,” senior Mitch Weyker said. “I’ve never had a team run this deep in the playoffs except sophomore year with football.”

“It’s kind of surreal,” sophomore Simon Bares said. “I never would have thought at the beginning of the year that we would have made it to state, but it’s really cool.”

After coming back from a late 3-2 deficit for a 4-3 win over Brookfield Academy in the semifinal Tuesday, the Warriors got the bats going an hour later in the final.

They put up three runs in the first inning, one in the second, two in the third, four in the fourth and three in the fifth.

There could have been more. The Warriors got thrown out at home once, got tagged out in a pickle between third and home and got picked off trying to steal second base.

By the time the Clippers plated a run in the fourth inning, the game was essentially decided.

“When they get at it, they’re really good. We’ve seen every good pitcher in our conference, and we’ve hit them all. They’re tenacious,” coach Steve Kowalkowski said.

Nolan Miller shot two doubles over the heads of the center fielder and left fielder and got hit by a pitch.

Bares had two singles and a double down the third-base line, as well as a fielder’s choice for an RBI.

Hoffmann had a two-RBI double down the left-field line and got hit by a pitch twice.

Logan Bell had two singles and three RBI.

Leadoff hitter Mitch Weyker walked twice.

The Warriors chased the Clippers’ starter with one out in the third inning.

“We wanted to hit the ball. We wanted to win, to put the foot down early,” Miller said.

On the mound, Hoffmann had 40 pitches left before reaching his 100 limit. He started and went two innings, allowing no runs or hits, whiffing one and walking two.

He got help from right-fielder Danny Johnson, who reached out with his glove to snag a deep fly ball while backpedaling in the second inning.

Miller went the final three innings, allowing two runs on two hits, whiffing two and walking none. A balk and some fielding miscues brought in a couple of runs.

He got help from Weyker, who threw out a runner trying to steal to end the third inning.

The plan, Kowalkowski said, was to run Hoffmann deep in the opening game against Brookfield Academy. But “with it being hot and sunny for a change,” Kowalkowski pulled Hoffmann and let Miller finish the game.

That meant the pair had a combined 100 pitches left before reaching their limit for the sectional final.

“We like to stick with those guys if we can,” Kowalkowski said.

This is Miller’s first year with the high school team. The sophomore, whose brother plays with the San Diego Padres’ double-A team in Amarillo, Texas, had played club ball in summer but was able to join the

Warriors when all prep baseball was held during the spring season.

“I don’t know what to say. It’s a great experience,” he said.

The team’s goal at the beginning of the season was to reach .500, and the Warriors went 7-5 in the Big East Conference, good for fifth place.

They’re off to a 5-0 start to the second season and now two victories away from a state title.

Ozaukee faces Markesan on Wednesday, June 12, 25 minutes after the 1 p.m. game between Boyceville and Stratford. The winners of both games will face off for all the marbles at noon Thursday, June 13.




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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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