Determined efforts put 4 Grafton baseball players on 2nd team; Port Washington has 5 earn honorable mention
At the start of this season, there were some skeptics who believed the Grafton Black Hawks would struggle to be competitive in North Shore Conference baseball.C.J. KOEHLER was one of four Grafton players named to the All-North Shore Conference second team. Photo by Sam Arendt
The loss of several standouts to graduation — including Conor Fisk, the league’s best pitcher — left the Hawks well under the radar in naysayers’ eyes.
But Grafton laid those doubts to rest by going 8-10 in the perennially tough NSC and garnering a healthy share of post-season honors. No fewer than five Hawks received recognition in the coaches’ voting, with four named to the all-league second team.
Grafton’s second-team honorees are outfielder B.J. Weisflog, infielder Robbie Doring, utility player C.J. Koehler and designated hitter Ryan Donahue.
Teammate Beau Benzschawel received honorable mention as an infielder.
Five Port Washington players were also given honorable mention — first baseman Max Kaske, infielder Kevin Schmidt, outfielders Zach Hauser and Taylor Devenport and utility player Nick Godersky.
“We were awfully excited to have five kids recognized,” Grafton coach Brian Durst said. “I was also thrilled that we had four of them on the second team.
“All of those guys earned quite a lot of respect from the coaches, which says something about our program.”
Weisflog, a senior center fielder, earned second-team honors for the second straight season. A four-year starter, he batted .333 in conference games, leading the Hawks with 22 hits and 18 runs scored.
Weisflog drove in eight runs, drew eight walks while striking out only seven times, and stole 10 bases in 11 attempts. He had a .405 on-base percentage.
One of the Hawks’ co-captains, Weisflog was named their top defensive player. He had a .980 fielding percentage, committing only one error with 48 putouts.
“B.J. had another outstanding season,” Durst said. “He was great offensively and an automatic defensively.”
Sparking Grafton from the leadoff spot, Weisflog reached base in his first at-bat in 11 of 18 conference games and then scored seven times, Durst noted.
Doring, a junior, anchored the Hawks’ infield as a rangy shortstop. He hit .327 with 18 hits, including five doubles and two home runs.
Doring drove in 15 runs, scored 13 times and had a .527 slugging percentage. He had a .431 on-base percentage and was 4-for-4 in steal attempts.
“Robbie did a great job as our No. 3 hitter,” Durst said. “In the field, he could get to a lot of baseballs that other shortstops couldn’t.”
Based on Doring’s impressive showing, “he will certainly be one of the top players in the conference next year,” Durst said.
Koehler, a senior co-captain, was named the Hawks’ most valuable player for his all-around contributions.
A third baseman/pitcher, he batted .432 with 19 hits, including four doubles, and had a .523 slugging percentage. He had a .528 on-base percentage, drew eight walks and never struck out in conference play.
As a pitcher, Koehler went 4-5 in NSC play. He had three complete games, with a 3.71 earned-run average in 49 innings.
Defensively, Koehler had a .949 fielding percentage, committing only two errors.
“C.J. had a great season, with impressive hitting and pitching numbers,” Durst said. “Whatever we needed him to do, he did it.
“He showed tremendous leadership. He was an extension of our coaches on the field.”