Grafton baseball team wins pair to start year

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By MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

Garfton High School’s baseball team is off to a 2-1 start to the season.

The Black Hawks last Friday won, 8-6, at North Shore Conference opponent Whitefish Bay, and beat Cedar Grove-Belgium, 12-0, on Saturday.

Later that day the Hawks lost to old rival Germantown, 11-1.

Coach Brian Durst said the program is in good shape.

“I’m really happy with the group that we’ve got right now at all three levels of our program,” he said.

The Hawks get back their ace senior Zach Brandenburg, who missed most of last season with a knee injury.

“He’s come back in great shape and is ready for a big senior season,” Durst said.

Brandenburg pitched five innings in the win over Whitefish Bay, settling down after a five-run first inning.

The No. 2 pitcher is sophomore Jacob Aleknavicius, who Durst said throws strikes and changes speeds well.

He pitched four shutout innings against Cedar Grove-Belgium.

Senior Ian Walton will start as well.

Jack Pawlek returns as catcher after an all-conference season, and could do some pitching.

“Whatever it takes for the team, Jack is willing to step up for it,” Durst said.

Matthew Tietz will catch when Pawlek pitches, and Josh Merkle will see some innings on the mound.

Junior Zack Merkle is slated to play third and first base. Brandenburg will also play first.

Aleknavivius will play shortstop, and freshman Colin Indermule has been impressive there as well, Durst said.

Jake Garncarz will play second and has already scored eight times as a courtesy runner this season.

Walton can play second, third or shortstop, Durst said, providing a steady glove and versatile option.

Lucas Gosewehr will patrol center field after earning all-conference honorable mention status.

Junior Adam Schnell, who missed part of last season due to injury, is slated to play left field.

Junior Sam Bulgrin is playing right field.

Merkle and Garncarz can also play various positions.

“We’ve got a little depth and versatility. Now we’re just looking at different combinations of guys,” Durst said.

Against Bay, Grafton scored all of its runs in the third inning, answering Bay’s big first. Brandenburg had a two-run double, and Gosewehr had a two-run single.

The Hawks sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning.

“It was a well-played game. We just had the bigger inning,” Durst said.

The Hawks kept the momentum going against the Rockets.

They scored 10 runs in the first inning, sending 14 batters to the plate.

Durst likes that his team is scoring, but he would like to score more often than just in a couple of innings.

“That’s one of the things we’d like to see is some more consistency in our run production,” he said.

The Hawks whiffed 12 times against Germantown.

Grafton plays at Homestead on Thursday, hosts Cedarburg on Friday and hosts West Bend East on Tuesday, June 1. All games are at 5:30 p.m.

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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.

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