Gunner Peterson (3) was one of three all-area first team representatives from Wilmot (File Photo/The Report).

Leslie leads Westosha contingent

By Mike Ramczyk
Sports Editor

The 2018 area high school baseball season didn’t necessarily feature bona fide, blue chip superstar players.

But what it did have was strong talent across the board, and our 16 high schools are evident of that in our third annual Southern Lakes Newspapers All-Area Baseball team.

Burlington and Union Grove each had multiple first team selections, but Wilmot led the area with three.

The Panther representatives were Kyle Gendron and the Peterson brothers, Tanner and Gunner.

And don’t forget about the little guy.

Players from Palmyra-Eagle, Big Foot and Whitewater all proved they had what it takes to play at any school, in any conference, and dominate.

Over the course of the last six weeks, my crack staff of Jason Arndt, Tim Wester, Chris Bennett, Kevin Cunningham, Daniel Schoettler, Dana Ehrmann, Dan Truttschel and Michael Hoey helped gather statistics, nominations, odds and ends and coaches’ comments from our 16 area baseball teams, a plethora that includes Racine, Kenosha, Walworth and Waukesha counties, along with five conferences.

As always, I have the final say. This idea was my baby back in 2016, when I started questioning why we only did All-Area teams for our four Racine County schools, though it’s the majority of our circulation, at least numbers-wise.

My first criterion is always the eye test.

What jumps off the page?

Stats are a serious consideration, along with impact in the postseason and team leadership.

The icing on the cake is what the coach has to say about a player.

Is he a team-oriented star that makes everyone else better?

And did he dominate his conference, region or state?

Team performance also weighs in.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Trey Krause, junior, Burlington

– 2nd team WBCA all-state, SLC POY, all-Racine County POY, .474 batting average, 37 hits, 7-2, 1.26 ERA, 90K, 61 IP, 26BB, 42 hits allowed

Only one person donned the WBCA All-State list, and that was junior second teamer Trey Krause from Burlington.

Thanks to a devastating, mostly unhittable curveball, Krause not only sported an ERA in the low 1s but batted .474 en route to our Player of the Year honor, the third straight recipient from the Demons.

Most impressively, Krause started and won a sectional semifinal game on the road at Kenosha Tremper, then two hours later in the sectional final, struck out two batters and closed the game with a 1-2-3 seventh inning to clinch a state berth.

COACH OF THE YEAR
Scott Staude, Burlington

Literally an award he could win every year, Staude, at the helm for the state-qualifying Demons for his 20th season, earned his paycheck in 2018.

With former players of the year Zach Campbell and Aaron Mutter graduated, along with big hitters like Jacob Lindemann, Bryan Sturdevant, Dale Damon, Aaron Studevant and Cal Tully all gone, Grant Tully remained the only major link to the 2016 Division 1 state championship team.

So what did Staude do?

He started a sophomore, Christian Brenner, at catcher, leaned on the talented pitching arms of Trey Krause and Trent Turzenski, only juniors, and kept it moving in the win column with a third consecutive Southern Lakes Conference championship.

But it wasn’t easy by any means.

It required a six-game win streak to finish the season, as Burlington got hot and staved off solid squads like Waterford, Wilmot and Westosha Central, all of which boast legit college baseball Division 1 talent.

The Demons only batted .303 as a team, but the pitching staff was lights out, posting a team ERA of 1.76.

Six pitchers tossed at least 10 innings, and the highest ERA was 3.33, while three were sub-2.00.

When things started slow and the Demons hovered barely above .500 midway through the season, Staude’s constant vision never wavered, and things turned around with a sweep of mightly Wilmot, the conference favorite, along with a dominant sectional where Burlington simply out-classed host Kenosha Tremper and Kenosha Indian Trail.

At state, thanks to a near-virtuoso pitching performance from Krause, the Demons only lost 2-1 to Arrowhead, which went on to lose in walk-off fashion in extra innings in the state title game.

 

Kyle Gendron was among three Wilmot representatives to make the Southern Lakes Newspapers first team list (Earlene Frederick/The Report).

FIRST TEAM
Kyle Gendron, senior, Wilmot

Gendron showed remarkable command of his pitches and also posed a challenge in the batter’s box.

Hands down the best right-handed pitcher in the area, Gendron followed up a strong junior campaign with an even better senior year, one in which he went 6-3 on the mound with a 1.23 ERA in 57 innings.

Gendron walked 12 and struck out 66. At the plate, he added a .290 average with 16 RBIs.

“Kyle was our ace,” said Wilmot assistant coach Jason Bunton. “When he wasn’t pitching, he played first base and had a 1.000 fielding percentage.”

Gendron, who will play college baseball at Division 2 Winona State University. was a first team all-conference pitcher.

Currently, he is starring for the Burlington Barons.

Gendron helped lead the Panthers to second place in the Southern Lakes Conference.

Aaron Chapman, senior, Waterford
One of the area’s most talented, versatile stars, Chapman reinvented himself as a closer in 2018, going 3-1 on the mound with three saves and a 1.24 ERA.

Chapman didn’t really pitch as a junior.

A first team all-SLC and all-county infielder, Chapman led the Wolverines with a .361 batting average, including 26 hits, a home run, 13 RBIs and a team-high .948 OPS.

Tanner Peterson, junior, Wilmot
This Division 1 Illinois State University recruit did it all in 2018, most notably firing a complete game shutout to beat state runner-up Arrowhead.

And he’s not even an “ace” pitcher.

Tanner batted .425 with 31 hits, 17 RBIs, two home runs and 10 stolen bases.

“Tanner was ‘Mr. Do-it-all’ for us, playing every outfield position, second base and being our No. 2 pitcher,” Bunton said.

On the mound, he pretty much solidified his ace role for next season, going 4-0 with a 1.75 ERA, featuring 34 strikeouts and 13 walks and 34 innings.

For his efforts, Peterson was named a first team all-SLC outfielder.

Alec Spang, senior, Union Grove
A hard-nosed, tough catcher, Spang hit .408 to lead the Broncos back to the middle of the pack in the loaded SLC.

He drove in 29 runs, collected 29 hits and smashed 10 doubles.

Spang earned first team all-county and first team all-SLC accolades.

Spang boasted an impressive .988 fielding percentage.

Grant Tully, senior, Burlington
One of the best all-around athletes this area has seen, this all-conference football, basketball and baseball star showed why he’s a human swiss army knife for the Demons in 2018.

The 2017 All-Area Football Player of the Year showed his elite speed on the base paths, ripping off 12 stolen bases.

Tully posted a career high batting average of .350 while recording 28 hits and four doubles.

He was a first team all-county outfielder and second team all-SLC selection.

Gunner Peterson, senior, Wilmot
Gunner, who will join brother Tanner at Illinois State, came through when it mattered most at the plate.

Gunner delivered a game-winning RBI in Wilmot’s first meeting of the season with Westosha Central.

He nearly did it again in the next meeting, belting a home run in extra innings, but the Panthers eventually fell after running out of pitching options.

Gunner was named the MVP of the WBCA State All-Star game this summer.

In the spring, Gunner hit .380 with four homers, 23 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.

“This is a player that gave us everything he could with the limited ability to throw a baseball due to inflammation in his shoulder,” Bunton said.

Gunner earned honorable mention all-SLC honors.

Charles Robinson, senior, Burlington Catholic Central
A three-time All-Area performer, Robinson finally cracked the first team thanks to a monster senior campaign.

The quick, natural hitter and speedy runner batted .462 with 30 hits, 16 RBIs and an area-leading 24 stolen bases.

Robinson was named first team all-Metro Classic and first team all-county as an infielder.

Bryce Parrish, senior, Whitewater
The hometown boy will move about a mile from Whitewater High School to play college ball at Division 3 UW-Whitewater this fall, and his senior season proves why the Warhawks covet the stellar pitcher.

Parrish was named to the Gazette All-Area team, amid stiff competition, thanks to a ridiculous 0.88 ERA and 5-1 record on the mound.

He also hit .460 with 29 hits, nine doubles, five home runs and 24 RBIs in leading the Whippets to a 14-9 record and a WIAA Division 2 regional final appearance.

A four-year varsity player, Parrish was first team all-Rock Valley.

Luke Hansel, junior, Union Grove
The third undeniable ace on the first team, Hansel was named second team all-conference only because of Gendron.

Hansel was named first team all-county thanks to a 5-2 record on the mound with a microscopic 0.89 ERA.

In 47 innings, Hansel struck out 65 and walked 12, while scattering 35 hits.

He also hit .373 with 19 RBIs.

Lonnie Garlock, senior, Palmyra-Eagle
Named Trailways Conference player of the year, the first baseman tied the school record for home runs in a season.

Garlock helped lead a team that won the Trailways South with a 16-0 mark and finished 16-3 overall.

Kaleb Greco, junior, Walworth Big Foot
A first team all-Rock Valley pick, Greco battled in a tough conference and the Chiefs finished 7-11.

But Greco showed his clout, leading off for the Chiefs and batting .520 to lead the area.

SECOND TEAM
Trent Turzenski, junior, Burlington

The ace of the staff on most clubs, the lanky power right-hander provided a lethal 1-2 punch with Krause that helped Burlington enjoy a near-perfect month of June.

Turzenski shut down a powerful, state-ranked Kenosha Tremper squad, on its home turf, in a sectional final back in early June.

Perhaps more impressive was a week of domination that saw Turzenski fire a multiple-inning save at Wilmot, then shut down the Panthers at home a few days later to help clinch the Demons’ third straight SLC crown.

The 6-foot-5 athlete, who should have a strong season on the basketball court this winter, went 5-1 with a 2.52 ERA, striking out 53 in 47 innings and walking 20.

Turzenski started seven games on the mound.

At the plate, the second team all-county pick hit .341 with 28 hits and 15 RBIs, good for second on the Demons.

Turzenski also earned all-SLC honorable mention.

TJ Manteufel, sophomore, Union Grove
The future is bright in the Grove, with Manteufel and Hansel both back next season.

Manteufel hit .380 with three homers and 18 RBIs to earn first team all-SLC and all-county honors.

A speed demon, Manteufel snagged 19 stolen bases.

The talented infielder helped the Broncos turn a losing record in 2017 into an 8-6 finish in the top-heavy, stacked SLC.

Westosha Central infielder Josh Leslie was named to the Southern Lakes Newspapers second team (Earlene Frederick File Photo/The Report).

Josh Leslie, senior, Westosha Central
Our first Falcon, team leader and All-Area mainstay Leslie will play college baseball at Mesa Community College in Arizona this fall.

Leslie led the 17-7 Falcons all the way to sectionals, where a late comeback almost led to a sectional final appearance.

The infielder earned honorable mention all-SLC thanks to a .315 batting average, including 19 RBIs, five doubles and two triples.

Leslie also walked 20 times and boasted a team-best .453 on-base percentage.

“Josh is a three-year varsity starter that leads by example on and off the field,” Central coach Jacob Morman said. “This kid is all baseball all the time. He’s a kid that helps propel a program in the right direction by the way he sets an example for the younger kids in the program.”

“We’re going to miss him moving forward. He’s going to do great things at the next level.”

Nick Rockweiler, junior, Elkhorn
Another first team all-SLC selection, Rockweiler was the MVP of the Elks in 2018.

A dynamic outfielder, Rockweiler hit .392 with a .467 on-base average.

He earned Janesville Gazette All-Area.

Rockweiler led the Elks with 31 hits and 19 RBIs.

Noal Brouwer, senior, Delavan-Darien
Brouwer nearly struck out two batters per inning for an entire season, a rare feat, with 84 K’s in 42-2/3.

His domination led to a 3-3 record, 2.95 ERA and only 27 walks.

At the plate, he added a .373 batting average in 51 at-bats.

Dawson Vance, senior, Lake Geneva Badger
The first team all-SLC performer helped the Badgers to a winning conference record thanks to a team-high 23 hits, 19 RBIs and .348 batting average.

Justin Paasch, senior, Wilmot
People forget that the Wilmot Panthers were ranked No. 1 in the state in area back in April after a perfect 6-0 start to the season.

Along with Gendron and the Petersons, Paasch provided more star power at shortstop, where he only committed two errors all season and fielded a .966 percentage.

Offensively, Paasch hit .338 with 22 hits and 18 RBIs, and he struck out four times in 85 plate appearances.

Paasch also added 13 stolen bases.

The first team all-SLC pick also earned all-Kenosha County honors.

Andrew Chapman, freshman, Waterford
Already a second team all-SLC and second team all-county pick in his rookie season, the younger Chapman’s future is bright, and he could be poised to take over with big brother Aaron now playing in college.

Andrew had the game-winning hit to knock off conference champion Burlington at Beaumont Field in Burlington, and he was second on the team with a .354 batting average.

Andrew led the club with 20 RBIs and six doubles.

Patient beyond his years, Chapman also took 13 walks and led the team with a .462 on-base percentage.

Austin Glidden, junior, Westosha Central
One of the aces for perhaps the second-best team in the SLC, Glidden posted a 2.86 ERA with a 4-1 record on the hill in 2018, good enough to earn second team all-SLC.

At the plate, Glidden hit .321 with 19 RBIs, two home runs and eight doubles.

“We ask Austin to do just about everything for us, and that’s really because the coaching staff trusts that we can put him anywhere and he will play that position at a high level,” Morman said. “We can count on Austin to give us a good game on the mound every time out.”

Jimmy DuVal, senior, Whitewater
A repeat All-Area player, the four-year starter hit cleanup for the Whippets.

A first team all-RVC pick, DuVal hit .368 with 20 RBIs and five doubles.

Chad Zirbel, senior, Burlington Catholic Central
A sure-handed glove in the outfield, Zirbel overcame an injury during the football and basketball seasons to star in the spring.

He totaled 23 hits, 13 RBIs and 10 stolen bases and hit .370 in leading the Toppers to a winning record and top-four finish in the loaded Metro Classic Conference.

Zirbel was named first team all-Racine County and first team all-MCC.

Collin Dorow, senior, Mukwonago
A first team all-Classic 8 and second team all-summer baseball selection for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dorow was an ace pitcher on the mound for the second-place Indians.

Dorow helped the .500 Indians win seven straight conference games to finish the season.

HONORABLE MENTION
Zach Guenther, junior, Waterford

– 2nd team all-county, 6-0, 46-2/3 IP, 33H, 40K, 13BB, 2.25 ERA

Chance Larson, Elkhorn
– .408 BA, 18RBI, 29 hits, .494 OBP, HM all-SLC

Austin Pfeil, senior, Williams Bay
– 2nd team all-Trailways South

Tucker Strommen, junior, Burlington
– 1st team all-SLC IF, .286 BA, 20 hits, 5 2B

Scott Day, senior, Walworth Big Foot
– .450 BA, 19 RBI, all-RVC

Kyle Huckstorf, junior, Waterford
– 2nd team all-SLC, .345 BA

Dylan Anderson, junior, Westosha Central
– 4-1, 1.92 ERA, 47-1/3 IP, 22K… “Down the stretch he was our go-to guy in big games, and he delivered every time,” Morman said.

Frank Koehnke, senior, Burlington Catholic Central
– 25 hits, 15 RBI, .410 BA, HM all-MCC, 2nd team all-county

Derek Koenen, senior, Burlington
– scored Demons’ only run at state, .286 BA, 18 hits, 3-1, 1.75 ERA, 12 IP, 16K

Dylan Pease, junior, Whitewater
– .404 BA, 21 hits, 1st team all-RVC

Alex Salerno, junior, Westosha Central
– 2nd team all-SLC, .333 BA, .439 OBP
“Alex is one of the best center fielders in the area,” Morman said. “He catches everything and has a tremendous arm. He works hard, has great character and is a really good player.”

Bryce Konitzer, senior, Mukwonago
– 1st team summer all-Classic 8

Tyler Swanson, sophomore, Catholic Central
– .446 BA, 29 hits, 14 RBI, 23 SB, 2nd team all-county, HM all-MCC

John Huffman, soph., Catholic Central
– .429 BA, 24 hits, 10 SB, 2nd team all-MCC, 2nd team all-county

Christian Brenner, soph., Burlington
– .273 BA, .995 fielding %, 2nd team all-SLC, 21 hits, 7 2B, 16 RBI

Colton Surges, sr., Lake Geneva Badger
– 2nd team all-SLC, .292 BA, .403 OBP, captain

Eric Gonzalez, jr., Delavan-Darien
– HM all-SLC, .431 BA, 22 hits, 14 RBI

Sawyer Weinreich, sr., Palmyra-Eagle
– 1st team all-Trailways, highest batting average on team, stellar defensively

AJ Kwiat, sr., Palmyra-Eagle
– 1st team AC, #1 pitcher last two seasons, led conference in wins and strikeouts

Heath Dillenbeck, sr., Big Foot
– 5-1, sub-3 ERA, .340 hitter, 2nd team all-RVC

 
 

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