Grafton, Port infielders awarded All-North Shore first-team recognition in vote of baseball coaches
Baseball teams that finish in the bottom half of conference standings usually play second fiddle when it comes to garnering all-league honors.
But the trend didn’t ring true this year for Grafton and Port Washington, who each had a player named to the All-North Shore Conference first team in a recent vote of coaches.
Grafton shortstop Choo Weisflog, a slick fielder with a penchant for getting big hits, received the honor along with Port’s Nick Godersky, a hard-hitting third baseman.
Weisflog, a sophomore, batted .339 in NSC games and was named the Black Hawks’ most valuable player. He scored five runs, drove in seven and had a .441 slugging average with two doubles and two triples.
Weisflog committed only one error and finished with a .986 fielding average.
“It’s a real honor for a player to be named first-team all-conference as a sophomore, especially in the North Shore,” said Grafton coach Brian Durst, whose team tied for sixth place with a 7-11 record.
“Choo was a real spark for our offense and played such solid defense. He was one of our captains and gave us great leadership.”
Godersky, a senior, hit a team-best .393 for the Pirates, who went 6-12 in conference play. His 22 hits included five doubles and a home run, and he had 13 RBI. He struck out only five times.
A solid defensive player, Godersky committed just six errors.
“Nick had an outstanding season for us,” Port coach Nicholas Wycklendt said.
“He was so steady at the plate and on defense. We had a lot of confidence in him as a leader.”
Godersky also contributed as a pitcher, posting a 2-4 conference record. He had a 4.82 ERA, allowing only seven walks in 40 innings of work.
Several other local players were given recognition by the coaches.
Port first baseman Max Kaske was named to the second team, and teammates Derek Haley (pitcher) and Taylor Devenport (utility) both received honorable mention.
Four Grafton players received honorable mention: Robbie Doring (shortstop), Alex Nennig (outfield), Nate Lukas (pitcher) and Beau Benzschawel (first base).
Kaske, a senior, had offensive numbers that placed him among the area’s top first baseman. He batted .386 with 22 hits that included eight doubles and a league-best four homers.
Kaske drove in 18 runs and had a .787 slugging average.
Steady defensively, he committed only four errors in 110 total chances.
“I truly believe Max should have been on the first team,” Wycklendt said. “He had a tremendous season as a senior.
“He did everything he could to help us win and was our emotional leader.”
Haley and Devenport capped their high school careers with solid senior seasons.
As the Pirates’ No. 1 pitcher, Haley had a 4-4 record and 4.20 ERA in NSC play. In 53 innings, he struck out 35 and walked 26.
“Derek was our go-to guy on the mound. He took over that role and pitched really well,” Wycklendt said.
Devenport excelled as a jack-of-all-trades, dividing his time between center field, third base and pitcher. He hit .344 with 13 RBI and had three doubles, two triples and a homer.
Handling each defensive spot adeptly, Devenport committed only seven errors.
“Taylor was really good wherever we played him,” Wycklendt said. “He was a solid senior leader and always played hard.”
Doring, a senior shortstop, finished a four-year varsity career as the Black Hawks’ shortstop. He hit .250 with a .375 slugging average that included four doubles and two triples.
Doring scored 11 runs and drove in six.
“Robbie’s average was a little down this year, but he still provided great leadership for us,” Durst said.
“He’s one of the players who got us going with his hard work and hustle.”
Nennig, a junior, batted .385 and had 12 RBI but was edged in the voting during a season in which the conference filled with exceptional outfielders.
The winner of the Hawks’ Silver Slugger award, Nennig had a .519 slugging average with two doubles, a triple and a homer, drew nine walks and struck out only seven times. He had a .488 on-base percentage.
“Alex had an amazing junior season and batted well over .400 most of the year,” Durst said. “He’s an incredible athlete and is in position to be one of our all-time best.”
Lukas, a sophomore left-hander, emerged as one of the area’s top young pitchers. With a 3-5 record, he had half of the Hawks’ conference wins and posted a 3.43 ERA.
In 47 innings, Lukas struck out 37 and walked just 12. He pitched four complete games.
“Nate has the ability to stay ahead of the hitters, change speeds and keep hitters off balance,” Durst said. “We counted on him to pitch in most of our big games.”
Benzschawel, a sophomore first baseman, put up solid numbers as one of Grafton’s power hitters. He batted .250, had a homer and 11 RBI and scored 11 runs.
“Beau is a good young player who will continue to get better for us,” Durst said.
One Grafton player overlooked in the voting who Durst believes should have received a nod was Kevin Scholz, a senior outfielder.
Scholz hit .353, had a .459 on-base percentage and drove in 11 runs. He struck out only once and walked nine times.
“Kevin had very impressive numbers that in a different season would have earned him some recognition,” Durst said.
Image Information: ALL-NORTH SHORE CONFERENCE baseball honors were awarded to Port Washington’s Nick Godersky (left) and Grafton’s Choo Weisflog. Press file photos