Deep pitching to key CG-Belgium baseball

Team replacing five all-conference players
Ozaukee Press staff

Five all-conference players have left via graduation from the Cedar Grove-Belgium High School baseball team, but coach Tom Race is optimistic about this year’s squad.

“We have a bunch of kids that played last year. It looks like we’re further ahead than last year,” he said.

Among those returning is junior pitcher Brad Katte, who earned Big East honorable mention honors last year.

“He’ll be one of the best in the league this year. He’s throwing hard. He’s the best pitcher I’ve had,” Race said.

Katte last year went 12-6 on the mound with a 1.99 ERA. In 45-2/3 innings, he whiffed 57 and walked 37. Katte will be throwing to one of the better catchers in the conference, senior Mason Noll, who made the Big East second team last season.

Noll hit .314 with a .462 on-base percentage and a .984 fielding percentage last year.

Besides Katte, Race will use senior Zach Zimpelman, junior Matt Poull, sophomore Cayden Fischer and seniors Wesley Katte and Robbie Tharp on the mound.

 “Pitching-wise, we’re pretty deep. All those guys can throw three solid innings, maybe more,” Race said.

At the plate, junior Jeffrey Emperley will lead off.

Senior Jake Bohlman will follow. Zimpelman will hit third. Noll will bat fourth.

The rest of the batting order, Race, said, is still being figured out.

Poull will play third base and Bohlman will be at shortstop. Emperly will play second base and Zimpelman and Brad Katte will split time at first.

Speedy junior Alex Acevedo will play center field.

“He’s super quick. You can just see he’s getting better every practice ,” Race said.

Fischer will play left, and right field has yet to be decided. For now, Wesley Katte and Justin Rose are battling for the spot.

Among the Rockets five all-conference players who graduated were hitting and pitching leader Jason von Heimburg and second baseman Paul Simmelink. Both made the first team.

Also gone are first baseman Cameron Kirst, a second team selection, and third baseman Tyler Kraus and left fielder Chris Mueller, who both earned honorable mention honors.

While Race said the team lacks a standout star, “Otherwise, top to bottom we’re probably better than we were.”

The varsity team didn’t lose anyone to track or golf during the first season baseball moved from summer to spring, but the junior varsity catcher is running track instead, Race said.

With all teams playing in spring, the playoffs are split into divisions according to school size, unlike the one-division summer league. The Rockets are in Division 3.

Last year, the Rockets lost in the playoffs to a much larger school in Plymouth, 7-4.

“I think that’s going to make a difference. Last year we did well. We had a shot at state. We definitely could play with them,” Race said.

“I always liked playing the bigger schools. Gotta play better people to get better.”

The Rockets started the season with a 10-0 loss at Pewaukee on March 26 in six innings. Last Friday’s game against New Holstein was postponed due to field conditions.

The Rockets play at Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, host Kiel at 11 a.m. Saturday and Kohler/Sheboygan Christian at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9.

“I’m excited. Every year we have good baseball IQ and this year I think it’s the best we’ve had so far,” Race said.



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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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