Strong arms lead Grafton baseball

Schmitt tops a group of veterans from the 2019 Black Hawks

GRAFTON’S CARSON FAUST will play third base for the Black Hawks this season and is one of the up-and-coming prospects in the area, coach Brian Durst said. Photo by Mitch Maersch
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

The last time the Grafton High School baseball team played, a pitcher who earned a scholarship to play at Oklahoma took the mound when Tommy Lamb lost a tough-luck 2-1 playoff duel at Whitefish Bay.

This year, the Black Hawks have another Oklahoma recruit, junior right-hander Hunter Schmitt, who can also play first base.

“He’s already one of the top pitchers in the area and is on pace to have a real nice career,” coach Brian Durst said.

“I could see his bat being of major importance in the middle of our lineup as a run producer as well.”

The Hawks have other experienced players returning, despite last season being canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Colin Indermuehle, a four-year varsity player who has committed to Bryant and Stratton College, is back at shortstop and will do some pitching. He will also bat near the top of the order.

“He’s an outstanding defensive shortstop and should be one of our exciting hitters,” Durst said.

Senior Evan Wagner, a utility player, can handle catching, pitching and the infield.

“He is one of our stronger batters for average and run producing,” Durst said.

Nathan Woolf is back at first base after starting as a sophomore, and will also pitch.

“He’s another one of our leaders. He brings a nice left-handed bat to the lineup,” Durst said.

Some of the players who have pitching experience stayed active in a fall league and with offseason workouts, which Durst said has helped them prepare for this season.

“They’re dedicated to the game. They’re continuing to progress as they would if they had played last spring,” he said.

Senior Noah Bulgrin, recently elected as prom king, will play right field.

“He’s got a great attitude and a really coachable young man who just brings energy to the dugout and to every practice,” Durst said.

In center, sophomore Bennett Hildebrand “put in a lot of time and is committed to self-improvement,” Durst said.

Sophomore Mason Lempke will patrol left field. He and Hildebrand cover a large amount of ground and “are going to be great players in the conference as time goes on,” Durst said.

Two other outfielders in the mix for playing time are seniors Josh Brace, “one of the most dedicated kids in the program,” and Kyle Jiracek, a lefty, Durst said. Both will also pitch.

“Between those five guys we’ve got the outfield covered and hopefully our pitching rotation,” Durst said.

Junior righty Caiden Treske will primarily be used as a relief pitcher after he “looked impressive in his offseason work.”

Sophomore Carson Faust will handle the hot corner and hit for power. He may have competed to start last year, Durst said.

“He was in a gym all winter working out and in the weight room,” he said.

Maddox Durst, the coach’s son, will play second base.

“He does such a nice job of learning the game and understanding the game along with playing with the pressure of being the coach’s kid. He keeps steady head and attitude,” coach Durst said.

Sophomore Vince Cameranesi, one of the football team’s quarterbacks, will spend time at catcher with Wagner.

“Lots of promise,” Durst said of his team. “Lots of expectations I have for this group, and I think it will come down to how effective our pitching staff ends up being. There will be some games we struggle to score a lot of runs against some of the top pitchers in the area, but I’m hoping to have enough pitching to get us through four-game weeks.”

In the North Shore Conference race, Whitefish Bay has been the consensus pick as the top contender. West Bend East, Durst said, brings back three senior pitchers.

His goal is to compete in every conference game and have “a chance to win it at the end.”

The Hawks were slated to start at non-conference foe New Berlin Eisenhower on Wednesday. They play at NSC opponent Nicolet at 5 p.m. Thursday and host West Bend West at 5 p.m. Friday. They host non-conference foe Whitnall at 11 a.m. Saturday, Cedarburg at 5 p.m. Monday, May 3, and West Bend East at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 5.

American Legion team will be called...

In other Grafton baseball news, the community’s first American Legion baseball team has a name.

The Rose-Harms American Legion Post 355 Executive Board has selected Patriots from a list of four nominated names.

Other names were the Red Arrows for the Red Arrow Division from Wisconsin that fought in World War II, the Rangers who fought in World War II and the Black Hawks after the military helicopters and Grafton High School’s nickname.

The season starts Friday, June 25, at Cedarburg. The home opener is at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 26, against Kewaskum.

The Patriots planned to play last year before the season was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Durst, will coach the team and be assisted by Jay Schwenn, one of the Black  Hawks’ assistant coaches.

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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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