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Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Friday, 04 August 2017 16:27

Grafton junior’s work behind the plate tops list for local league honorees

The Grafton and Port Washington baseball teams didn’t have the seasons they were hoping for record-wise, but both had standouts receive postseason honors in a league that included an undefeated state champion in West Bend West.
Junior catcher Jack Pawlak led four Grafton selections by earning second-team honors in the North Shore Conference.
HADEN FISK s2062627006 4CPawlak led the Black Hawks in hitting with a .400 average, .492 on-base percentage .582 slugging percentage, two home runs and 10 RBI in league games.
He threw out seven of 19 runners trying to steal and only made one error and allowed one passed ball all season.
“He had a tremendous season all around, offensively and defensively,” Grafton coach Brian Durst said.
Baseball isn’t even his strength, Durst said.
“Jack is just an outstanding baseball player, but an even better kid,” he said.
Pawlak earned the Hawks’ Silver Slugger award and was named their most valuable player. He also received academic all-state honors.
“For us from a defensive standpoint, the way Jack handled our inexperienced pitching staff was outstanding,” Durst said. “That showed a lot of growth on his part to keep a number of pitchers with the pitch-count rule — with guys going shorter stints — to get a rotation of pitchers in the strike zone and throwing consistently.”
Durst said he is excited to have Pawlak back next season.

“He’s a great leader on our team, a great leader in our program and somebody I hope the younger kids emulate and follow his lead as a role model for what it means to be student athlete,” Durst said.
Grafton had three players receive honorable mention in the coaches’ voting.
Senior Noah Chopp played shortstop and also earned academic all-state honors.
“The infielders were really deep. To be recognized as one of the top infielders in this conference is an honor,” Durst said.
Chopp hit .280 with an on-base percentage of .446 and eight RBI. When he was moved to the leadoff spot, he set the tone.
“We needed somebody who could get on base, and Noah was that guy,” Durst said.
“When it came to a game situation and understanding what needed to be done, Noah was always that player.”
Chopp’s preparation and work ethic stand out, according to his coach.
“He knows how he’s going to make every play, and he expects it of himself and he’s been extremely consistent for us for three years now,” Durst said.
Senior Haden Fisk received honorable mention as pitcher. He went 2-5 on the season with an 3.47 earned-run average. He struck out 24 and walked 10 in 36-1/3 innings, nearly three times more than any teammate.
“I don’t know where we would have been this year without Haden throwing the innings that he did. He stepped up to No. 1 pitcher and had to carry a great deal of resposibility after Zach Brandenburg went down with injury,” Durst said.
“We relied on Haden to carry in games against top teams, the toughest competition. Every week we were in games because of him.”
In addition, Fisk batted cleanup most of the season. He hit .280 with seven RBI.
“He had highly competitive at-bats and did a great job putting the ball in play and being another consistent guy getting on base,” Durst said.
Grafton junior Lucas Gosewehr earned honorable mention as an outfielder.
“Lucas Gosewehr was one of our bright spots and true surprises this year as a first-year varsity player,” Durst said.
Gosewehr hit .349 with a .404 on-base percentage and six RBI in conference games.
“He had a knack for great at-bats,” Durst said.
Gosewehr moved up to No. 3 in the lineup, and showed his range and strong arm in the outfield. “When we put Gosewehr in the 3 spot behind Chopp and Pawlak, our lineup really clicked,” Durst said.
Port senior Cody Sadler received honorable mention as an outfielder. He was second on the Pirates with a .268 batting average, five RBI and seven runs scored.
“He led the conference with sacrifices with 10. He’s the ultimate team player,” Port coach C.J. Koehler said.
“He hit in our 2 hole and we counted on him all year to move runners around.”
Sadler played center the entire season and didn’t make one error.
“That’s something very rare and that got recognized by the coaches,” Koehler said.
Junior Noah Prom was given honorable mention as a pitcher. He led the conference in innings pitched with 38.
“That’s quite an accomplishment,” Koehler said.
Prom’s 1-4 record wasn’t indicative of his “really good” ERA of 2.70, Koehler said.
Prom pitched in close losses to Kewaskum and Grafton, in addition to an impressive victory over Nicolet.
“Anytime Noah took the ball you knew you were going to be in the game,” Koehler said.

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