Somerset baseball team thrashes Plum City in double-header openerLast year’s Somerset baseball team advanced to the WIAA sectional championship game.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Last year’s Somerset baseball team advanced to the WIAA sectional championship game.
While the Spartans graduated their three top pitchers in Jared Dettmann, Sean Conrad and Dakota Belter, Somerset coach Brandon Kadlec still has high expectations for the Spartans this year.
That played out on Monday, when the Spartans opened their season against a young Plum City team. The Spartans thrashed Plum City, winning the opening game 11-0. That was just the warmup. The Spartans devoured the Blue Devils in the second game, 24-0.
Kadlec made a bold statement following Monday’s wins.
“Offensively, we should be better than we’ve ever been,” he said.
Leading the offense are returning starters Austin Bushinger, Evan Gaddis, Ryan Himes and Cody Joiner. The offense was bolstered by two major additions, junior Derrick Berry and senior Haydon Dvorak. Players moving up to full-time varsity duty like Nate Olin, Jordan Langness and Zach Waalen are also expected to make immediate contributions to the offense.
The offense met those expectations in Monday’s games, though Plum City was clearly overmatched. The Blue Devils had 14 players on their roster and nearly half were freshmen.
Himes went 3-3 in the opener, driving home four runs, including a three-run homer. Bushinger went 3-3, with Gaddis and Berry each finishing 2-3.
In the second game, Bushinger, Berry, Himes and Olin each collected three hits in the rout. Olin drove home five runs and Gaddis scored five runs.
While there’s a huge void to fill in the pitching staff, it didn’t appear to be an issue on Monday, with the Spartan pitchers surrendering two hits and no runs in 10 innings.
Bushinger and Andy Peters combined on a no-hitter in the opening game. Bushinger worked four innings, striking out nine. Peters worked the final inning. Waalen pitched the second game, striking out 11 in his two-hitter.
Kadlec said Bushinger and Joiner will be his top two starting pitchers, but Joiner’s availability is in question. He missed the first two weeks of practice with a virus that caused him to lose 15 pounds. The coaches aren’t sure how quickly he can return to full strength.
There are numerous pitching options behind Bushinger and Joiner. Kadlec said Waalen, Peters, Berry and Olin could all see significant time on the mound.
The Spartans begin their Middle Border Conference schedule this Thursday with a game at Osceola. The Spartans will play at home next Tuesday against Prescott.