The Pride's season comes to an early end!

Weatherguard’s season ended way too soon for the Pride players and fan. The team struggled to overcome bad luck, bad hops, and bad calls which is part of the game of baseball. Instead of writing about the last three games, I decided to focus on each player’s season. The players came in as individuals and became a team as the season progressed. The team ended up 18-20.

Senior T.J. Feldhaus was a two year starter for the Pride in center field and leadoff batter. He was also a starting pitcher for the Pride. He made several ESPN catches in centerfield using his speed and eagle eye. Feldhaus caught over 50 catches in the field and walked 39 times at the plate. He had an OBP of .460. T.J. will be hard to replace in centerfield next year. He plans to go on to college and play baseball. We wish him the best of luck!
Senior Sam Frei joined the Pride family from Westside last year. Frei was a major asset to the pitching staff for the Pride. His effective curve ball froze a lot of batters. Sam also played the outfield at times and little third base. His true position is catcher and he will be attending Hastings College and playing catcher on the baseball team. We wish Sam the best of luck in his new endeavors.
Senior Dane Hansen has been an asset in right field for the past two years. He made some key plays in the outfield and his cannon of an arm saved a lot runs the past two years. Dane’s bat came alive during critical times in various games and energized the team. His friendly smile and encouraging nature will be greatly missed next year.
Junior Jake Aken has been on varsity since his freshman year and has been starting at third base for two years. He also pitches for the Pride. Jake suffered an arm injury this season which kept him off the field for about three weeks and off the mound much longer. His batting average was .337 with 19 ribbies on the season. Jake sometimes was a pitchers nightmare, against Bennington the pitcher threw over forty pitches to him with only four at bats. Aken will be returning next year and hoping he will be a starting pitcher. We look forward to seeing his leadership on the field

Junior Tyler Alitz joined the varsity as a freshman and was the starting second basemen.  Tyler has also worked his way into a starting pitching position.    He struck out 42 batters this season and had an ERA of 3.99.   Tyler led the team in RBI’s with 21 and his batting average was over .300.  He also had three homeruns.  Tyler’s outstanding ability at second robbed a lot of hitters from base hits.  Alitz will be returning next year and looking forward seeing more homeruns from him.

Junior Heath Bandars comes to the Pride from Concordia but will be joining the Roncalli family this fall. Heath played on the varsity last summer but worked his way into a full time starter this season. He either started at first base or left field. He made some outstanding catches in left field which saved a lot runs from scoring. Heath also was a relief pitcher for the Pride. Heath would come up with the big hit at key points in the game. We are looking forward to big things from Heath next year.

Junior Nick Buss battled a hamstring injury most of the season. He played catcher, outfield, or was a dh for the Pride. Nick had some key hits during games that would boost the team and help led them to a win. Nick was a positive motivator for the team and we look forward to watching him play next year injury free.

Junior Greg Houser was one of the starting pitchers for the Pride and also played first base. He threw a two hitter against Fort Calhoun in districts. Greg’s ERA on the season was 3.69. He had some outstanding plays at first and with his height and long arms he saved a lot of throws that could have been errors. Greg will be returning next year and we are looking forward to seeing him on the mound.

Junior Trevor Szegda joins the Pride team from Concordia. This was his first year playing with Weatherguard. Trevor was the starting shortstop and closure on the pitching mound. Trevor led the team at the plate with a batting average of .364. He had 39 hits on the season; ten of them were doubles, one triple and one homerun.   On the mound Trevor had five saves on the season with an ERA of 2.69. We are looking forward to seeing a lot out of Trevor next year.
Sophomore Adam Fleming is a two year starter for the Pride. Adam is a utility player; he played left field, second base, third base and was a starting pitcher for Weatherguard. He made several key plays at all the positions he played this year. Adam’s bat also was a key for Pride he batted .323 this season and had 9 doubles with 16 rbi’s. He will be one of the key players next year for the Pride to return to the state tournament.

Freshman Jake Tyrakoski was the starting catcher for the Pride.  Jake is a transfer student to Roncalli and was a key player behind the plate this season.   He also had key hits during critical points of several games.  He had a batting average of .278.  Jake is an upcoming player that will be even more successful next year.

Nate Mallot is an incoming freshman that caught a few games for the Pride. Nate is an outstanding catcher and has a great future. We are looking forward to watching him in the years to come.

Bat Rules      

Over the past year the bat rules for Spring and Legion Baseball have changed.  Check out this website before purchasing a new bat.  It has all the guideline for all the new bat rules.

 Digital magazine all about Bats, good info for coaches, Umpires and Parents alike.

The Pride Struggled in the CWS Decker Tournament

The Pride struggled in the CWS Decker tournament this past week going 0-4 in the tournament.   They started the tournament playing Millard North. Weatherguard struggled at the plate and lost by 10 runs. Alitz and Oehm pitched for the Pride. On Thursday the Pride played a double header in the tournament facing Fargo, ND and Southmore , OK. Kuntz pitched a complete for the Pride. Kuntz did a great job on the mound and ended both the fifth and sixth innings with a strike out. Weatherguard couldn’t get the timely hit to score a run. Alitz had two hits and Tyrakoski had one. Fargo had 10 hits and scored 7 runs. 
The Pride then faced Southmore, OK. Roberts took the mound for the Pride and pitched 6 1/3 innings with four strike outs. The Pride did a great job playing small against Southmore. Alitz went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to score a run. Holzapfel had a sacrifice bunt and found two other opportunities to get on base and scored two runners. Flemings had a hit and was robbed of an awesome hit by Southmore’s right fielder. Szegda had a double to start the second innings and Crawford’s hit scored him. Kuntz had a sweet bunt in the second inning. Sorensen had two sacrifice bunts on the night and had a hit. The Pride took the lead in the top of the sixth but Southmore answered back and won 4-6. 
On Friday the Pride faced Boulder, CO. Kupfer actually won the toss for the first time in eight games. Sorensen had his first varsity start on the mound for Weatherguard.   He pitched six innings and then Houser closed for the Pride. It was nice to see Houser back on the mound after eight weeks off due to an injury. Aken was also back in the batting line up. He went 2 for 3 at the plate for the Pride. Fleming had a hit, a sacrifice bunt and a RBI on the night.  Szegda had a double and Crawford had a hit with RBI. Defensively the Pride made some sweet plays. Tyrakoski ended the first inning throwing a runner out trying to steal third. Szedga had a sweet play at short to end the second inning. Then the defensive fell apart during the fifth inning and they fell behind 2-5. Weathergurad then couldn’t get a hit and lost 2-8.
The Saturday game was rained out.  The Pride will be back in action on Thursday at 5:30 pm @ Westgate.

 
                             Future Pride Player!

Weatherguard defeats Blair

The Pride had a close game against Blair. Frei started on the mound for Weatherguard and shut Blair down the first inning. The Pride jumped ahead with Szegda, Alitz, and Aken walking and then Hansen hitting a two run single to take the led 2-0. Blair had three hits in the second inning and scored a run. Houser took the hill with runners on second and third with no outs. Houser did an outstanding job on the hill. Blair tied the score 2-2 and Weatherguard wasn’t able to match runs until the third inning. Houser shut Blair down and then Aken hits a single and Bandar’s gets on with an error scoring Aken.  Buss steps up and hits a sweet double to put Weatherguard in the led 4-2. In the fifth inning Blair loads the bases with one out and Aken comes in to pitch. The first batter he faces hits a shot down the third base line and Fleming fields the ball, touches third and throws on a rope to first to turn a double play and got the Pride out of a tough situation. In the sixth inning Feldhaus and Fleming got walked. Feldhaus steals home on a passed ball. Szegda gets on with a fielder’s choice and Alitz hit a double to score another run. The Pride now leads 6-2. In seventh inning Blair loads the bases again with only one out and then the closer Szegda takes the mound. Blair scores two but the Pride is able to close the game with a win. Weatherguard wins 6-4.

The Pride plays Bennington on Monday, July 25 at 7:30 pm at Bennington, the winner advances to the District championship game.

Crimson Pride Varsity 2011

Varsity District Brackets

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
   Roncalli vs. Bennington 5:00 pm at Bennington
   Roncalli vs. Bennington 7:30 pm at Bennington (Championship Game)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
   Roncalli vs. Fort Calhoun 6:30 pm at Bennington

Monday, July 25, 2011
   Roncalli vs. Bennington 7:30 pm at Bennington

Saturday, July 23, 2011
   Roncalli vs. Blair 7:30 pm at Bennington

Friday, July 22, 2011
     Roncalli vs. Fort Calhoun 5:00 pm at Bennington
 
Weatherguard Places 2nd in the Mickey Powers Tournament

Weatherguard went to Cheyenne Wyoming for the Mickey Powers Tournament. The Pride played against Cheyenne Post 6 the first game. Weatherguard started off sluggish at the plate. Szgeda had the only hit of the game. Alitz was the starting pitcher and Bandars came in during the fourth. Post 6 is the Wyoming State Champions and the Pride lost 10-0 in five innings.

The bats came alive during the second game of the tournament against Colorado Springs-Cheyenne Rockies. Weatherguard had seventeen hits and seventeen runs against the Cheyenne Rockies team. Frei was the starting pitcher and went three innings and then Houser took over on the mound. Szgeda entered the sixth inning and closed for the Pride. Feldhaus went 1 for 3 with 3 walks and 2 ribbies at the plate. Fleming had a great day at the plate 4 for 5 with 2 rbi’s and 1 walk. Szedga almost completed the cycle with a single, double and triple going 3 for 4 with 3 ribbies. Alitz hit a bomb and went 3 for 5 with 3 ribbies. Aken continued the battle at the plate with 2 hits and 2 ribbies. The Pride won 17-10.

Weatherguard faced Rocky Mountain team for the third game of the tournament. The Pride was the first team to get on the board. Szgeda got on with an error, then Alitz gets hit by pitch and Aken hits a single to earn a ribbie. Fleming started on the hill for the Pride and pitched a complete game. The Rocky Mountain team scored three runs the first inning and the Pride one. In the third inning Alitz hits a double and then Aken gets a hit to score Alitz. Buss gets a hit in the sixth and Alitz hits a double in the seventh. The Pride lost 6-2 putting them in third place after pool play.

On Sunday in tournament play the Pride faced the Rocky Mountain team again. Houser started on the mound for the Pride. Rocky Mountain took the lead in the first inning 2-0. The Pride came back the second inning with Alitz and Aken walking, Hansen had a beautiful bunt to score Alitz and then Bandars gets a hit to score Aken. The Pride tied the score. Rocky Mountain scored five runs in the third and Bandars took the mound for the Pride. Feldhaus started the inning with a hit, Fleming walked and Szgeda hit a single with a ribbie. Aken hits a double for two runs. Tyrakoski had a great hit but the right fielder made an awesome catch to rob him of a great hit. The Pride is down 7-5. Bandars started the fourth inning with a hit and then Buss has a great sacrifice hit, Feldhaus walks and then Fleming lay’s down a great bunt to score Bandars. The Pride is still down 7-6.    In the fifth inning Alitz starts with a hit and then Hansen hits a critical double to tie the score. The score is still tied 7-7 going into seventh inning. Aken took the mound for the Pride with bases loaded and one out. The Prided held the Rocky Mountain to two runs. At the bottom of the inning, Aken steps up to the plate and gets walked and steals seconds. Tyrakoski gets a hit and then Bandars gets a hit. The bases are now loaded, Buss steps up to the plate, the pitcher has a wild pitch and Aken scores, then Buss hits a high chopper and Tyrakoski scores and Buss is safe. Feldhaus steps up to the Plate and Bandars starts to steal  after the first pitch, the pitcher over throws third and Weatherguard wins and advances to the championship game. The Pride played solid defense against the Rocky Mountain team and played as a team.

Weatherguard had to face Post 6 team again.  Aken had his first start of the summer season and Feldhaus came in the fourth inning to close the game. Post 6 jumped out ahead with a six run lead.  The Pride held them until the fourth inning where they scored five more runs.  At the bottom of the fifth inning, Tyrakoski started with a hit and then Feldhaus hits a single to score Tyrakoski.  The Pride earns second place in the tournament and falls to Post 6 11-1.

The Pride starts District on Friday, July 22 at 5:00 pm against Fort Calhoun in Bennington.

Cheyenne Tournament

Friday, July 15 

7:30     Post 6 v Omaha Roncalli

 

 

Saturday, July 16

2:30    Omaha Roncalli v Colorado Springs

5:00   Rocky Mountain v Omaha Roncalli

 

Sunday, July 17

Powers Field                                                    Pioneer Park

9:00 #1 Seed v #4 Seed                                  9:00 #2 Seed v #3 Seed

12:00 Winner Powers v Winner Pioneer
 
Cheyenne Schedule

The Pride Strands Runners

Weatherguard played a great game against Ralston on Friday, July 1. Fleming pitched an outstanding game with great defense behind him. The Pride jumped out ahead the first inning and led 1-0. The Rams scored two runs in the second inning while the Pride stranded a runner.   The score remained 2-1 until the fifth inning.   Ralston had two hits and two runs and led 4-1. Aken lead off the inning with a walk, Tyrakoski and Houser were walked however all three were left stranded. Fleming started the seventh inning with a hit and then Szedga hit a double but they too were left stranded. The Pride falls 4-1 with leaving eight runners on base during the course of the game.

Weatherguard faced Westside on Tuesday, July 5. Houser started on the hill for the Pride and Bandars came in during the third to finish the game. The Pride only had three hits on the night. Aken went 2 for 2 and Tyrakoski had the third hit for Weatherguard. The Pride lost 10-0 in five innings.

Weatherguard traveled to Nebraska City on Wednesday, July 6. Frei started on the mound and pitched a great game. He went 6 1/3 innings. Fleming started the first inning off with a walk, then Szedga  gets on with a fielder’s choice, Aken walks and then Hansen has a great hit that scores two. The Pride led 2-0 after one inning.   In the third inning Szedga steps up to the plate and hits a bomb over the fence for a solo homerun. The Pride led 3-0 going into the sixth inning. Nebraska City had two runners on base with one out and Alitz and Szedga turn a sweet double play to end the inning. Weatherguard is still leading 3-1 starting the seventh inning. Feldhaus was walked, Fleming got a hit earning a rbi, then Alitz has an awesome hit with a ribbie. Aken gets a hit due to his hustle down the first base line. Then Nebraska City goes the plate and loads the bases with one out. Szedga takes the mound and gets the Pride out of a tough situation. Weatherguard wins 5-2.

 Soup Cook Off & Fundraiser
 Baseball Fundraiser
April 21, 2012
5:00-8:00 pm
Roncalli Catholic Student Center

Hotel information for Pride Baseball in Cheyenne

UPDATED INFORMATION!!
Block of rooms held for
Pride Baseball-Book by July 8th!

Check in July 14, check out July 17.

Double Q- $89/nite, free breakfast.

 

SpringHill Suites-Cheyenne

416 W. Fox Farm Rd.

Cheyenne, WY 82007

PH 307-635-0006

 ATTENTION ALL PRIDE BASEBALL PARENTS

If you have not already done so please send in your $100 check payable to Crimson Pride Baseball so you can receive your 10 tickets to sell or use for the fundraiser.  You can mail your checks to P. O. Box 641724, Omaha, NE  68164.

 

The fundraiser this year will be on Saturday, April 21st from 5:00 to 8:00 in the Student Center at Roncalli.  I am attaching additional information about the event.  All baseball families are asked to participate in order to make this a success.  In addition, there are several ways you can reduce your player’s fees for summer legion baseball!

 

You can also purchase your gift cards anytime and give them to your team representative:  Freshman – Sharon Ortmeier, JV – Beth Feldhaus and Varsity – Julie Houser.  They will be collecting these at the games!

 

Please let me know if you have any questions after reading the information!

 

 

Char Oehm

coehm@live.com

402-320-2266

The Pride goes 2-2

Hot, Hot and double hot was the double header against Lincoln Southwest on Sunday, July 10. Fleming took the mound for the first the game. The weather was hot but so were Southwest bats the first inning. They scored seven runs and Weatherguard could match up. Houser came in the second and did a great job cooling off Southwest’s bats for the next four innings. In the bottom of the fifth inning
Alitz leads off with a double, Tyrakoski walks and House gets a hit with a ribbie. Aken took the hill to start the sixth inning. Southwest loaded the bases with one out and Fleming makes a great play at third to turn a sweet double play to stop Southwest from scoring. Tyrakoski draws another walk the seventh inning and then Bandar’s hits a double to score Tyrakoski. Unfortunately the Pride lost 8-2.

Alitz started the second game and did a great job. Southwest had six hits and Weatherguard only had two.  Szgeda had a hit in the third and Feldhaus started the fifth inning with a double. The Pride lost 5-1.

Due to the storm and damage to the outfield fence the Pride had to travel to Wahoo for their game on Monday, July 11. Senior Sam Frei started on the hill for the Pride. Weatherguard came out right away and got on the board however, Wahoo answered back and scored two runs. Wahoo was leading 5-1 going into the fourth inning.   The Pride loaded the bases with Bandars and Feldaus walking and House getting on with an error. Then Fleming steps up to the plate and hits a double to score two. During the fifth inning Alitz and Aken get walked and Hansen hits a single with a ribbie. Wahoo answered back and scored a run to led 6-5. Feldhaus puts down a perfect bunt to start the sixth. Fleming gets hit by pitch and Szgeda gets on with an error but a run scores. Then Alitz hits a two run single to put the Pride in the lead for the first time. In the seventh the Pride turns a sweet double play to win the game 8-7.

Weatherguard bats came alive against Benson on Tuesday night. Feldhaus started off with a walk and Fleming gets hit by pitch and Szgeda hits a one run double and Alitz hits a one run single. Benson has two hits the first inning and one run with Fleming on the mound. The Pride led 3-1. Aken takes the mound the second inning. Fleming has a timely double scoring a run giving the Pride a 4-1 led. During the fourth Houser gets on with an error, Feldhaus hits the ball, Szgeda walks and Alitz had a two run double. Benson has five hits during the fourth inning and scored three runs. The Pride answered back the fifth with Hansen starting with an awesome hit and Bandars hitting a double with a ribbie. Houser took the Hill in the fifth inning and had three strike outs. Alitz hit another double to score two. During the seventh inning Bandars started with a double, Houser hit by pitch, Feldhaus on an error, Fleming & Szgeda walked and then the hot bat Alitz gets up and hits a one run single. Buss has a one run single. The Pride wins big 14-4.

Weatherguard Splits with North Platte

Weatherguard Systems competes in a double header against North Platte. Frie pitched a complete game for the Pride and did an awesome job the first game. The game was tied 0-0 going into the third inning. North Platte jumped on the board first with two runs. Fleming started the fourth inning with hit, Szegda has a sac bunt to move him over and Alitz hits a double and Fleming scores. Aken gets a hit and then Tyrakoski gets on with error. The Pride now leads 3-2. North Platte had runners on 1st and 3rd, they tried to steal and it turned into a pickle situation. Not one pickle situation but two. The Pride was able to get both runners out on the two pickle situations, it was awesome to witness! North Platte was able to score one run that inning and tied the score. Weatherguard shut North Platte down during the sixth and seventh innings. Going into the seventh the score was  tied 3-3. Houser rips the ball for a hit, Mallot had a sac bunt to move Houser over. Feldhaus gets on with an error and then Fleming hits a bomb to the outfield and gets the winning ribbie. The Pride wins 4-3.

 

Alitz pitched a complete game and was outstanding on the mound. The Pride held North Platte off until the fourth inning when North Platte had three hits with three runs. Weatherguard scored a run in the fifth inning but were able to score the rest of the game. The Pride lost the second game 3-1.

Westside Decker Tournament

Greg Houser took the mound for Weatherguard against Edmond North in the first game of the Westside Decker Tournament. Houser pitched an outstanding game giving up only three hits. Szegda closed the for the Pride with a save. Feldhaus had a great day in center field making a couple ESPN Sport Center catches. Weatherguard defeats Edmond North 6-4.

Sam Frei started on the hill against Hopkins, MO for the second game of the tourney. The Pride struggled at the plate and just couldn’t capitalize with runners in scoring position.. Weatherguard had several defensive errors and couldn’t seem to stop Hopkins bats.  Bandars closed the game for the Pride. Weatherguard falls to Hopkins 10-1. The Pride is back in action on Friday at 5:00 and 7:30 at Elkhorn.

Pride struggles at the Plate

Weatherguard struggles at the plate against Elkhorn. Alitz started on the mound for the Pride, Bandars took the mound in third inning and Tyrakoski closed for the Pride. Houser went two for two at the plate and Mallot got a hit for Weatherguard. The defense played solid but Elkhorn found the holes.   Frei, Feldhaus and Hansen had a lot of action in the outfield. Unfortunately, Elkhorn’s offensive was too much for the Pride on Friday and the Pride lost 10-2.

Weatherguard turned and played Chico Nuts from Chico, CA. Fleming was on the hill and did a great job against an outstanding team. The defensive was solid behind Fleming. During the second inning Frei makes a great catch in left field, and then with bases loaded Aken turns a sweet double play to end the inning. The third inning was a long inning for the Pride with the Nuts scoring five runs. During the fourth inning Feldhaus has another ESPN catch in centerfield to close the inning. Szegda closed the game for Weatherguard. The Pride only had four hits during the game but is able to stop the Nuts from scoring again and loses 5-0. The Pride is back in action against North Platte on Wednesday.

Westside Decker Tournament

Wednesday, June 22

   2:30 pm   Edmond North @ Elkhorn Legion  Field
 
Thursday, June 23
   9:30 am Hopkins Post 320  @ Elkhorn Legion  Field
 
Friday, June 24
    5:00 pm   Elkhorn  @ Elkhorn Legion  Field
    7:30 pm   Chico Nuts @ Elkhorn Legion  Field
 
Saturday, June 25
    9:30 am  Grandview HS   @ Elkhorn Legion Field
 
Click for the schedule

Weatherguard Splits double header

Weatherguard splits  double header in the Cornhusker Classic Tournament on Sunday, June 19. The first game was against Millard Sox. The Sox’s scored their only run in the first inning. At the bottom of the first inning, the first fiveWeatherguard batters were walked. Bandars hit a single and scored a run. Then the next two batters are hit by a pitch. Bases are still loaded and Buss gets a hit to score run and Feldaus as a sacrifice fly for a ribbie. After the first inning the Pride leads 7-1. Feldhaus was the starting for Weatherguard and Houser came in as the close the fifth inning. At the plate Bandars was 1 for 3, Buss 1 for 2, Fleming 2 for 3, Aken 2 for 2, Szegda 1 for 2 and Hansen 1 for 1. The Pride defeated Millard Sox 9-1 in five innings.

Weatherguard then went against the team from Monarch, CO.   Monarch started off with two hits the first inning and scored two runs. The Pride answered back with Feldhaus walking, Fleming hitting a single, and Szegda getting on with an error. The Pride was able to steal bases and score two runs that inning. With the score tied 2-2 going into the second. The Monarch team was able to score three more runs due to errors on the defense. The Pride couldn’t match up and were down 5-2 after two innings. Weatherguard held the Monarch’s for the next three innings. Weatherguard had the bases loaded during the fourth inning but was only able to score one run. The Monarchs rallied in the fifth and scored four runs. The Pride only scored one more run the rest of the game. Fleming was the starting pitcher for the Pride and Houser once again was the closure. The Pride lost 9-4.

Cornhusker Classic Tournament

Pool B at Roncalli Catholic

Friday, June 17
8:30 am Roncalli vs. Laramie
11:00 am Roncalli vs Billings
 
Saturday, June 18
8:30 am Roncalli vs. Monarch
 
Sunday, June 19
1:30 pm Roncalli vs. Millard Sox
 
Monday, June 20
Champsionship Game: 9:00 am
 
 

Volunteers For Cornhusker Classic

Attention Parents and Players:

 

We still need volunteers for the Tournament hosted at Roncalli.  We need people to work the gate, concession stand, grill, announcer, scorekeeper and field maintenance on Saturday and Sunday.   Please click the register online in the upper right hand corner to schedule a time.

 

Thanks

Pride Struggles at the Plate

Weatherguard opened the Cornhusker Classic with a double-header against Laramie, Wyoming and Billings, Montana. Alitz took the mound for the first game. He had six strike outs, one walk and gave up three hits. Laramie scores a run during the first inning due to a couple of errors in the field. At the plate the Pride was unable to score during the first inning. Weatherguard held Laramine the second inning with three up and three down. Hansen gets the Pride’s first hit of the game. Tyrakoski moves him to second and then Aken hits a double to score Hansen. After two the score is tied 1-1. The Pride held them for the third inning. Then in the fourth inning Laramie scores two runs and leads 3-1 going into the sixth inning. Tyrakoski gets on with error and then Aken gets a single. Then Houser hits to the shortstop to score Tyrakoski. The score is 3-2 going in to the seventh inning. Laramie goes three up and three down. Fleming gets a single, Szegda hits single but the Pride was unable to capitalize on it. They  lose a close one 3-2.

Sam Frei starts on the hill for the Pride the second game. Billings scores two runs the first inning. Weatherguard holds them the second inning and then they score one more run the third. The Pride struggled at the plate against Billings left handed pitcher. Freshman Jake Tyrakoski had two great plate appearances with getting a single in the third inning and a double in the seventh.  Billings scores two runs in the fourth and leads 5 -0. Then Billings scored six more runs in the seventh inning. Tyrakoski hits a line shot down the right field line for a double, Feldhaus gets a hit scoring Tyrakoski, Fleming walks, Szegda and Alitz both get hits scoring runners. The Pride lost 11-3. They are back in action at 8:30 am on Saturday.

Fan of the Day!
 Rule Change for Legion Players
Please READ ASAP!
Click for a Printable Form
 Change in Cornhusker Classic Schedule at Roncalli
 Saturday, June 18

1:30am - Billings vs Monarch

3:30pm - Billings vs Millard Sox

5:30pm - Laramie vs Millard Sox

 
Sunday, June 19

8:30am - Laramie vs Billings

11:00am - Laramie vs Monarch

1:30pm - Roncalli vs Millard Sox

4:00am - Roncalli vs Monarch

 
We still all the volunteers to show up for the games you volunteered to work.
Thanks

Attention Varsity Parents and Fans

If you can't make  it to the games follow us on Twitter (http//:www.twitter.com/pridebaseball11)  the page is updated at the end of each inning.  If you use facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pride-Baseball/111616898915670 and like the page, so we can start updating this page during the games.

 
If any Freshman or JV parents would like to update Twitter during games, please contact Ronda Aken at raken@roncallicatholic.org.
 
To see more pictures of the varsity players, check us out on facebook.

Weatherguard takes last two games in Oklahoma

Weatherguard came out strong against Guthrie on Saturday afternoon. Feldhaus started on the hill for the Pride and shuts the team down the first three innings.  The Pride started strong at the plate with Feldhaus starting the first inning with a double. Then Szgeda and Alitz both hit singles and Bandars and Hansen both walk. Aken hits the ball in the hole in right field to score two. Houser then gets a hit. After one inning Weatherguard leads 4-0. The bats continue to be hot during the second inning. Fleming and Szgeda both get singles. Alitz then steps up to the plate and hits a bomb off the left field fence for a double. Then Bandars hits a double to score two. The Pride is up 7-0 after two. The crowd is thinking this game is going to be over soon but then Guthrie starts hitting the ball and the Pride can’t seem to catch an infield fly ball. However, Sam Frie makes an awesome catch in right field to stop Guthrie from scoring another run in the third inning.   Then in the fifth Guthrie bats come alive again and they score four more runs. Szgeda takes over the mound in the middle of the fifth inning with two outs and runs on base. He ends the inning with a strike out. Fleming rips the ball during the fifth inning for the only hit that inning. After the fifth innings the game went from a blow out to a nail biter. The Pride is unable to score again but pull off the win 7-5.

The Pride gets up Sunday for an early game against St. Mary. Greg Houser gets his first start as a varsity pitcher and does an outstanding job and shuts St. Mary out. During the first inning Feldhaus, Szgeda, and Alitz all walked. Feldhaus steals two bases to score and then Alitz gets himself in a pickle to score Szegada. Weatherguard leads 2-0 after one. During the second inning Hansen, Tyrakoski both get hits. Then Frie, Feldhaus and Fleming all walk. Alitz walks and then Bandars hits a double to score two. Hansen gets on with an error, Tyrakoski walks and then Aken gets a hits. With the bases loaded Frie steps up to the plate and hits a bomb to left field for double and three ribbies. The Pride leads 12-0 after two innings. Alitz takes the mound the fourth inning and closes the game for the Pride. Weatherguard wins 12-0 in four innings.
 
Then the long journey back to Omaha begins! To see more pictures checkout facebook!  (You do not have to have a facebook account to see the pictures)

Fans of the Tournament

How many people does it take to change a tire?

 Weatherguard defeats Bellevue West
 

Weatherguard System opened their season against Bellevue West.  Returning Pitcher Sam Frie took the mound for the Pride and pitched a complete game. Frie had seven strike-outs and allowed only one run on the night. T.J. Feldhaus had an outstanding over the shoulder catch stealing a hit from Bellevue West. Dane Hansen scored both of the Pride’s runs in a 2-1 victory over Bellevue West. The Pride is back in action on Saturday at 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm at Bellevue East. Come Out and support the Pride.

 Edmond North Tournament
 

Weatherguard travels to Edmond, Oklahoma for a tournament. The first game Thursday night was against Edmond North-White. Sam Frie pitched six innings for the Pride giving up five runs with three strikeouts and one walk. Greg Houser was the closer with two strike outs and giving up two runs. The Pride had two runners on the bases in the fifth inning and Szedga steps up and hits a double for two ribbies. Weatherguard loaded the bases in the fifth but were unable to score. The Pride falls to Edmond North 7-4

 

 
Weatherguard meets up with Deer Creek on Friday. Adam Fleming goes five innings on the hill with eight hits, five strike outs and two walks. Houser once again closes for the Pride. At the plate, Houser gets on base on an error during the fourth inning, then Felhaus hits a double and Fleming hits a single to score Houser and Feldhaus. Fleming also gets a double in the sixth. During the seventh, Hansen gets a hit, Houser walks and then Aken gets a single to score Hansen. Unfortunately, the Pride stranded 13 runners during the game and lost 8-4. Weatherguard is back in action on Saturday at 1:30.

The Pride defeats Gross and falls to Beatrice

On Friday, April 29 the Crimson Pride team went to the Creighton vs. Bradley baseball game at Ameritrade to watch former All-State Roncalli Pitcher Joe Bircher. Joe Bircher is a starter for Bradley University and is 5-4 on the season. Joe graduated from Roncalli in 2008 and led the Pride to two Legion titles. Joe then came to the Roncalli game on Saturday to watch the Crimson Pride defeat Gross.

The Pride was led by senior pitcher T.J. Feldhaus on Saturday. Feldhaus had an outstanding pitching performance.  He had two strike outs and gave three hits with only one run scoring. Heath Banders did an excellent job at the plate going 2 for 3 with a single and a homerun. Nick Dotzler was also 2 for 3 at the plate with hitting a double. Tyler Alitz came in the 6th inning and closed the game for the Pride. Roncalli won 6-3.

The Beatrice Orangemen came to town on Monday, May 2 for the Seniors last home game of the spring season. Jake Aken was the starting pitcher and did an excellent job with four strike outs and only two hits.   Adam Fleming also did a nice job on mound giving up one hit. Fleming was three for four at the plate hitting a double. Trevor Szedga had the hot bat on the night going 4 for 4 at the plate. Defensively the Pride struggled and lost 9-5. However, they will bounce back at districts which start on Saturday, May 7 at Beatrice against Norris with a 2:30 start. Come out and support the Pride. 

Varsity Bellevue Tournament


Schedule: 

Friday: 3:00 @ Bellevue West vs. Bellevue West -1 and Roncalli 2
Saturday: 2:00 @ Bellevue East vs. Bellevue East
Saturday: 4:30 @ Bellevue East vs. Crete
Sunday: 2:00 @ Bellevue East vs. North
 

Legion Baseball Patches

Attention Parents the Legion Baseball Patch must be attached on the LEFT Sleeve. Varsity make sure they attached before the Edmond Tournament. 
 
Attention JV Parents: Please do not sew the patches on the current uniforms.  The summer uniforms should be arriving in about 7-10 days.
2011 Districts
May 7 and 9
Christensen Field, Beatrice

 
1) Beatrice
2) Norris
3) Omaha Roncalli/Concordia
4) Platte Valley
 
12:00- #1 Beatrice vs. #4 Plate Valley
2:30- #2 Norris vs. #3 Pride, TBA
 
-To view the District pairings, check out the NSAA wesbsite - http://www.nsaahome.org/distassign.php?sport=ba
Putnam City/Edmond North Varsity Tournament
Thursday June 9
      7:30 pm Roncalli vs Edmond North White
Friday, June 10
      Noon  Deer Creek vs Roncalli
Saturday, June 11
     1:00  Roncalli vs. Guthrie
Sunday, June 12
      9:30  Roncalli vs. ?
 
Click here for the complete schedule

The Pride defeats DC West

The Pride came out and scored three runs in the first inning. Trevor Szegda and Tyler Alitz got on base right away and then Bandars gets a hit and scores a run for the Pride. Hansen gets on with a fielder’s choice and Aken hits a double to score two. DC West answers back with a couple hits and scores a run. The Pride led 3-1 after the first inning. Alitz was the starting pitcher for Roncalli and he had five strike outs on the night. Szegada had a great night at the plate going 3 for 3 with a double in the sixth inning. He also pitched in relief and earned the save. The Pride left a lot of runners on base which led them to scoring only  one more run which was just enough to win. The Pride won 4-3.

Hopefully the rain will hold off and the Pride will be back in action at 3:00 today!

                                       Fan of the Day!

Weatherguard Shuts out Wahoo

Weatherguard had a nail biter against Wahoo on Monday night. Tyler Alitz was on the hill for the Pride and had an outstanding performance with 11 strike outs and only two hits. Feldhaus led off with a hit but Weatherguard was unable to bring him home. The score was 0-0 after one. Jake Tyrakoski hits a double in the second and was left stranded on base. After two innings it is still tied 0-0. Dane Hansen gets a double in the third inning but is also left on base. Heath Banders makes a circus catch in the fifth to stop Wahoo from getting a hit. The score is still tied 0-0 going in the sixth inning, Altiz steps up to the plate and hits a dinger over left field.  Jake Aken then pokes one to right field for double in the top of the seventh. Wahoo gets two hits in the seventh and the fireman Trevor Szegda takes the mound and nails down the victory for Weatherguard. Altiz had an outstanding game on hill and at the plate. The defensive was solid and the Pride wins 1-0.

Roncalli Struggles against Ralston

Roncalli had a rough outing against the No. 9 ranked team Ralston.  The Pride struggled at the plate going hitless. Ralston had 13 hits on the day. The Pride went through three pitchers. Jake Aken was the starting pitcher.  T.J. Feldhaus came in during the 3rd inning and Heath Bandars started the 6th. The Pride lost 11-0. The Pride will be back in action on Monday at Yutan starting at 4:30 pm.

The Pride Struggles at the Plate!

Crimson Pride went neck in neck with Bellevue East during the first three innings. Alitz gets on with a walk and then was able to steal three bases due to over throws by the catcher and scores. Adam Fleming was the starting pitcher for Roncalli and had five strike outs on the night and only gave up three hits. Trevor Szegda came in the sixth inning to close for the Pride. Roncalli only had three hits on the night. Bandars had the first hit of the game in the second inning and Fleming had a double in fifth inning to give the Pride a boost but was unable to score. Aken gets a hit in the seventh and due to errors he was able to score. Bandars also scored in the seventh. However, the Pride lost 5-3.
Fans of the Day
Weatherguard wins in 5 innings!

Weatherguard at a great start at the plate against Bryan. The Pride started with two walks and then Banders gets a single followed by Hansen hitting double both getting a RBI. Then Houser steps up to the plate hits a double to score Hansen. The Pride led 4-1 going into the 2nd inning. The Pride once again went through the batting order during the second inning. Feldhaus started with a hit followed by Szegda’s double. Then Bandars, Hansen, Tyrakoski, Houser, Buss, and Sorenson all get hits. The Pride leds 12-1 after two. The Pride scores a run in the third. T.J. Feldhaus was the starting pitcher for Weatherguard and had an outstanding night on the mound. Altiz closed for the Pride. The Pride defeats Bryan 13-2 in five innings.

The Pride is back in action on Monday, June 6 in Wahoo at 8:00 pm.

   

Roncalli Falls to South Sioux City

The Pride struggled against No. 8 ranked South Sioux City on Tuesday night. Tyler Alitz was the starting pitcher for the pride and gave up nine hits to a strong hitting team.  South Sioux City Austin Groth had two home runs on the night. Trevor Szegda came in the fifth inning to relieve Alitz. The Pride was unable to get their bats going and only had two hits on the night. The Pride will be back in action Thursday, April 14 against Beatrice to start the RCC tournament. Hopefully the Pride will bring the enthusiasm and spirit they had in Wahoo & Arlington games.

 

The JV Ties South Sioux City

The JV also played against South Sioux City on Tuesday night. Greg Houser was the starting pitcher for the Pride. The Pride lead 6-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning and then S.S.C scored four runs to the tie the game. Due to time limit the game ended in a tie 6-6.

Weatherguard Travels to North Platte

The Crimson Pride splits a double header with North Platte. Sam Frie was the starting pitcher for Pride on the first game and Greg Houser was the pitcher for the second game. Weatherguard had 11 hits during the first game and 8 hits the second game. The Pride won the first game 9-4 and lost the second game 5-3.

The Pride is back in action on Thursday, June 02, 2011 at Roncalli against Bryan starting at 5:30 pm. Come out and support Weatherguard.

Feldhaus Throws a No Hitter

Roncalli Crimson Pride played an outstanding game against Arlington on Monday night. T.J. Feldhaus had a tremendous pitching performance throwing a no hitter.  Feldhaus had 12 strike outs and one walk on the night. The defense did an awesome job behind.  Heather Bandars at first base made some terrific plays to keep the no hitter alive. The Prides bats didn’t become active until the top of the third inning.  Nick Dotzler started with a hit and then Tyler Alitz hit a triple. The Pride scored four runs that inning. Nick Buss, Alitz and Bandars all hit doubles to help the Pride to score runs. The Pride won 10-0. 

Fan of the Day!

Attention Varsity Parents

A block of rooms is reserved for check in on June 8th, check out June 12th.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Quail Springs

3201 W. Memorial Road

Oklahoma City, OK 73134

405-749-1595 

 Block held under "PRIDE BASEBALL".  Reserve by May 30th.

All rooms are suites and are 25% bigger than regular hotel rooms. 
All rooms have sleeper/sofas. 
Refrig/microwave/coffee maker in room.
Wireless
Breakfast buffet
king w/sleeper $79/night
double $84/night (limited number of doubles available)
 
Schedule has not be posted yet for the Edmond Tournament, but we are suppose to play Thursday evening.  Coach Kupfer would like to leave Thursday Morning.


 Weatherguard split games on Saturday
T.J. Feldhaus was the starting pitcher for Weatherguard against Bellevue East on Saturday.  East had a good day at the plate.  Feldhaus pitched four inning and then Greg Houser pitched the fifth.  The Pride lost 10-0.
 
Weathguard then faced Crete.  Adam Fleming took the mound for the Pride and gave up three runs in the first then settled down and only allowed one run the next four inning to keep the Pride in the game.  Trevor Szedga came in relief and threw a prefect 6th and 7th innings to earn the save.  Weatherguard was down 3-0 after the top of the first, they fought hard to get one run at a time and eventually  tied the game 4-4.  Jake Tyrakoski had a RBI single to grab the lead 5-4 after 5 innings.  In the 6th inning, Tyler Alitz had a big RBI single to drive in Szedga which increased the lead to two.  Szegda closed the door in the 7th.  The Sunday game was rained out.
 
The Pride will be traveling across the state on Wednesday to compete against North Platte.
Alitz Throws a No Hitter
The Prides teamwork and enthusiasm gave them a 10 run win over Wahoo Public on Tuesday afternoon. Tyler Alitz was the starting pitcher and threw a no hitter for Pride. Alitz had four strike outs and two walks. He had a solid defense playing behind. The Pride took a 1-0 lead after the first inning. Then the bats came alive in the fourth inning when the Pride had eight hits and scored seven runs. Feldhaus had his second homerun of the season.   After clearing the bases Trevor gets a hit and then Alitz gets a hit that turns into homerun due to throwing errors. Roncalli leads 8-0 going into the fifth inning. Bandars had the hot bat going 3 for 3 and Aken went 3 for 4.  The Pride defeated Wahoo in five innings by scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. 
The Pride is back in action on Thursday against Ft. Calhoun. The JV take the field at 5:00 today against Benson.

Fan of the Day:

Young Pride Team Struggles
The young Crimson Pride team has faced several tough opponents; they have faced four top ranked teams in the past two weeks. They faced Gretna No. 2, Elkhorn No. 1, Skutt No. 4 and Mt. Michael No. 5. The Pride competed in all those games. It seems that errors in the field occur at critical times of the game. Also, they keep leaving runners stranded. Those were also issues against Skutt and Mt. Michael this past weekend. 

Jake Aken was the starting pitcher against Skutt and Adam Fleming was the starting pitcher against Mt. Michael. The Pride was the first to be on the board against Skutt and stayed ahead until the 3
rd inning when they gave up three runs. 

Highlight of the Skutt game would be T.J. Feldhaus’s solo homerun during the 2
nd inning. Unfortunately the Pride wasn’t able score after that and lost 6-3. 

At the Mt. Michael game the pride once again stranded a lot of runners and couldn’t capitalize when runners where in scoring position. They fell to Mt. Michael 7-4. 

The pride is back in action on Tuesday, April 5 at RCHS against Wahoo at 4:30pm.

 
Fan of the Day

The Pride strands a lot of runners!

The Crimson Pride took the field rockin’ their new jerseys. The Pride got a couple hits in the first inning and scored a run. T.J. Feldhaus started on the mound for Roncalli Catholic. Unfortunately, the Antlers bats came out hot in the first inning and they had five hits and scored four runs. However, the Pride’s defense stepped it up and only allowed the No. 1 ranked Antlers to score three more runs. The Pride had only eight hits on the night and stranded a lot of runners. Tyler Alitz took the mound in 5th inning. The Pride lost 7-1. They will be back in action on Friday at Skutt. 

 

Pride's Bats come Alive

Wow! The Pride’s bats were on fire Tuesday against Nebraska City. The Pride had a total of 16 hits during the course of the game. It seemed with right fielder Dane Hansen back, he gave the team the boost they needed to get the bats swinging. Hansen went three for four on the night and had some outstanding catches in the outfield. Szegda and Aken both had doubles which were during critical times of the game. Feldhaus and Aken were two for four and Bandars was 2 for 3 at the plate. Nick Boss (Buss) hit the first home run on the season. Feldhaus was the starting pitcher and went three full innings. Aken came in during the 4th and Szegda was the closure. Szegda and Tyler turned two double plays during the 4th and 5th innings which saved some runs from scoring. The Pride won 8-6.

         Fan of the Day holding the Home Run Ball!

 The Pride struggles at the Plate!

 The young Crimson Pride team struggled at the plate against the Gretna Dragons. Adam Fleming was the starting pitcher and went five full innings. He had three strike outs, two walks and gave up two hits. The defense was solid. Alitz, Szegda, and Aken made some outstanding plays in the field.  Nick Grage got the first hit of the game for the Pride in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Pride loaded the bases but was unable to capitalize on the two walks and the two hits during that inning. Greg Houser came in to during the sixth inning to pitch for the Pride. Gretna scored one run in the fourth inning and then there bats got hot and they scored three runs in the sixth and three in the seventh. Reed Westin closed for the Pride. Roncalli was able to score three runs in the seventh with Fleming starting off with a hit. Then Buss, Feldhaus and Szegda had hits to help the Pride score three runs. The Pride lost 7-3. 

 

 

 

 

                          Fans fo the Day
 

 

 
 

Roncalli Splits with Elkhorn South

The Crimson Pride split a double header against Elkhorn South on Saturday, March 19, 2011. The Pride had four hits in the first game with six walks to score 10 runs.  Jake Aken was the starting pitcher and had five strike outs with two walks and gave up four hits. The Pride found ways to get on in the first inning and scored three runs. Elkhorn South got two in hits in the third inning and scored two runs and then tied the score in the fourth. Trevor Szegda came in relief in the fifth inning. Trevor had two strike outs and gave up three hits. Elkhorn South scored another run in the fifth inning but the Pride went through the entire batting  line up and scored five runs. Szegda, Altiz and Buss had key hits in this inning. Roncalli Catholic won 10-4.

Alitz was the starting pitcher in the second game and had eight strike outs, three walks, and one hit. Greg Houser came in relief in the sixth inning. He had two strike outs, one walk and one hit. Elkhorn South came out in the first inning and scored two runs due to errors made by the Pride’s defense. Szegda and Altiz both got hits in the third inning but only one run was scored. South scored another run. The Pride wasn’t able to score during the rest  of the game. They were defeated 4-1. Szegda and Alitz the middle infielders had some great key plays throughout both games.

The Pride is back in action on Monday, March 21 against Gretna at Roncalli Catholic.

Fans of the Day!

Pride Falls to Fremont Bergan

Roncalli Catholic season opener seemed to be a battle of the pitchers. T.J. Feldhaus was the Crimson Pride starting pitcher he had seven strike outs with only one hit. Adam Fleming came in at the bottom of four and finished the game. Fleming had three strike outs. Roncalli Catholic couldn’t seem to get there bats going. Trevor Szegda (Concordia) had the only Crimson Pride hit on the night. The Pride had some errors in the field and walked seven batters. The Pride loses their season opener to Fremont Bergan 7-1. The Pride will be back action at 10:00 am and Noon on Saturday against Elkhorn South.

Fan of the Day:

 The Pride Season Ends!
   

Weatherguard started off strong against Gering scoring five runs in the first two innings. Sam Frei was the starting pitcher for the Pride and didn’t allow any runs until the third inning. Alitz came in during the fourth and Herman closed the game for Weatherguard.   Terry started the first inning with a hit, Alitz walked and then Aken got a hit. Hansen had a sacrifice fly scoring Terry. Feldhaus walks to load the bases and then Higgins hits a bomb to center and scores three runs with a double. The Pride led 5-3 going into the fourth.  Terry, Alitz and Aken all got hits and scored a run. Weatherguard then led 6-4. Gering scored one run in the fifth and two in the sixth taking the lead. The Pride was unable to score any more runs and lost 6-7. 

 

Senior leadership from Terry, Herman and Higgins will be greatly missed next year.   Alex Terry will be attending the University of Chicago, Michael Herman will be attending Wayne State and Jake Higgins will be attending University of Nebraska at Omaha. Good Luck, boys!
   
 Highlights:
Terry went 2 for 3 with a walk.
Alitz went 2 for 3 with a walk.
Aken went 2 for 3 with a sacrifice fly.

 
   
 Weatherguard falls to Nebraska City
   

The Pride was in pitching duel with Nebraska City. Weatherguard had the bases loaded during the first inning with Alitz getting walked and Herman getting a hit. Hansen and Feldhaus both got walked but we were unable to bring a runner across home. Nebraska City scored one run in the first inning. The pitchers went back and forth the next three innings. Terry was the starting pitcher for the Pride with nine strike outs. He did an outstanding job on the mound. Higgins got on with a walk and stole second and third on missed throw to first during the fourth inning, however the Pride was unable to score. Nebraska City scored again in the 4th and 6th innings. Weatherguard had runners in scoring position during the 5th, 6th and 7th innings but couldn’t bring anyone across the plate. Bandars got the second hit of the game for the Pride in the 7th. The Pride lost 0-3. Weathergurad is back action on Monday at 4:00 pm against Gering.


   
   
 

Highlights:

Terry had nine strike outs.

Herman went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice hit

Alitz had two walks and one hit by pitch

Bandars had a hit.

The Pride was walked seven times.

 
 Weatherguard defeats Holdrege
   

The Pride had a great start to the first round of state defeating Holdrege 10-3. Aken pitched a complete game and did a great job. Terry and Alitz both got walked and then Herman had a sacrifice hit with a RBI. Aken got a hit. Hansen and Fleming both got walked. The Pride had several stolen bases during the first inning. Weatherguard led 3-2 after the first inning. During the second Terry walked again and Alitz got a hit scoring Terry. Both Herman and Aken got hits. Hansen and Feldhaus got walked and Fleming got hit by pitch. The Pride scored three more runs during the second and Holdrege couldn’t get on the board. Terry got on with a walk. Alitz got his second hit of the game and Aken got hit by pitch. Hansen got a hit and scored two runs. The Pride led 8-2.   Fleming and Bandars both got hits in the fourth. Terry got his first hit of the game and scored the only run of the fourth inning. Holdrege scored one run in the fifth. During the sixth Higgins and Terry both got walked and Alitz had a sacrifice hit to score a run. Herman had several good plays at short and Feldhaus and Hansen had great catches in the outfield. Higgins throws down to Fleming at third for an out. The Pride is back in action Sunday night at 8:00 pm against Nebraska City in Schuyler.

Highlights of the Game:

Aken went 3 for 4 with one walk.

Herman went 2 for 4 with a sacrifice hit.

Altiz 2 for 3 with a walk and sacrifice hit.  He also had four stolen bases.

Terry went 1 for 1 with four walks. He also had six stolen bases.

   
   
   
   
 Fan of the Day:
 
 Weatherguard Wins 9th District Title
 

Alex Terry pitched a complete game against Blair in the Class B Area 3 District Championship game on Tuesday. Terry carried the team with his outstanding pitching performance. Higgins also did a great job behind the plate. Feldhaus and Hansen made some awesome catches in the outfield especially as they battled the sun. Weatherguard had a great start with loading the bases the first two innings.   The Pride led 5-0 after two.    Blair scores two runs in the third inning and the Pride is not able to earn those runs back until the 6th inning. Bandars gets on with a hit, Higgins and Terry both move Bandars with a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice hit. Alitz once again gets hit by a pitch to advance to first. Senior Herman steps up the plate and smokes the ball hitting a double scoring a run. Aken and Hansen both get on with errors and Altiz steals home on a throw down to second. Weatherguard beats Blair 8-3. The Pride earned their 9th District Title in row and will be competing in State at Schuyler. Weatherguard plays at 2:00pm on Saturday, July 31 against Holdrege. Come out and support the Pride has they head towards a state title.

Highlights: 

Herman was 3 for 4 with 2 singles and a double. 2RBIs

Alitz was 1 for 2 with 2 hit by pitch

Terry was 1 for 1 with 2 walks and sacrifice hit

Aken had 3 RBIs

Hansen had 2 RBIs

 
   
   
   
 Roncalli has a Rough Start to the Season
 

The game of baseball is a game of inches and it seems if the inches would of went in favor of the Pride, they would of come out on top.  Fremont Bergan took the lead in the second with a string of hits and scoring a run then scoring two more in the third.  Roncalli answers back,  Aken steps up to the plate, with two outs, hits a shot to left center and then steals second.  Alitz steps up to the plate and gets a single scoring Aken.  Fleming gets on with an error.   Tyrakoski gets a hit with an RBI which ties the score 3-3.  Fremont then scores runs in the fifth and sixth innings and the Pride only scores one more run in the seventh.  Aken pitched the first five innings and Fleming finished the game.  RCHS loses 8-4.

 
   
 

Roncalli had a double header against Elkhorn South on Saturday.  Houser started on the mound for the first game.  He had an outstanding day, going five innings with seven strike outs and only giving up four hits and four runs. Szegda closed for the Pride. The Storm had a string of hits in the sixth and took the lead 7-4  Roncalli was unable to answer back and lost 7-4.  Some key highlights of the game was Tyrakoski double in the second and his awesome catch in right field to end the fifth inning.

 
   
 

Alitz took the bump for the second game. The Storm scored two runs in the first inning and then the Pride answers back with scoring two runs in the second inning. Elkhorn jumps ahead in the fourth 5-2.  Altiz gets a double in the sixth, Tyrakoski has a sacrifice, Szegda walks and then Mallot gets a hit scoring two runs.  Roncalli was unable to score in the seventh and loses 5-4.  Alitz pitched a complete game with five strike outs.  The Pride is back in action on Monday, March 19 at Gretna at 4:30.

 
   
 For more photos checkout facebook!
 Pride wins in Nine!

Weatherguard Systems plays an outstanding game against Bennington in the semi-final game of districts. Aken was the starting pitcher for the Pride. He had eight strike outs and went six full innings. Herman came in the seventh and did an outstanding job as the closer for the team.  The defense did an outstanding job with turning three double plays through the course of the game. Bennington bats came alive in the third inning and scored four runs. Terry got the first hit for the Pride in the third inning. Higgins and Herman both got on with walks but the Pride was unable to take advantage of it. The Pride had two runners on in the fourth both being walked but once again they couldn’t score. Aken struck out all three batters in the in sixth. Then the Pride’s bats came alive. Hansen started the inning with a hit, Feldhaus walked; Fleming had an awesome sacrifice bunt and then Bandars had the key hit of the game with two RBIs. Higgins then walked, Terry gets a hit and then Altiz gets a double with a RBI. The Pride is still trailing 3-4. Bennington doesn’t score in the seventh but the Pride finds a way. Hansen gets on with a walk; Feldhaus gets a double to score the tying run. Neither team scores in the eighth. Then in the ninth Aken walks, Hansen and Fledhaus  both had sweet bunts. Fleming comes to bat and gets walked to score the winning run for the Pride. The Pride wins 5-4 in nine innings. Weatherguard Systems will be playing in the Championship game of districts on Tuesday, July 27 at 5:30 pm.

Highlights: 

Feldhaus went 2 for 3 with a single and double.

Hansen went 2 for 3 with two singles.

Bandars went 2 for 3 with two singles.

Terry went 2 for 4 with two singles.

Herman was the winning pitcher.

 
 
 Pride defeats Prague in Five
   

Weatherguard Systems played a great game against Prague.   Sam Frie was the starting pitcher for the Pride and did a great job with getting a lot of ground balls. He also picked a runner off at first. The first four batters for the Pride got walked during the first inning. Then Hansen and Feldhaus both get hits and Fleming gets a sacrifice fly. Weatherguard led 4-0 after the first.   During the second inning Lonergan gets hit by pitch, Terry gets a hit and Herman has a sacrifice fly. The Pride is now ahead 6-1. During the third inning Hansen gets hit by pitch, Fledhaus has a sacrifice bunt, Fleming gets walked. Bandars gets a key hit and Terry hits a double. Weatherguard is now winning 8-1. The Pride has a sweet double play during the fourth inning with Herman making a great stop at short, and then Bandars making a quick throw to Lonergan for the out at home. Alitz came in the fourth in to get the last out of the inning.     Alitz and Herman start the inning off with a double. Aken has a sacrifice hit to move Herman to third. Hansen gets walked and then Feldhaus gets a sacrifice fly with a RBI. They are now leading 11-4. During the final inning Lonergan walks, Terry gets a triple, and Alitz gets a double. Herman ends the game with a hit to score the last run. The Pride played a solid defensive game. Weatherguard defeats Prague 14-4 in five. The Pride is playing in the semifinals at 8:00 tonight against Benningtion.

Highlights of the Game

Terry went 3 for 3 with a single, double and triple.

Alitz went 2 for 3 with two doubles

Herman went 2 for 3 with a single and a double.

   
   
 Weatherguard wins first round of districts!
 

Weatherguard Systems had a great start to the District Tournament against Blair. Terry pitched a complete game for the Pride. He had 11 strike outs and no walks. Terry had an outstanding pitching performance. He also started the first inning with double followed by Alitz double to score a run. Herman (AKA: Ron Burgundy) gets a sacrifice hit and then Aken and Hansen both gets hits with RBI’s. Weatherguard led the first inning 3-0.  In the second Terry gets walked and then Altiz hits a triple to score Terry. Herman also gets on with an error. Pride led 5-0 at the end of two. In the fourth Dane throws on a rope to Alitz who throws to Aken to stop a Blair Bear from getting a triple. Alitz and Aken both get hits in the 5th to led 6-1.   In the 6th Feldhaus (AKA: Brian Fantana) had a sweet throw from centerfield to Aken to throw a runner out stealing third.    He also had an awesome at bat for a walk. Fleming had a great sacrifice bunt to move Feldhaus. Higgins gets walked and then Terry hits a double to score a run. The Pride ended the game with a great double play with Alitz to Herman to Bandars. Higgins had a great night behind the plate and showed great leadership by playing with stitches in his hand. The Pride wins 7-2. They will be back in action for second round on Friday at Seymour Smith at 8:00 pm.

 

Highlights of the game:

Alitz went 3 for 4 with a single, double and triple. He also had two RBIs

Terry went 2 for 3 with two doubles and one RBI

Aken went 2 for 2 with two singles and two RBIs

 
 
   
 
Varsity 2010
 
JV 2010
 Weatherguard losses to Post 6
   

Weatherguard traveled to Cheyenne, Wyoming for a tournament. The first game was on Friday evening against Cheyenne Post 6 which is Wyoming 2009 American Legion Champs. They also have three seniors going D-1. Terry was the starting pitcher for the Pride and had three strike outs in the first three innings with no walks. Terry did a great job getting ground balls but the defense made several errors behind him. Fleming took the mound at the start of the fourth inning. Post 6 could hit the ball and were quick around the bases. Weatherguard had bases loaded in the third inning but could not capitalize. The Pride only had five hits on the night. Herman, Fleming and Higgins all had singles and Alitz and Terry had the doubles for the night. The Pride lost 15-1 in five. They are back in action on Saturday at 2:30 and 5:00 mountain time.

   
   
   
 Varsity Baseball Cheyenne Tournament
 Friday, July 16
  2:30 Laramie v Rocky Mountain                                                    0-10 Rocky Moutain
   5:00 Post 6 v Laramie                                                11-1 Post 6
    7:30 Post 6 v Omaha Roncalli                                    15-1 Post 6
 Saturday, July 17
   2:30    Omaha Roncalli v Laramie                               4- 3 Roncalli
    5:00   Rocky Mountain v Omaha Roncalli                    15-5 Rocky Mountain
   7:30   Post 6 v Rocky Mountain                                    5-7 Rocky Mountain
 Sunday, July 18
 

Powers Field                                                    Pioneer Park

9:00 #1 Seed v #4 Seed                                9:00 #2 Seed v #3 Seed
Rocky Mountain vs. Laramie                                                     Roncalli vs Post 6  12-1  Post 6
 12:00 Winner Powers v Winner Pioneer
 

Pride loses a double header to Lincoln Southwest

 

Weatherguard had a good start against Southwest with Terry getting a hit to start the game. Alitz had a sacrifice hit moving Terry then Herman also has a sacrifice fly scoring the first run of the game.     The Pride led 1-0 up to the fourth inning.  Southwest scored three runs in the fourth with hitting some duck snorts to move the runners. They also scored two runs in the fifth and sixth. The Pride scored a run in the sixth inning with Altiz starting with a walk, Herman with a hit, Aken had a sacrifice bunt and then Hansen got on with an error to score a run. In the seventh Fleming, Alitz and Herman all got hits to load the bases. Then Aken gets a hit to score two runs. Unfortunately the Pride couldn’t keep the rally going and lost 4-7. Bandars did an outstanding on the mound and then Fleming closed for the team.  Terry did an awesome job in the outfield all day long.  He had several catches in center field.

 
   
   
   

The Pride had a rough second game against Southwest.   Weatherguard started the first three innings with hits. Herman made a sweet play behind second to end the first inning. In the third inning, Lonergan  and Terry started with hits. Aken gets walked and then Hansen hits a double and scores three runs. The Pride was down 3-9 at the bottom of the three.   During the fifth Herman gets a double and then Hansen hits a double to score Herman. Weatherguard lost 4-13. Frie was the starting pitcher for the Pride and did a good job, considering he had to throw everything in the middle of the plate in order to get a called strike. The officials were brutal behind  the plate and in the field. The field official made several questionable calls during this game. Once again Fleming came in a closed for Weatherguard.

   
   
 
 
               Fan of the Day!
 Weatherguard falls to the Junior Jays
  Weatherguard Systems once again struggled at the plate with only four hits on the night. Prep was dominating at the plate with 12 hits in four innings. Terry pitched three innings for the Pride and then Bandars closed with pitching the fourth. The Pride had the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth innings but only scored three runs total. Fleming led the team at the plate going 1 for 1 but also got on with an error. Alitz, Herman and Hansen had the other hits on the night. The Pride is back in action with their last home game of the season at 5:30 tonight against Northwest.  
   
   
   
 Seniors Final Home Game
   

Weatherguard had scored two runs in the first inning against Omaha Northwest on Friday. Terry walked in the first inning, Alitz got a double, Aken had a sacrifice fly with a RBI, and Hansen had single to led 2-1. The Pride had a rough defensive inning during the fourth where Northwest scored five runs. Aken started the bottom of the inning with a hit, Hansen got on with an error, and Higgins walked.  With the bases loaded Fleming steps up to the plate and hits a double to score two. The Pride is down 6-4 after three.   The Huskies score another run in the fourth and Herman starts the bottom of the inning with a hit. Hansen then gets a double to score Herman. The fifth inning the defense was outstanding with not allowing any runs or hits. Bandars started with a hit, Fleming walked, and Goodrich moved the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Terry got walked; Alitz had a sacrifice fly scoring a run. Then Herman hits a solid double to score two runs. Aken and Hansen both get hits. The Pride leads 9-7. Aken was the starting pitcher for the game and gets the win. Herman came in the sixth and closed for the Pride. Herman earned the save.

   
   
   
 Weatherguard struggles at the Plate.
 

The Pride had a rough game against a good hitting Westside team. Weatherguard was down 2-0 going into the second inning and Higgins starts the inning with a double. Bandars and Fleming walk and then Terry gets a double and scores two runs. The score is tied 2-2. Westside answers back and scores two more runs in the second, five runs in the third and six in the fourth. Aken had some great stops at third and Herman made two sweet plays at short. Terry had a great catch against the fence in center. Frie was the starting pitcher and the Alitz came in relief for the Pride.  Herman hit a bomb in the 5th inning for his second homerun of the season. Weatherguard lost 15-3. They will back in action on Thursday against Prep at 5:30.


 
 
 
 
     
     
 Weatherguard Defeats Omaha North
 
 

Weatherguard plays a great defensive game against Omaha North.   North scored one run in the first inning and was unable to score another run the rest of the game. The Pride was unable to score until the third inning with Alitz, Herman and Aken all getting hits and then Hansen has a sacrifice hit to score Alitz. The score then was tied 1-1 until the fifth inning when Alitz starts the inning with a great hit in the gap, Herman walks, Aken lays down an awesome bunt.   Hansen gets on with a fielder’s choice but Altiz is unable to score. Then Higgins gets a walk scoring a run and Bandars puts the ball in play and scores another run. Weatherguard leds 3-1 the rest of the game. The Pride turned two double plays during the game. One starting with Fleming to Alitz then to Terry. Aken turns the second double play with a throw to Herman and then to Terry. Aken was the starting pitcher for the Pride. He had one strike out, one hit by pitch and allowed one run. Herman closed for Weatherguard in the seventh and had one strike out and one hit. Weatherguard wins 3-1.

Highlights of the Game:

Alitz had the hot bat going 3 for 4 and Aken was 3 for 3.   Hansen, Higgins and Bandars all three had a RBI for the night.

 
   
   
   
 Fans of the Day:
 
   
 Weatherguard wins back to back games!
 

The Pride played a great game against Elkhorn on Wednesday night. Terry leads off with a walk and then steals seconds. Alitz comes to the plate and gets a homerun. Herman gets on with a hit and then Aken has a perfect hit and run hit past the second baseman. Hansen gets a hit scoring Herman. Weatherguard leads 3-0 at the end of the first innings.   Elkhorn scores their only run of the game in the second inning. The Pride scored two runs in the third to lead Elkhorn 5-1. Terry was on the mound for Weatherguard. He had eight strike outs, one walk, and one hit by pitch. He gave up three hits with only one run. He had a great pitching outing against Elkhorn. Aken went 2 for 3 at the plate. Herman, Hansen and Fleming all had singles for the night. The Pride beats Elkhorn 5-1.

 
   
   
   

Weatherguard was back in action on Thursday night against Norfolk for a nine inning game. The Pride started off strong scoring two runs in the first inning and four in the second. Weaterguard was leading 6-0 up to the fourth inning when Norfolk scored five and the pride scored 3. So they were leading 8-5 going to the fifth. Norfolk scored three and the Pride couldn’t answer back so the score was tied 8-8. Norfolk scored four in the seventh and one in the eighth innings. Weatherguard was down 15 -11 going into the eighth inning. Herman turns a double play to end the top of the ninth not allowing Norfolk to score with runners on first and second base.   Terry steps up to the plate in the top of the ninth and gets a hit down third base line and Alitz does the same. Herman gets hit by the pitch. The bases are now loaded. Aken gets a base hit and scores a run. The Hansen hits a double to deep right field and scores two. The winning run is standing on third and Higgins steps up to the plate and gets a double to score two and win the game for the pride. Weatherguard wins 16-15.  

 (con't below)

 

 

   
   
   
 
Highlights of the Norfolk Game:
 Frie was the starting pitcher for the Pride throwing 3 and half inning. He had three strike outs, three walks, five hits and seven runs.  Alitz took the mound in the fourth. He had one strike out, three walks, and six runs. Fleming started pitching in the seventh and finished the game for the Pride. He had his first varsity one with four strike outs, one walk, three hits and two runs.  
 

Hansen led the Pride in hits on the night going 5 for 6. Terry went 3 for 5, Alitz 2 for 4 and Aken 3 for 6. Herman led the team in RBI with six. Weatheguard is back in action on Friday at 6:00 against North at RCHS.

 
 Weatherguard was a host site for the Westside/Decker Tournament
   

Weatherguard had a rough game against Ponderosa High School on Friday. The Pride had four hits, one homerun, one sacrifice hit, two walks and two runs. Unfortunately, the Pride had seven errors on defense. The highlight of the game was Coleman Lonergan got his first varsity home run. Terry was the starting pitcher for Weatherguard. Lonergan and Fleming closed for Weatherguard. The Pride lost 9-2.

   
   
 

The Pride played a second game on Friday against USA Select #2. USA started with four runs with five hits. Weatherguard had bases loaded with two outs in the first inning and couldn’t capitalize to score any runs. Goodrich had a great catch in center field and then threw a runner out at first who didn’t tag up for a double play to end the inning with USA only scoring one. The Pride scored one run in the second inning with Higgins getting walked, Lonergan getting a hit and then Terry having a sacrifice hit for the only RBI of the game. Once again in the third inning the Pride had runners in scoring position and were unable to bring the runners across home plate. In the sixth inning Aken had a sweet double turned by Altiz to Terry to stop USA #2 rally. Frie was on the mound for the Pride. The Pride lost 8-1.

 
   
   

The last game of the tournament for Weatherguard was a very controversial  game against Edmond North.   The Pride started off with two hits, a bunt, one walk, and a fielder’s choice to score three runs in the first inning. Edmond was unable to score until the third inning when they scored a run. The score was tied up in the fourth inning. Then the Pride scored two runs in the fifth and Edmonds scored none even though they claimed they did! Terry started the inning off with a walk, Alitz had a sacrifice bunt and then Herman had homerun to put the Pride ahead 5-3. In the sixth inning Edmond scored six runs to lead at the top of the inning. Then Fleming gets a hit, Bandars gets on with an error, Goodrich walks and then Terry gets a hit for a RBI. Hansen has a hit up the middle to score two. Aken gets hit by the pitch and Lonergan walks. The score is now tied 9-9. In the seventh Edmond scores two runs and then the Bandars starts with double, Goodrich gets hit by the pitch, Alitz gets a hit, then Herman clears the bases with a double scoring three.  In desperation for a win Edmonds added an extra run for them in the fifth inning which was not noted until the bottom of the seventh when we had runners on base. So the score was tied 12-12 according to Edmonds. We had the winning run on third, Aken hits the ball to the first baseman who bobbles it, Aken and Pitcher have a race to first. The official makes a controversial call and now we are going into the eighth inning. Herman turned a sweet double play to stop Edmond for scoring anymore runs. The correct score of the game was 12-11 us. Herman was the starting pitcher and Alitz was the closer.

   
   
   
 Weatherguard falls to Colorado Slammers
 

Weatherguard Systems probably played against their toughest competition all year. The Colorado Slammers are stacked with some great hitters but the Pride competed with them. They scored two runs in the first inning and Weatherguard started off with Terry getting a double, Herman having an outstanding bunt which scored Terry due to an error by the first baseman. Then Hansen had sacrifice hit scoring Herman. The score is tied 2-2 until the third inning. Herman had two great plays at short during the second inning. The top of our order can back up in the third and Terry gets on with walk, Herman on with an error and Hansen gets on with an error scoring Terry. The score is now tied 3-3.    Unfortunately, the slammers bats came alive during the top of the fourth. Aken was on the mound for the Pride and did a great job against a tough hitting team. Weatherguard loses 4-14. They are back in action on Friday at 1:00 and 3:30.

 
   
 Weatherguard defeats Logansport
   Weatherguard played a great game against Logansport, ID. During the first inning Higgins cleared the bases to score three runs with a double. Logansport had three hits during this inning and scored their only run of the game. Terry and Herman both got doubles in the second. Then Hansen gets a double in the third. Fleming gets a hit and then Feldhaus gets his first Home run. The Pride was leading 8-1. They only need one more run to the end the game but were unable to capitalize. They had the bases loaded in the 4th and runners in scoring position in the 5th and 6th. Aken was on the mound for Weatherguard. He had eight strikeouts and one walk. He stuck all three batters out in the third and ended each inning with a strikeout. Fleming was the closer and got his first save. The Pride wins 8-1.
   
   
   
   
 Weatherguard Falls to Papillion LaVista
   

The Pride started off with scoring four runs in the top of the 1st inning. Aken hit a single and scored two runs. Weatherguard scored one run in the second and Papio scored five for the tie. Weatherguard went ahead in the third inning with Hansen, Higgins and Bandars each hitting singles. Fleming had a sacrifice hit scoring a run. Then Feldhaus had a sweet bunt. Papio scored two and the score was 8-7 the Pride leading. Neither team scored runs in the fourth but Papio’s bats came alive in the 5th and 6th innings. Weatherguard was unable to score anymore and lost 8-16. Starting pitcher for the Pride was Feldhaus, followed by Alitz and Lonergan closing. Weatherguard is back in action on Friday at 8:30 & 11:00 am for the Cornhusker Classic Tournament at RCHS. Come out and support the Pride.

   
   
   
 Cornhusker Classic Tournament June 18-21
Pool C @RCHS
 
Friday, June 18 (Note the Change of Times due to Rain Delay)
 
Results
 10:30 am Roncalli vs. Stillwater
 4-5 Stillwater
 1:00 am Roncalli vs. Casper
 9-1 Roncalli
 3:30 pm Logansport vs. Millard Sox
 1-7 Millard Sox
 
Saturday, June19
 
 8:30 am Roncalli vs. Logansport
 8-1 Roncalli
 11:00 am Casper vs. Logansport
 2-10 Logansport
 1:30 pm Casper vs. Millard Sox
 11-4 Casper
 4:00 pm Stillwater vs. Millard Sox
 10-2 Stillwater
 
Sunday, June 20
 
 8:30 am  Stillwater vs. Casper  
 Canceled
 11:00 am Stillwater vs. Logansport 
 Canceled
 1:30 pm Roncalli vs. Millard Sox 
 Canceled
 
Monday, June 21   
 
 Semi-Finals 8:30 & 11:00 am-Site TBA
Championship 1:30pm - Site TBA
 Canceled
 Click here to see the entire tournament schedule

Weatherguard is One and One to start the Cornhusker Classic

 
   

Weatherguard started off strong against Stillwater, OK. Alex Terry was on the mound and struck out the first two batters. Terry had five strike outs and two walks for the day. The score was tied 0-0 going into the third inning and Terry gets a solo homerun for the first score of the game. Hansen starts the next inning off with a solo homerun then Bandars gets walked, Fleming gets a hit and Feldhaus and Terry both walk. The Pride is now leading 3-0. Stillwater Pioneers answer back and score three runs in the bottom of five. Weatherguard leaves runners stranded so the score is now tied 3-3. Stillwater has a runner at first, the batter hits the ball between first and second, Hansen steps up and makes a sweet throw from right field on rope to Aken at third to get the runner out in the sixth inning. Feldhaus walks and then Terry gets a double to score the fourth run of the game. The Pioneers score two runs in the seventh and the Pride is not able to answer back and lost 5-4. Herman closed the game for the Pride.

   
   

Weatherguards bats can alive in the first inning against Casper, WY. Feldhaus started off with a double, followed by Terry’s single which scored Feldhaus. Herman had a sacrifice hit to move Terry to second. Alitz and Aken hit a single and then Higgins was hit by a pitch for the second time on the day. The Pride led 2-0 at the end of the first inning. Casper doesn’t score until the third inning. The Pride is still leading 2-1. Then at the bottom of the fourth inning, Higgins walks, Lonergan gets his first hit of the day, followed by Feldhaus and Terry walking. Herman gets hit by the pitch and Altiz gets his second hit of the game and scores two runners. The Pride is leading 6-1 going into the sixth inning. Hansen walks, Higgins has an awesome sacrifice bunt followed by Lonergan getting another hit. Feldhaus walks and then Terry gets a single to score two runs and Weather guard wins 9-1. Frie was on the mound for the Pride and pitched a great game. Weatherguard will play against Logansport at 8:30 am on Saturday. 

   
   
 Weatherguard Systems Plays a Double Header at Home
 

Weatherguard started there double header off with Bellevue West on Wednesday, June 9. Frie was the starting pitcher for the Pride. Bellevue West scored three runs in the first inning. The Pride came out strong with the bats in the first inning. Feldhaus walked, Terry had a hit followed by Herman’s sacrifice bunt. Hansen had a fielder choice and scored a run. Aken & Higgins both get hits and each scores a run. The score is now tied 3-3 until the fifth inning. Bellevue West scored three more runs in the fifth due to some errors by the defense. Weatherguard tried to answer back with Terry getting a double followed by Herman’s single and RBI. Bellevue West once again has the bases loaded with one out in the top of the sixth and Herman to Alitz to Terry for a sweet double play to get the pride out of the inning with only one run. Bellevue West scored more runs in the seventh and the pride was unable to score. Banders came in the fourth inning to finish on the mound for the pride. Weatherguard falls to Bellevue West 10-4.

 
   
   
 


The next opponent on the day was Columbus. Terry took the mound for Weatherguard systems and pitched a complete game. The game was scoreless for the first three innings. The Pride’s defense was solid against Columbus. Higgins had a sweet diving catch in the first inning and Aken to Alitz to Houser for an awesome double play in the third. Houser got on base in the third inning with an error and then Feldhaus gets a hit but the Pride was unable to bring the runners in. The top of the fourth Columbus scored two runs and the Pride competed with them. Aken gets a double with two outs and then Hansen does the same to score Aken for the only run of the game. Terry shuts Columbus out the rest of the game with striking out all three batters in the top of the seventh. However, the Pride falls to Columbus 2-1. The Pride is back in action on Thursday at 5:30 against Bellevue East at RCHS. Come out and support the Pride.


 
 
   
 Pride Players in the News
 Congratulations to the following Roncalli Players
 
Michael Herman
All Nebraska-Honorable Mention

All Conference RCC-Honorable Mention

 
 Alex Terry
All Nebraska-Honorable Mention
All Conference RCC-Honorable Mention
 
 
Tyler Alitz
All Conference RCC-Honorable Mention 
Sophomore All Star Team
 
 
Jake Aken
All Conference RCC-Honorable Mention
 Weatherguard Defeats A.L. 7-1
 

Weatherguard Systems plays a great game against Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln on Sunday, June 13. Jake Aken was on the mound for the Pride and threw a three hitter. Weatherguards bats came alive in the second inning. Aken lead off the inning with a single and then Hansen followed with a single. Higgins and Bandars both walked and then T.J. hits a bomb to right field to score a run. Terry gets a double to score two and then Herman gets a hit to score two. The Pride batted through the entire order. After the second inning Weatherguard leads 6-0.    The Pride then scores a run in the third with T.J. getting walked, followed by Herman’s sacrifice hit. Altiz steps up to the plate a gets a double to score a run. A.L. scores one run in the third. The Pride now leads 7-1. Herman played an outstanding defensive game. He was involved in three double plays in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings of the game. Alitz also had a great game and was involved in two of the double plays. The game was scoreless the rest of the game and the Pride wins 7-1. They will be back action on Tuesday, June 15 at 7:30 at Skutt.

 
   
 
 
   Check out T.J.'s new hairdo!
 The Pride struggles with Ralston's bats
   

Weatherguard played against Ralston on Friday, June 4 at RCHS. Ralston started the first inning with two runs and two hits. The Pride scored two runs in the bottom of the second with Bandars starting off the inning with a hit, Coleman laid down a beautiful bunt, then Fleming had a sacrifice bunt to move the runners in scoring position. Feldhaus and Terry both get a hit with a RBI. Ralston had a homerun so the Weatherguard is down 2-3 at the bottom of the inning. Ralston scored two more runs in the third and Coleman threw a runner out a second to lift up the Pride. Weatherguard scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth however, Ralston also scored so the score was 4-7. The Pride lost some momentum with a bad call by the official at home. During the sixth the Pride was able to score three runs with Fleming getting a double, Feldhaus with a single, Terry walked, Herman hit a double getting a RBI and then Hansen gets on with an error to score two. The Pride was unable to score in the seventh so they fall to Ralston 7-11. Aken was the starting pitcher followed by Bandars and then Terry closed the game for the Pride. The Pride is back in action on Wednesday at Noon and 3:00 at RCHS.

   
   
 Weatherguard Systems Battles against Deebs Realty
 

Weatherguard Systems competed with Deebs Realty(Millard North) on Wednesday night. Sam Frei was on the mound for the Pride and pitched six innings. Weatherguards defense was solid all night.   Herman and Altiz turned a double play in the first and second innings to stop Deebs from scoring. The first inning was scoreless. At the top of the second inning Altiz gets on with an error, Hansen gets a hit and then Aken scores the run with a bunt. The Pride stays ahead 1-0 through the sixth inning. Deebs loads the bases in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings but the Prides defense was solid.  Alitz had some great defense stops at second. In the sixth inning Alitz has an ESPN play behind second and has a quick release for the third out of the inning. The Pride gets runners on in the fourth and fifth innings but can’t  score. Deebs once again loads the bases in the seventh and scores two runs for the win. Weatherguard played an awesome defensive game and almost pulled off the win. The Pride will be back in action on Friday at Roncalli at 5:30.

 
 
 Weatherguard Wins the Bellevue Tournament
 

Weatherguard Systems played an outstanding game against Associated Fire (Papio South). In the first inning Feldhaus gets on with a walk, Herman has a sacrifice hit and Alitz gets on with an error to score Feldhaus. Fleming gets a hit in the second and now the Pride leads 2-0. In the bottom of the third, Alex starts the team off with a double, Alitz walks, and then Hansen and Aken each get a hit. Weatherguard scores two more runs. Papio South scores a run in the fourth but the pride answers back. Terry walks and then Herman steps up to the plate to knock one out of the stadium. The Pride now leads 6-1. During the sixth Papio South scores five runs and one in the seventh. The score is now tied and the Pride just can’t get a run across the plate. Papio gets a runner on second during the eighth inning and Higgins throws him out as he tries to steal third. In the bottom of the inning Feldhaus walks, then Terry gets a sacrifice bunt, Herman gets on with an error putting Feldhause in scoring position. Papio chooses to walk Alitz and then Hansen gets three balls in a row, then two strikes. Hansen finally walks and Feldhaus scores to win the game. Terry started on the mound for Weatherguard systems and only gave up four hits. Herman took the mound in the sixth inning and only gave up four hits. The Pride played outstanding defense throughout the game. Alitz had a double play in the fourth, Bandars made an awesome catch behind first base in the fifth. All the outfields did a great job. Weathergaurd won the Bellevue Tournament by beating Papio South 7-6. 

 
   
   
 Bellevue Tournament
 

On Friday night Weatherguard played against Benson. Feldhuas was on the mound for the pride and pitched awesome. The pride took the lead in the first inning with Terry and Herman getting walked and then Alitz stepped to the plate with a triple. In the second inning Benson scored three. The game was scoreless the rest of the game. Alitz had another hit in the third and then Hanson had a double in the sixth and Bandars a single in the seventh. Weatherguard lost 3-2.

 
   
   

On Saturday afternoon Weatherguard faced Bellevue East. Bellevue East’s hitting was hot in the first inning. Aken was on the mound for the pride and a great outing. Alitz and Herman turned a sweet double play to end that inning. Weatherguard couldn’t answer back and were losing 4-0. Alitz started the second inning with a Homerun. During the third, Weatherguards bats became alive. The pride had runners at 1st and 2nd   and Alitz hits his second homerun of the game to score three. Then Bandars gets a sacrifice hit for another RBI. The pride is now leading 5-4.   Weatherguard scores more in the fourth with Fleming, Alitz, Hanson and Aken getting hits. Now Weatherguard is leading 8-4. Then in the fifth inning Weatherguard goes through the batting order, while the bases were loaded Alitz gets a triple. The pride wins 15-5.

   
   
 

Weatherguard competed against Northwest Saturday evening. Sam took the mound for Weather guard and did a great job. Herman and Alitz gets walked in the first inning. Hanson gets on with an error and scores a run. Then Aken gets a hit scoring two. The Pride is winning 3-2. Northwest scored two runs in the second inning and Weatherguard didn’t answer back until the fourth inning. They lead 6-4 at the end of the fourth. Herman took the mound in the sixth inning to close the game. The score was 6-5 and Hanson makes a great catch in left field to end the game with Weatherguard getting the win.


 
   
   Weatherguard will be playing in the championship game at 7:00 on Sunday night.
 Fans of the Day during the Tournament
   
   
 Weatherguard loses to Millard South
   

Wednesday night was a tough night for Weatherguard. The game is scoreless going into the bottom of the 4th and Millard South starts hitting the ball and our pitchers walked too many batters. Millard South scored 11 runs. The Pride couldn’t answer back and Millard South scored four more runs in the 5th and Weatherguard scored only one. Weatherguard lost 15-1.

 Weatherguard falls to Burke
 

Tuesday night was Weatherguard System opening Legion game against Burke. Unfortunately they lose 3-2. Michael Herman was on the mound.  The game was scoreless going to the 4th and then Herman gets a single followed by a double from Alitz. Aken gets a single with an RBI. Burke answers back and the score is 2-1 with the pride leading. In the 5th inning Bandars and Terry get base hits but are unable to score. Burke starts hitting the ball in the 6th and scores two runs. Weatherguard was unable to answer back and loses the game.

 
 Pride Ends their Spring Season Early
 

The spring season ended on Friday night with the Pride falling to Platte Valley. Platte Valley started off hot with scoring three runs in the second inning and one in the fourth and fifth innings. Roncalli couldn’t get their bats going with only having five hits on the night. Michael Herman was on the mound for his first start of the spring season and did a good job.  Roncalli looks forward to the League Season as they move forward. The Parents would like to thank the coaches for their hard work and dedication to the baseball program. The Legion Season starts on May 20 with the JV at the Bellevue East Tournament and the varsity will start on May 25 against Burke.

 

Seniors Final Home Game for their High School Season

 

Before the first pitch was thrown on Tuesday night, Seniors Michael Herman, Jake Higgins and Alex Terry were recognized for their dedication to the program. Michael Herman will be playing at Wayne State next year and Alex Terry at the University of Chicago. Good Luck to the seniors on their continued success.

 

The Pride had a great start with scoring three runs in the first inning and not allowing any. They were unable to capitalize in the second inning with the bases loaded but came back in the third and scored six runs. Herman and Fleming both record doubles for that inning and Feldhaus gets an in the park home run with two throwing innings. T.J. was on the mound for the pride and they won 9-3. The pride starts district on Friday at 4:30 pm at the Gretna High School Field. 
 
   
 

Fan of the Day:  
 JV loses to Papillion
 

Roncalli JV loses to Papillion Monarchs JV in the Ralston Tournament 15-0 in five innings Monday night. Mark Vogel and Jake Anderson had the only two hits for Roncalli.


 
   
   JV Fans of the Day
 Pride Loses to Beatrice
 

The Pride started off the 1st inning with scoring no runs and Beatrice scoring three. Then the Orangemen scored three more runs in the second inning. Roncalli finally scored a run in the third with Herman getting the RBI. Herman and Alitz also turned a sweet double play to end the ending with Beatrice not scoring. Roncalli scored three runs in the 5th inning with Feldhaus, Terry, Herman and Tyler all getting walks and then Higgins gets a base hit. The Pride scores two more runs in the 6th to tie the score and then Beatrice scores to take the lead 7-6. The Pride was unable to score in the 7th and loses. The defense played much better this game but Beatrice just seemed to hit in the holes. Roncalli is back in action today at 4:30 against Benson at RCHS.

 
   
The Pride's Bats Come Alive
   

Roncalli bats came alive today but the defense was flat most of the game. They started the first inning with one run and Herman and Alitz turned a double play to end the first inning. Then Dane Hansen hits a bomb over the fence to start the second inning. The pride is leading 4-2 at the end of the inning. Terry started the 3rd inning with a base hit and Herman gets on with a walk. Alitz gets a RBI and Aken gets on with an error and an RBI. Then Hansen hits another home run that was high in the trees, still not sure if the ball as landed. The pride leads 6-5 going into the 4th and Gross scores three runs and then two in the 5th and 6th innings. The Pride scored two in the 7th and lost 12-8. The Pride is back in action on Monday at Beatrice with a 6:30pm start.

   
   
 
 Fan of the Day:
Alex
 The Pride falls to Columbus
   

The pride had a long trip home last night after their lost against Columbus. The Pride struggled at the plate and gave up a lot hits. The pride was losing 8-0 going into the top of the 6th when both Herman and Alitz get a double.  Then Aken and Hansen both get base hits and an RBI. Unfortunately, the pride wasn’t able to score another run and lost 8-2. Aken pitched the first four innings and gave up ten hits then Alitz finished the game for the pride. T.J. and Coleman both had a busy night in the outfield and made some amazing catches. The Pride will be back in action again on Saturday at Noon against Gross Catholic High School.

   
 
 Fan of the Day:
Coach Shep
 Pride loses a close one to Pius
   

The Pride leads Lincoln Pius at the end of the 3rd inning 3-2. Pius scored four runs in the fourth to lead the Pride 6-3. In the sixth inning Aken gets a hit and then Hansen has a great sacrifice bunt and Higgins gets hit by a pitch, then Houser has a great bunt and scores Aken. Going into the bottom of the 6th Pius had runners on and Fleming makes an ESPN catch in corner of left field for the third out. In the seventh Alex Terry gets a hit with two outs and then Alitz gets a double for the RBI. The pride can’t get another runner across the plate and loses 5-6.  Terry did a great job on the mound but the Pride’s defense weren’t as sharp.

   
 Fan of the Day:
Julie Houser
 
 Roncalli loses to Yutan
 

The pride had a rough night playing in the pouring rain. Roncalli started off the first inning with four hits and three runs. Yutan scored two in the first inning. Jake Higgins hits a Home Run in the second inning. The Pride lead 4-2 until Yutan scored four runs in the third inning. Roncalli was not able to answer back and lost 5-6 in six innings.

 
 
 Fan of the Day:
Nate Rump & Tommy
 

The Pride is Victorious over Fremont Bergan in 8 Innings

   

The Pride has another great first inning. T.J Feldhaus starts the inning off with a hit and Mike Herman gets a double to score T.J. Tyler Alitz gets on with a fielder’s choice and Aken has a great bunt scoring Alitz. The defense played great behind Jake Aken on the mound. During the 1st inning Mike Herman a gets a ball that is in the hole between short and third holding the runner to a single. Roncalli leads 2-0 going into the 3rd inning. Roncallis defense was solid with Herman and Alitz making several put outs. Feldhaus, Hansen and Terry all had great catches in the outfield.  Bergan gets a run in the fourth inning and then two runs in the 7th. The score is tied 3-3 with Bergan having a runner on second and one out. Our clutch closer Mike Herman comes to the plate, on his second pitch the batter hits a fly ball to center, T.J. makes the catch and throws the ball immediately to second for a double play, Bergans runner didn’t tag up before going to third. Roncalli is now going in the top of the 8th inning.   Dane Hansen starts with a base hit, then Houser as an awesome sacrifice bunt. Goetz comes in to run for the injured Hansen, Adam Fleming hits a fly ball to right field and the player drops the ball and Goetz’s scores.    Bergan can’t answer back in the bottom of the 8th inning and Roncalli wins 4-3

   
 Fan of the Day:
Tom Kupfer
 
 

Roncalli defeats DC West 10-7

 

Roncalli had a great first inning against DC West. T.J. Feldhaus and Alex Terry both start off with base hits and then Michael Herman hits a double to score two runs. Tyler Alitz gets a base hit and scores Herman. The Pride leads DC West 3-0. T.J. Feldhaus was on the mound for the pride, his first pitching performance since his injury. D.C. West scores a run in the second. The Pride answers back in the 3rd with Alitz and Aken both getting hits. House has a sacrifice hit and scores Alitz. Dane Hansen gets a double and scores Aken. D.C. West scores four runs in the 4th and the score is tied. Roncalli scores three in the 5th with Alitz getting a base hit, Aken has a sacrifice bunt and then House has a base hit with an RBI. Jake Higgins and Nick Buss get hit by the pitch and T.J. gets a base hit to score a run. D.C West scores two and Roncalli is leading 8-7. Roncalli scores two more runs in the 6th inning and DC West can’t answer back. T. J Feldhaus gets his first win of the season and Michael Herman gets another save. The team played solid defense.

 
   

Roncalli Loses to Ralston

The Pride struggles with Ralston and leaves several runners stranded.   Alex Terry and Greg Houser were on the mound for the pride.   Seniors Alex Terry and Mike Herman had a sweet double play in the bottom of the 4th inning. Then T.J. Feldhaus had an ESPN catch in centerfield during the 5th inning. The pride was only able to get four hits on the night so they lost 10-4.

The Pride defeats Mt. Michael

  Roncalli wins a close one against Mt. Michael. Aken did a great job on the mound with allowing only five hits and two runs. Dane Hansen had a great day in right field with some clutch catches. Going into the 7th Mt. Michael is leading 2-0 and then Bander gets on and Herman follows with a base hit. Feldhaus and Terry walk and Banders and Herman score. Then there were two outs and Alitz gets a base hit up the middle to score the winning run. Roncalli beats Mt. Michael 3-2.
   
 
 Fan of the Day:
A.J. and Tyler

Roncalli Competes with Skutt

 

The Pride had a great game against Skutt on Friday night. Alex Terry had a great day on the mound. Going into the 6th Inning Skutt is leading 2-0. Terry gets a double, Herman and Tyler get on base. Terry scores on a bulk which advances the runners. Hansen has a great sacrifice bunt and scores Herman. Now the score is tied 2-2. Aken has a sacrifice hit and scores Alitz for the go ahead run. Skutt answers back and scores four runs in the top of the 7th. Unfortunately Roncalli made some errors in the field and then couldn’t answer back with the bats. Roncalli loses a close game to Skutt 3-6.

 
   
 Fan of the Day:
Paige & Abby
 
 

Roncalli Falls to Bellevue East

   

The Pride had a rough night against Bellevue East. Bellevue East had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the first, Alitz makes a sweet catch and then flips the ball to Herman for a double play to end the inning. Herman and Alitz are involved in another double play in the fourth inning. Herman makes an outstanding stop and throws the ball to Alitz at second and then he throws on a rope to Bandars for the double play. Alex Terry at a great night at the plate with two home runs. Alitz and Herman both had a double.  Unfortunately, the Pride lost 17-5.

   
 
 
 Fan of the Day:
John Flemming

The Roncalli Bats Came Alive Against Arlington

   

The pride had an outstanding night at the plate with 18 hits. Tyler Alitz had two doubles and a home run. Dane Hansen hits a home run. Seniors Alex Terry and Mike Herman both had a double and singles on the night. Everyone on the time at least one hit. Herman turned a sweet double play in the third inning to stop Arlington from scoring with bases loaded.   T.J. Feldhaus had some great catches in center field. The pride used four pitchers during the course of the game, Terry, Aken, Sterns, and Fleming. The pride played as team and beat Arlington 23-1.

   
   
 
 Fan of the Day:
Regina

Roncalli Wins over Wahoo

  The pride played solid defense against the Wahoo Warriors. Jake Aken gets his first win of the season and Mike Herman gets the save. Tyler Alitz had an outstanding game with several put outs at second base and a double in the sixth inning to scores Coleman Lonergan for the winning RBI of the game. Heath Bandars and Greg Houser had some great stretches at first. Roncalli played as team and beats Wahoo 2-1. (Sorry for no pictures but it was too cold and rainy for this photographer to leave from under the blankets.)
 Fan of the Day:  Everyone that sat out in the Wind and Rain and watched the Pride defeat the Warriors.

The Pride defeats South Sioux City 2-1

   

The Pride earns its first win of the season defeating South Sioux. Alex Terry had an impressive pitching performance with six strikes out in the 4th and 5th innings. Terry helped himself out by getting a hit in the bottom of the second. He scores to put the pride ahead 1-0. South Sioux answers back with a run in the third. The score is tied up until the 6th inning. Tyler Alitz gets a base hit and gets the go ahead run. The Cardinals had runners in scoring position and Jake Aken saves the pride by fielding a hard hit ball in the hole between third and short for the third out of the 5th inning. In the 7th inning Greg Houser and Mike Herman turn an awesome double play to end the game. All the players did a great job and the pride wins 2-1. 

   
 
 Fan of the day:
Randy

 Roncalli Competes against Elkhorn
 

Roncalli plays a competitive game against Elkhorn Antlers. T.J. Feldhaus gets on with a walk the first inning and then steals two bases. Mike Herman gets a base hit and scoring T.J. for the only RBI of the game. The pride had six hits on the night but stranded eight runners through the course of the game. Alex Terry was on the mound and had eight strike outs. Herman closed the last two innings with three strike outs and no runs.   The score was tied 1- 1 going into the fifth inning and the Antlers bats came alive. They scored three runs and Roncalli couldn’t bounce back in the last two innings, so they lost 4-1.

 
    Alex Terry on the mound against Elkhorn.
 
 Mike Herman closing for the pride.
 
  Tyler Alitz catching a fly ball at second.
 
            Jake Aken throwing to second for a put out.
 
   Adam Fleming setting up to catch a ball in left field.
 
 Fans of the Day:
Stephen and Dr. Woods
 Roncalli Falls to Millard North
 
         Jake Goetz on the mound.

The pride was very competitive with Millard North after the first inning. The pride gave up 11 runs in the first inning and only 3 the rest of the game. Roncalli was more competitive at the plate during the third and fifth innings. Roncalli scored two runs during each of those innings.  The pride had the bases loaded during the fifth inning but could only score two runs. Jake Aken had two hits and two RBI’s for the pride. Aken and Tyler Alitz had another sweet double play in the third inning. T.J Feldhaus had a double and then Herman and Coleman had key hits in the fifth to load the base. Sophomore Jake Goetz pitched after the first inning and only gave up two runs. Houser closed for pride.The pride lost 14-4.

 
  Tyler Altiz fielding a ball at second for a put out.
 
 Adam Fleming scoring in the bottom of five.
 
 Fans of Day:
Sara and Karli

Roncalli struggles against the Bears

 

A young Roncalli team struggles against the Blair Bears. Sophomore Heath Bandars pitched four innings with four strike outs. Roncalli bats came alive in the third inning with Greg Houser starting with a single to right field, followed by Jake Goetz and T.J. Feldhaus. The pride scored their only two runs of the game that inning. Freshman Adam Fleming was on the mound for the fifth inning. Roncalli gave up 13 hits and only had 4 hits during the entire game. The pride lost 12-2 in five innings.

 

 
               Heath Bandars on the mound.
 
Senior Mike Herman encouraging Bandars on the mound.
 
                                     Jake Goetz in right field.
 Fan of the Day:
Grant
 

Roncalli falls to Lincoln Southwest

 
Elliot Sterns pitching against Lincoln Southwest.

Roncalli bats didn’t come alive during their double header against Lincoln Southwest on Saturday, March 27. Alex Terry started the first game and gave up three runs. Junior Elliot Sterns and Sophomore Greg Houser finished the game on the mound. During the first game Roncalli scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth.  Jake Higgins had a big hit during the sixth inning and then T.J. Feldhaus brings him in with a base hit. However, Roncalli stranded too many runners to win the game.

Greg Houser starts the second game followed by Jake Aken and Tyler Altiz. Altiz had a double in third scoring their only run for the game. Aken and Altiz had a sweet double play during the second inning which seemed to uplift the team. Once again the pride stranded several runners during the game and lost 6-1.


 
                     Greg Houser on the mound.
 
        Jake Aken  pitching to  Lincoln Southwest.
 
   Mike Herman throwing a runner out.
 
                   Mike Herman diving for a ball.
 
                       Jake Higgins at bat.
 
 Fans of the Day:
Casey, Natalie, and Katlyn

Roncalli Takes Bellevue West  to  Eight Innings

Roncalli had another nail biter taking Bellevue West eight innings. Brennan Nowak pitched a solid five innings with nine strike outs and only allowing three runs.   Sophomores Tyler Alitz and Heath Banders both had doubles at crucial times of the game. Roncalli left several runs stranded throughout the game which gave Bellevue West the opportunity to tie in the 7th.   Roncalli couldn’t get their bats going during the 8th and Bellevue went ahead to win 5-4. 

  Nowak pitching against Bellevue West.
 
                      Tyler Altiz hitting his double.
 
Jake Higgins waiting for the ball to tag the runner out.
 Fans of the Day:
Beth, Steve, Kevin & Kim Feldhaus
 
 Michael Herman Signs with Wayne State
 
Congratulations Area 3 Champs WeatherGuard Systems Pride 2009

WeatherGuard Wins Area 3 Tournament Defeating Blair 14-3

WeatherGuard defeats Bennington Advances to Championship Game

WeatherGuard defeats Blair in 2nd Round at Districts

WeatherGuard loses to Cheyenne in Championship Game

WeatherGuard Pride loses first game of Cheyenne Tournament

WeatherGuard Pride Beats Gretna on Senior Night

2009 Area B-3 Districts
EMERSON HAS DROPPED OUT, HERE IS THE REVISED BRACKET
 
#1- Blair
#2- Bennington
#3- Gordon
#4- Weatherguard Systems
#5- Arlington


All games played at Bennington Legion Field
 
July 22:
Game 1 - Weatherguard Systems Pride 17 Arlington 2 
Game 2 - Bennington 12 Gordon 2
 
July 23:
Game 3  - Gordon 11 Arlington 1(Arlington eliminated)
Game 4  - Weatherguard Systems Pride 8 vs. Blair 3
 
 
July 24:
Game 5 at 5:00 - Blair 10  vs. Gordon 0 (Gordon eliminated)
Game 6 at 8:00 - Bennington 8 vs. Weatherguard Systems Pride 14
 
July 25:
Game 7 at 7:00 - Blair 8 Bennington 5 (Bennington eliminated)
 
July 26:
Game 8 at 5:00 - Weatherguard Systems Pride 14 vs Blair 3

CHAMPION: WEATHERGUARD SYSTEMS PRIDE
                  
                       
                        
  

Last Home Game of the Season

Monday, July 13th Marks the Last home game for 7 WeatherGuard Pride Seniors

Let's have a big crowd to thank them for their 4 years of service to the program 

Mike Mazur

Matt Giannone

 

Colin Higgins

Drew Matthews

Luke Coenen

Dylan Badura

Nate Rump

WeatherGuard Pride Wins Opening Game of CWS Tournament

WeatherGuard Pride Beats Rapid City in Extra Innings

WeatherGuard loses in Extra Innings to Primetime Patriots

Pride loses a close one to KB Builders

The WG Pride lost a close one to KB Builders (Class A Champ Westside) Saturday night.  Junior Alex Terry pitched a great game going the distance, allowing 9 hits and striking out 3.  The WG Pride gave up 4 runs in the first inning and held them scoreless until the 6th inning.  WG Pride chipped away at the lead and tied it in the 6th inning only to have KB Builders score a run in the bottom half of the 6th to take the lead.  The WG Pride outhit KB builders but didn't come up with enough timely hits to upset the State Champs. 

Team highlights:
Herman, 3 hits, 1 double, 1 RBI
Terry:  2 hits, 1 double, 1 RBI
Alitz:  2 hits
Coenen:  1 double
Higgins:  1 single, 1 RBI
Giannone:  1 single, 1 RBI
Rump:  1 single
 

Junior Mike Herman at Short      

Junior Alex Terry on the mound

Senior Drew Mathews at First

Senior Nate Rump at the Plate

Fan of the Game:  Birthday girl Julie Coenen.  So how does it feel to be 21

The WG Pride fell to Home Federal in the 3rd game of the Westside Tournament.  The bats fell silent as only Mike Mazur managed to hit a double.  Junior Mike Herman was on the mound allowed only 8 hits while striking out 3 and walking none.  But the defense of the WG Pride also had 5 errors in the game to lose to Home Federal 4-0.

Junior Mike Herman on the Mound against GI HF

Junior Jake Higgins at 2nd

Freshman Brennan Nowak at 1st

Senior Brendon Solis at the Plate

First Base Coach Mike Nowak

The WG Pride rebounded in the 4th game of the Westside tournament to come from behind and beat Anderson Ford 8-7.  Senior Mike Mazur was on the mound going 6 2/3 innings allowing 7 runs on 8 hits and striking out 3 on 99 pitches.  Senior Nate Rump came in for the last out and got the save.  The WG Pride fell behind 5-0 after the 4th.  In the top of the 5th the WG pride scored 7 runs on 5 hits with 6 of the runs coming on two outs.  The WG Pride added a insurance  run in the top of the 7th and needed it. As Anderson Ford fought back but left runners stranded on the corners.  The game had several nice defensive plays including a 5-4-3 double play in the fifth and Badura's sliding catch in the 7th.  The WG Pride played solid defense as Alitz, Coenen and Herman each had 4 assists and each of the outfielders had at least one put out.  Team highlights:

Giannone 2 hits, 1-2b and 2 RBIs
Alitz:  2 hits, I RBI
Badura 1 hits, 2 RBI
Feldhaus 1 hit, 2 RBI
Mazur, 1hit,  2b
Solis:  1 Hit, 1 RBI

Senior Mike Mazur on the mound against Anderson Ford

Senior Luke Coenen at 3rd

Sophmore TJ Feldhaus at the Plate

Freshman Tyler Alitz avoiding a pitch

Fans of the game:  Gary and Kathy Mazur watching their son Mike pitching

Congratulations to the following team members:

Alex Terry: 
Class B All Nebraska Outfield,
Rvier City Conference first team 
Mike Herman: 
Class B All Nebraska honorable mention,
River City Conference first team
Dylan Badura: 
Class B All Nebraska honorable mention
River City Conference honorable mention

Junior Alex Terry

Junior Mike Herman

Senior Dylan Badura

Raider Pride wins opening game of Westside Tournament

WG Pride opened the legion season with a decisive victory over Class B's runner up Union Bank (Pius).  The WG Pride was led by Senior Dylan Badura who Pitched 6 complete innings giving up 6 hits, stiking out 2 and forcing 14 ground ball outs, allowing only one earned run.  The WG Pride had 5 hitters with multiple hit games.  The WG Pride scored 3 runs in the 1st and 3rd and 1 in the 4th to open a 7-0 lead and cruised to a 10-2 victory in 6 innings, due to the 8 run rule in legion ball. 

Team highlights:
Drew Mathews:  3 singles, 1 RBI, 1 run
Matt Giannone:  2 singles, 4 RBIs
Collin Higgins:  2 doubles, 1 run
Mike Herman:  2 singles, 2 RBIs, 2 runs
Dylan Badura:  2 singles, 1 RBI
Nate Rump:  1 single, 2 RBIs
Alex Terry:   1 single, 3 runs, 1 stolen base      
 

 


Senior Matt Giannone catching

 

Head coach for the Westside tournament Matt Shepherd gets his first victory

 


Senior Collin Higgins hitting a double

 


Senior Dylan Badura pitching

 


Fan of the Game:  Birthday Boy Frank Giannone

Collin-Orcutt All-Star Game

Congragulations to Seniors Dylan Badura and Mike Mazur for being selected and playing in the Collin-Orcutt All-Star Game on Monday May 25th. 

Seniors Badura and Mazur giving the High Ten at Introductions

Senior Dylan Badura Pitching                                                                                

Senior Mike Mazur Throwing to First

Scenes from the Pius Game

Freshman Tyler Alitz awaiting the call                  

Senior Nate Rump Pitching         

Sophmore T J Feldhaus pitching

Freshman Brennan Nowak Pitching

Senior Mike Mazur Tagging the Pius runner out

Senior Mike Mazur Protesting the Safe Call

It was a great day for baseball at Haymarket Park in Lincoln on Monday.  The 2nd round game between the Pride and Gross turned out to be a Pitcher's dual.  Senior Dylan Badura throw a nice game, allowing only 6 hits, 1 base on balls, 1 hit by pitch and 3 strikeouts on 73 pitches.  But on Offense, the Pride couldn't manage a hit all game and lost to Gross 2-1.  Gross scored a run in the first and a run in the 3rd to complete the scoring.  The Pride did manage to get a few base runners could not advance them, as they hit into two double plays in the final two innings.  The Pride must now regroup and head back to Lincoln for a game with Pius at 4 pm on Tuesday. 

 

Senior Dylan Badura pitching

Senior Matt Giannone in Left

Senior Mike Mazur at 3rd

Junior Mike Herman at shortstop

watching from above the dug out, our fan of the day, Monte Mathews

Pride wins first game at State

The Pride wins their first round game at State behind a strong pitching performance from Junior Alex Terry.  Terry allowed only 6 hits and struck out 7 in 7 innings on 103 pitches.  The game started with both teams getting a runner on base and failing to advance them   The game stayed scoreless untill the 4th inning win Skutt manage to get a run across the plate.  Skutt threatened again in the 5th inning and they had bases loaded with 2 outs.  The Skutt batter sent a shot to left field and it looked like it was going to score some runs but Senior Matt Giannone made an outstanding catch for the 3rd out.  In the top of the 6th, Senior Collin Higgins hit a shot to right center for a double and advanced to 3rd on a throwing error.  With the next batter up, the Skutt Pitcher throw a wild pitch allowing Higgins to score and tie the game.  Skutt failed to score in their half of the inning, so the game was tied after 6.  In the 7th, Senior Giannone hit a lead off double to put himself in scoring position.  Senior Luke Coenen then stepped up to the plate and hit a shot down the left field line to score Giannone and end up on 2nd himself.  The Pride added to the lead and finished their half of the inning 3-1.  In the bottom of the 7th, Terry struke out the first two batters and then got the fourth batter of the inning to ground out, sealing the victory for the Pride.  The Pride now plays Gross at 1pm on Monday, May 18th at Haymarket Park In Lincoln.  Hope to see you there.

Team Highlights:
Higgins:  2b
Giannone:  2b  Game saving Catch
Coenen:  2b game winning RBI
Mathews: 1b
Terry: 1b
Jake Higgins:  run scored  

 

Giannone after "The Catch"

Senior Collin Higgins scoring tieing run

 
Before the start of the game

Junior Alex Terry pitching

 
Watching from the dugout

Pride loses first round game at Districts

The Pride lost a hard fought battle with South Sioux City in the B-2 districts at Nebraska City.  In the frist inning, South Sioux City got on the board first with a unearned run to put them ahead 1-0.  The Pride failed to answer at the bottom of the 1st, so the score after one remained 1-0.  The Pride battled back and answered in the 2nd to even the score at 1-1.  Neither team scored in the 3rd and in the top of the fourth South Sioux City got on the board again with a 2 run homerun.  In the fourth inning, Senior Dylan Badura got hit in the head with a ball that bounced off the mound.  That caused a delay in the game as the coach came and make sure everything was ok.  Badura finished the inning, but was then relieved by Junior Alex Terry who held South Sioux City scoreless the remainder of the game.  The Pride had chances as the had runners in scoring position in the 6th inning and Senior Luke Coenen's long shot to left, drifted foul.  In the bottom of the 7th the Pride battle back scoring one but ending up leaving the bases loaded and losing 3-2.  On the day the Pride left runners in scoring position in 6 of the 7 innings.  The Pride now must wait for the outcome of the District Championships to see if their season will continue at State.   

Senior Dylan Badura running to 1st

Coach Kupfer arguing a call with Freshman Brennan Nowak looking on

Conference on the mound Between Senior Luke Coenen and Junior Alex Terry

Team highlights:

Coenen:  2b
Herman:  1b
Terry:  1b
Alitz:  1b
Mathews:  1b
Giannone:  1b
Mazur:  1b

Watching from the Dugout

Pride is Headed to State

2009 Class B State Tournament

 
Class B State Tournament  (begins Saturday, May 16 at Den Hartog Field, Lincoln)

 

10:00am Game 1:  #1 Elkhorn (20-9) 43.5862 vs. #8 Gretna (12-9) 40.8571

 

1:00pm Game 2:  #4 Nebraska City (18-7) 42.4000 vs. #5 Lincoln Pius X (14-11) 42.0400

 

4:00pm Game 3:  #3 Beatrice (16-6) 42.4545 vs. #6 Omaha Gross Catholic (13-13) 41.3846

 

7:00pm Game 4:  #2 Omaha Skutt Catholic (15-10) 42.6000 vs. #7 Omaha Roncalli Catholic (11-9) 41.2000

 

Class B Wild Card Teams:  Beatrice, Omaha Gross Catholic, Omaha Roncalli Catholic and Gretna
 

 

 
Congratulations Seniors and Good Luck at State

Pride Beats Gross

Pride played Gross on Saturday May 2 with Junior Alex Terry on the mound.  Gross scored 3 runs right away off Terry in the top half of the inning only to have lead-off hitter Senior Collin Higgins send a solo short past the right field fence to cut the lead to two after one.  Terry then found his groove and kept the Gross batters scoreless for the next 5 innings.  The Pride kept battling at the plate and added a run in the third, two in the 4th and one in the 5th to take a 5-3 lead after 6.  In the 7th inning, Gross got their lead off man on board with a single and that signaled a pitching change.  Coach Kupfer brought in Senior Dylan Badura to relieve Terry.  The First pitch was a line drive straight at the pitcher and he quickly turned around and threw it to 1st for a double play.   Badura then struck out the next batter to earn his first save of the year as the Pride wins 5-3.  For the game, Alex terry went 6 innings, striking out 2, allowing only 3 earned runs, and 11 hits.  One other highlight from the game was a diving catch by Senior Brendan Solis to end a Gross threat in the 4th. 

Team highlights:
Mathews:  2 hits
Herman:  double, RBI
Giannone:  1 hit, RBI
Coenen:  1 hit
Mazur: 1 hit and robbed of two other hard hit balls
Alitz:  2 RBI's

Junior Alex Terry in conference with Coach Kupfer and Catcher Luke Coenen                     

Senior Drew Mathews heading into home

      

Senior Collin Higgins gettin congrats after his First homerun of the year
 
 
 
 

 

Solis's diving catch

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Pride loses in extra innings

It was Senior Day at Roncalli High School as the Pride took the field in what was the last spring game for the Seniors.  Junior Mike Herman was on the mound and Beatrice jumped out to a early 2-0 lead off a well hit ball to center that was just beyond Senior Collin Higgins reach.  Beatrice held their lead and added one in the 3rd.  The Pride answered in the bottom of the inning with a run of their own to finish the 3rd, down 3-1.  Beatrice added a run in the top of the 4th, which brought about a pitching change and Senior Dylan Badura came in releif.  Neither team scored in the 5th and in the bottom of the 6th inning the Pride cut the lead to 1, scoring 2 runs.  Beatrice couldn't manage a run in the top of the 7th and the Pride came through with a run to tie the game after 7.  In the 8th inning, Beatrice managed to get 2 runs across and it was up to the Pride to answer.  Freshman Tyler Alitz hit his first homerun of the year to cut the lead to 1, but that is all the Pride could manage as they lost the game 6-5.  The Pride was hurt by 4 errors and a lack of hitting. 

Team Highlights:
Herman:  2 hits
Alitz:  2 hits, HR
Higgins, 1 hit

Junior Mike Herman Pitching

Freshman Tyler Alitz geting congrats after his First Homerun of the year

Senior Luke Coenen Catching

Senior Dylan Badura Pitching
 

Fan of the Day:                      Senior Kegan Kasey

Pride Splits Double Header with SSC

 

It was a great day for a ballgame with the temperature around 70 in South Sioux City.  Junior Alex Terry took the mound and gave a nice pitching performance.  The first inning was soreless, and the 2nd inning started off strong as the Pride put up back to back hits to score 1 run and it looked like they were on the verge of scoring more as they loaded the bases with one out.  But the rally didn't last as the Pride failed to score any further runs.  It seemed like that was the trend for the game as the Pride didn't take advantage of that scoring opportunity and South Sioux City made them pay.  They cam back with 2 in the 3rd and 4th and 1 in the 6th.  The Pride only managed one more run in the 5th inning to close the score out 5-2 in favor of South Sioux City.  South Sioux City got the timely hitting that we failed to get and that was the story of the ball game

Team highlights
Nowak 2 hits 1-2b
Badura 2 hits 1-2b, RBI, Run
Gianone 2 hit
Coenen 1 hit, RBI
Terry 1 hit

Once again the coaches took some time to talk with the Players between games and once again it seem to have a good effect on the Pride.  Once again, I don't know what was said but the Pride came out ready to play.  The Pride opened up with 3 runs in the first inning and continued to add to the lead.  South Sioux City closed the gap in the bottom of the 2nd with 2 runs to close the gap to 1.  But after that it was all the Pride.  The Pride took advantage of 6 South Sioux City errors and had 11 hits in the game and one error.  The scored 3 runs in the 3rd and 5th inning and 4 in the 6th to win the game going away 13-3.  Senior Dylan Badura got the win and Junior Mike Herman got the save.   The Pride's next game will be on Monday April 20th when the Pride Travels to Bellevue East.

Team Highlights 
Herman  3 hits, 3 RBI's
C Higgins 2 hits 3 RBI's
Giannone  2 hits 1 2b
Nowak 2 hits
Solis 1 hit, 1 2b, 1 RBI
Mathews 1 hit

Nowak / Pride Defeat Torrington, WY

June 13, 2008 Roncalli High School Baseball Field in Omaha, NE
 
Mike Nowak was incredible. The Nebraska Kearney recruit dominated for Weatherguard Systems striking out 16 Torrington, Wyoming batters along the way. Nowak struck out at least 2 batters in every inning. He collected 3 strike outs in the 3rd and 6th. And as if the strikeouts weren't enough, Nowak hit a homerun in the bottom of the third inning.
 
Normally a pitching performance like Nowak's translates into an easy win. Not today. Torrington had a great pitcher too. Austin Wisroth is a Wayne State College pitching recruit. Based on his performance against the Pride, coach Manginaro got a good one.
 
Wisroth matched Nowak's dominance during much of the game. The Wyoming hurler struck out 11 and only issued 1 walk. He held the Pride to 1 run through the first 5 innings while protecting a slight Torrington lead.
 
The game started on a strange note. Torrington's lead off batter, Alan Hill, was awarded first base on a catcher's interference call. He scored a few batters later when Wisroth laced a single into the outfield.
 
That run was the only score until the top of the 3rd inning. Torrington's Brock Murphy jacked one into the parking lot on a Nowak fastball. With the homer, Torrington's lead briefly stood a 2-0. That changed in the bottom of the same inning. Nowak found a little revenge at that point with a homerun of his own.
 
The score stood at 2-1 Torrington until the bottom of the 6th inning. Colin Higgins started the threat with a lead off double. Wisroth and Murphy then demonstrated good teamwork with a perfectly executed pick-off play to erase the Pride's baserunner. Weatherguard didn't give up at that point. Dylan Badura remained patient at the plate drawing Wisroth's only walk of the game. A few batters later, Danny Kulus came through with a big RBI single tying the ballgame.
 
Torrington failed to score in the top of the 7th giving Weatherguard an opportunity to win it with a single score in the bottom half of the inning. Colin Higgins came to the plate with Joe Bircher standing at second base. Higgins promptly laced a ball into center field. Bircher scored easily to end the game. Higgins was the day's hottest hitter. In a pair of games against quality pitching, Higgins came up with 6 hits on 8 batting attempts.
 
With the win, Weatherguard brings its 2008 record to 9-4. Both teams are in action again tomorrow. Torrington plays Omaha Northwest (12pm at Roncalli Field) and follows that game with a 4pm contest in Ralston. Weatherguard plays a single game tomorrow against Gillette, Wyoming (2:30pm at Roncalli Field).
 
 
 

Pride holds on for a 5-4 win over Ralston

It was finally a nice warm sunny day for a ballgame, when the Pride hosted Ralston.  Senior Dylan Badura was on the mound and pitched a great game going 5 2/3 innings striking out 4 and allowing only 1 earned run on 108 pitches.  The game was scoreless after one and then the Pride scored 5 runs in the bottom of the second.  In the top half of the 3rd Ralston scored their first run followed up by one in the 5th and 2 in the 6th.  In the 6th inning Ralston had loaded the bases with two outs and were threatening, when Junior Mike Herman came in a got an out to end the threat.  In the top of the Seventh, a Ralston runner forgot to report in which was called to the umpires attention by Coach Kupfer and he got credited with the first out.  After that Mike herman got the final two outs and the save the win for Badura.  The Pride won the game surviving 5 errors on the day and only one inning where they scored any runs. 

Pride highlights:
Nowak:  1 hit
Giannone: 1 hit, 2b, 2 rbis
Mazur: 1 hit 2 rbis
Badura: 1 hit

Weatherguard Rallies to Defeat Front Range

June 13, 2008 Roncalli High School Baseball Field in Omaha, NE
 
It was a hard fought contest eventually won by the home team Weatherguard Systems Pride. Alex Terry picked up his third win of the summer against no losses.
 
It wasn't easy. Front Range hit the ball well and applied steady pressure to the Pride's defense. Terry pitched 6 competitive innings facing 34 Colorado batters before giving way to the bullpen. The junior to be worked through several difficult situations. He left numerous Colorado baserunners in scoring position by coming up with big pitches when he needed them most.
 
Front Range Colorado's legion baseball team deserves a lot of credit. They are a well-coached club that never stopped hustling. For the first half of the ballgame against Weatherguard Systems, Front Range looked mighty tough to beat.
 
Colorado struck first in top of the openning inning. Travis Harrison got things started for Front Range with a lead off double. He scored 2 batters later when Adam Hilker hit a fly ball to deep right field. The Pride's right fielder slipped and fell on his way to the ball. The result was a RBI triple. Hilker scored later in the inning on a Chris Tibbitts single.
 
Front Range's starting pitcher was Denny Leister. He was especially sharp early in the contest holding the Pride to a pair of hits and no runs through 4 innings. Leister moved the ball around and changed speeds well. He also fielded the position proficiently making several nice defensive plays from the mound.
 
The game changed in the 5th inning. Already leading 2-0, Front Range grew more aggressive at the plate. The first 4 batters of the inning hit the ball hard. Hilker led off with a deeply hit ball to center field. Colin Higgins made a nice play on the ball for Weatherguard and recorded an out with a running catch on the warning track. Jordan Sanchez and Tibbitts then recorded back to back hits. Sanchez scored on Charlie Festi's sacrifice fly to left field.
 
Weatherguard answered in the bottom of the 5th inning. Danny Kulus started the rally with a lead off double. Joe Bircher followed with an infield single. Colin Higgins then picked up the 2nd of his 3 hits. Luke Coenen came up big a few batters later with a 2 RBI single which tied the score after 5 innings played.
 
Front Range regained the lead in the top of the 6th inning. Catcher Brian White reached base via a lead off single. White eventually scored when Hilker picked up his second hit of the contest.
 
Trailing once again, Weatherguard batted strong in the bottom half of the 6th inning. A lead off walk was followed by a Front Range error on a sacrifice bunt. Kulus, Bircher, and Higgins each pounded the ball on successive batting attempts. The Pride plated 4 runs in the frame and assumed a 3 run lead.
 
Front Range scored a run in the 7th inning, but it wasn't enough. Weatherguard won the contest 7-5. With the win, the Pride's summer record improved to 8-4.
 

Pride loses a close one to Bellevue East 3-2

  

It was a cold and windy night Monday April 24th when the Pride traveled to Bellevue East.  Junior Alex Terry was on the mound pitch a great game, striking out 5 and allowing only 7 hits.  The pride committed some costly mistakes on baserunning that cost them the one run game.  The game was scoreless for the first 3 innings but then Bellevue East scored two runs in the Bottom of the forth.  The Pride fought back and tied the game up at 2 in the top half of the fifth, only to have Bellevue East score one in the bottom half to take the lead for good.  The pride had their chances in the 6th, only to have a costly baserunning error get Bellevue East out of the inning.  The Pride loaded the bases again in the 7th and failed to capitalize.  At the end of 7, the Pride lost a close one 3-2.

Team Highlights:
Pride Turned two terrific double plays
Terry: 2 hits and a RBI
Herman: 2 hits
Higgins:  1 hit, 1 run
Coenen:  1 hit
Mazur:  1 hit, 1 run

NW Merchants Hang On to Down Torrington

June 14, 2008 Roncalli High School Baseball Field, Omaha, NE

 

The Omaha Northwest Merchants scored early and held on to down a tough Torrington, Wyoming team Saturday afternoon at Roncalli field. Northwest plated 5 runs in the top of the opening inning. Those scores proved to be enough as the Merchants ultimately won 6-4.

 
Kyle Heuertz pitched a great game for the Merchants. The right hander went all 7 innings striking out 10 and walking none in the process. Heuertz managed the game like a pro facing a total of 28 Torrington batsmen.

 

Beau Youtz got the pitching start for Torrington. The Doane commit pitched well after a rough first inning. Youtz lasted the entire game, and appeared stronger during the middle and late innings. He mixed his pitches and retired 5 Northwest batters on strikes.

 

 

The first inning was the difference. Andy Sampson led off for Northwest reaching base when hit by a pitch. The next batter was Drew Yost, and the result was a very unusual play. Yost picked out a fast ball and hit it on the button. The ball sailed to deep right field. Sampson scored easily from first base, and Yost cruised into third with what appeared to be a RBI triple. He was awarded an extra base when it was determined that the ball had left the playing surface in right field. There was no indication of the problem until Yost was approaching third base. By rule, runners are awarded an extra base when the ball leaves the field. Consequently, Yost picked up an unusual homerun.

 
Already trailing by 2 runs, things got worse for Torrington. The next Northwest batter was Kyle Kinman who reached base via a fielding error. Kinman scored 2 batters later when catcher Greg Grell laced a double to the fence. Northwest wasn't done. Cole Winans collected a base on balls. Both Grell and Winans would eventually score in the inning on a combination of wild pitches, passed balls, and a single by Rob Engdahl. Grell had a standout day for the Merchants scoring twice and going 3 for 4 at the plate.


Torrington was down 5 runs, but they weren't about to quit. The boys from Wyoming opened the bottom of the 1st inning with back to back doubles by Alan Hill and Brock Murphy. Hill scored via Murphy's double, and Murphy scored on a ground ball by Austin Wisroth.
 

 

Wisroth was incredible in the losing effort. The Wayne State recruit hit a pair of homeruns later in the game.

 
The second of Wisroth's homers occured in the 6th inning and involved another unusual twist for Torrington. The inning started when Youtz reached base courtesy of a Northwest fielding error. Torrington needed a run, so getting the baserunner to second base was a priority. Two pitches later, Youtz got a good jump and appeared to steal second base. He was called out due to batter's interference.
 

 

Torrington’s coaches complained about the call, but the game resumed following a brief delay. Wisroth jacked the next pitch well over the fence, so the batter’s interference call was a costly one. Wisroth’s shot represented the final scoring of the game.


 
 
 
 
Click Here to View More Photos from the Day's Action at Roncalli...

Mazur throws a No-Hitter to beat Fremont

It was a third consecutive day of nice weather, when the Pride took the field to play Fremont.  On the mound, Senior Mike Mazur was pitching and he put on a fine pitching performance striking out 4, to earn the Pride's first no-hitter of the year.  The Pride held Fremont scoreless in the top half of the inning and scored one in the bottom half on the inning.  Fremont scored their only run of the game in the 2nd inning when a fielding error allowed the runner to get on base and the runner eventually scored the unearned run.  After that the Pride scored 2 runs in the 2nd, 6 in the 3rd, 1 in the 4th.  The finished the scoring by added the 10th run in the 5th inning to beat fremont by the mercy rule.  The Pride hitting was lead by Brendan Solis who had 3 hits and 3 RBIs. Next up for the Pride, the host Ralston in the first round of the River City Conference Tournament.

Pride Highlights:
Solis 3 hits, 1 3b, 3 RBIs, 2 runs
Herman:  1 hit, 2b
Higgins:  3 runs
Giannone:  2 hits, 1 RBI

On a cold damp April morning, the Pride lost a pitching duel with Beatrice.  The Pride jumped on top of Beatrice in the first inning of the River City Conference Semi-final game and held that lead until the 5th inning.  In the top half of the inning it looked like the Pride was going to add to it's lead as Mike Herman hit a shot in the game to right center, it look like he would have a stand up triple when the coach waved him home and he was thrown out at the plate.  In the bottom half of the inning, Beatrice managed to score a run and tied up the game.  The top half of the 6th, saw Alex Terry get on base only to be thrown out trying to steal second.  That ended the Prides offensive chances as Beatrice managed to put up another run in the bottom of the 6th.  In the top of the seven, the Pride managed to get a base runner on first, only to fail to advance him and lose the game 2-1.  Senior Dylan Badura pitched more than adequate strking out 4, allowing 5 hits and 1 earned run.  Junior Mike Herman relieved Badura for an 1 2/3 to finish the game. 

Team Highlights:
Herman:  3 hits, 3b, RBI
Terry:  1 hit, I SB
Higgins:  1 hit, I run
Badura:  1 Hit

Team before the game

Senior Dylan Badura on the Mound

Senior Mike Mazur on 2nd

Pool Standings at Roncalli
TEAM
W's
L's
Omaha, NE Weatherguard Systems
 0
3
Colorado Slammers (Black)
5
 0
Topeka, KS Giants
3
 2
Lubbock, TX
2
2
Collierville, TN
3
2
Grand Rapids, MN
 0
4
 
 
2009 Districts 

The 2009 District brackets have been set.  The Pride has obtained the #2 seed in District B-2 hosted in Nebraska City. 
 
 
#1 Nebraska City
#2 RCHS/B-T RAIDER PRIDE
#3 South Sioux City
#4 Waverly
#5 Yutan
 
All games will be played at Clemmy Holmes Field in Nebraska City, starting on May 8th.  The Pride is not in action until Saturday, May 9th at 3:00pm against S.S.C.  Nebraska City, the 1 seed, will face the winner of #4 Waverly vs. #5 Yutan on Saturday, 5/9 at noon.
 
There are 4 District winners, representing 4 automatic bids into the state tournament.  The next 4 highest wild card point teams will qualify as the 4 "wild card" teams.  The Pride currently stands in the 7th position in wild card points.
 
May 8
6:00pm- #4 Waverly vs. #5 Yutan
 
May 9
12:00pm- #1 Nebraska City vs. Winner of Waverly/Yutan
3:00pm- #2 Roncalli/B-T vs. #3 South Sioux City
 
May 11
6:00pm- Winners of May 9 Game
 
Here is a look at the 4 Class B district brackets:

Schedule / Results Page - Roncalli Pool

Wednesday, June 18th at 12:00pm;  Colorado Slammers (Black) vs Omaha Weatherguard
Slammers (Black) 8
Weatherguard 0
Wednesday, June 18th at 2:30pm;  Topeka, KS Giants vs Lubbock, TX
Lubbock 4
Topeka 2 
Wednesday, June 18th at 5:00pm;  Collierville, TN vs Grand Rapids, MN
Collierville 2
Grand Rapids 1
Thursday, June 19th at 9:30am;  Lubbock, TX vs Grand Rapids, MN
Lubbock 15
Grand Rapids 0
Thursday, June 19th at 12:00pm;  Colorado Slammers (Black) vs Grand Rapids, MN
Slammers (Black) 9
Grand Rapids 3
Thursday, June 19th at 2:30pm;  Colorado Slammers (Black) vs Collierville, TN
Slammers (Black) 4
Collierville 2
Thursday, June 19th at 5:00pm;  Topeka, KS Giants vs Omaha Weatherguard
Topeka 11
Weatherguard 5
Friday, June 20th at 1:00pm;  Topeka, KS Giants vs Grand Rapids, MN
Topeka 8
Grand Rapids 2
Friday, June 20th at 3:30pm;  Topeka, KS Giants vs Collierville, TN
Topeka 10
Collierville 2
Friday, June 20th at 6:00pm;  Lubbock, TX vs Omaha Weatherguard

Game Suspended in 2nd inning

Saturday, June 21st at 8:00am  Lubbock, TX vs Colorado Slammers (Black)
Slammers (Black) 5
Lubbock 4
Saturday, June 21st at 10:30am;  Topeka, KS Giants TX vs Colorado Slammers (Black)
Slammers (Black) 7
Topeka 6
Saturday, June 21st at 1:00pm;  Lubbock, TX vs Collierville, TN

Collierville wins by Forfeit

Saturday, June 21st at 3:30pm;  Collierville, TN vs Omaha Weatherguard
Game Suspended in 5th inning
Collierville led 10-3 after 4 1/2
Saturday, June 21st at 6:00pm;  Grand Rapids, MN vs Omaha Weatherguard

Game Cancelled

Herman Pitches and Hits Pride to Victory

It was the last day before district seedings were set for Class B Baseball.  Lincoln Pius came to town after beating #1 Elkhorn on Friday night 9-0.  Junior Mike Herman was on the mound for the pride and did an outstanding job against Pius X.  The game was scoreless through the first two innings.  At the top of the 3rd, the Pius pitcher hit a solo shot to go up on the pride 1-0.  In the bottom of the 3rd the pride answered back and scored a run of there own to tie the game up at 1.  The game remained tied until the bottom of the 5th when the pride managed to get a couple of baserunners and Junior Mike Herman  drove in Senior Mike Mazur from 2nd to go up 2-1.  The ended up all the pride would need as Herman pitched the last two innings to seal the win.  Herman finished with 5 k's, 0 walks and allowed 9 hits on 95 pitches. 

Team Highlights:
Mazur:  2 hits, scores winning run
Herman:  1 hit
Badura:  1 hit

Freshman Brennan Nowak on First

Senior Luke Coenen Catching

Senior Nate Rump on 3rd

Junior Mike Herman on the mound

Fans of the Day

Slammers (Black) Wins Site Trophy

June 21st, 2008, Roncalli High School in Omaha

 

The game was peppered with five home runs, a triple and six doubles.  It was a battle to the finish in what turned out to be the deciding game for the Roncalli site pool.  And when it was all over, the Topeka Giants found themselves on the short end of a 7 to 6 score.  The Colorado Slammers finished on top.

 

The game started as Adrian Schenk reached on a single. A quick move by Topeka pitcher Jake Bierbrodts caught Schenk off base for the 1-3-5 pick off.  Slammers second baseman Connor Eppard then drew a walk for shortstop Eric Cain who powered one over the fence to score two runs.  Two batters later, Spenser Jackson smacked out a double. But he was caught trying to steal third which ended the threat.

 

Slammers pitcher Kyle Davis promptly retired the side, bringing Colorado back to the plate. Although Topeka pitcher Jake Bierbrodts walked the lead-off batter in the second, he settled in and base runner Erik Mattingly was left on base. 

 

Both pitchers held the opposition scoreless in the second and third innings, backed up with solid defensive play. 

 

In the top of the fourth, Slammers first baseman Spenser Jackson drove one out of the park for a solo homerun.  This was followed by two ground outs to retire the side.

 

It was Topeka’s turn.  Adam Davey led off the inning with a single, and TJ McGreevy pounded out a double. Third baseman Zach Carlson broke the ice for Topeka when his ground-out drove in the first Giants run of the day.  Jon Wilson added to that with an RBI double of his own. Tobi Cowdin capped it off with the third Topeka double of the inning to tie the game.  A fly out and ground out left the game tied after four.

 

Relief pitcher Dalton Sweezey took over for Topeka in the fifth inning.  Following a quick ground out, Colorado third baseman Spenser Smith drew a walk.  Adrian Schenk put down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner.  As it turned out, that wasn’t necessary. Connor Eppard approached the plate and promptly smashed out a two-run homer to regain the lead.  Cain followed with a single, but he was left on when the next batter struck out.

 

Giants’ second baseman Kyle Burkhart started off their half of the inning with yet another double.  Cory Deedrick then drew a walk.  With two on, it appeared Topeka would answer immediately. However a fly out to the shortstop was followed by a nifty double play to end the inning.

  

 Jackson started the sixth for Colorado with a single.  Mattingly followed and reached with a walk. It seemed to set the stage for more Slammers scoring.  But a fly out to shallow right field failed to advance the runners.  Then the Giants executed a clean double play of their own to hold Colorado in check.

 

Topeka’s first batter of the inning found one he liked from Colorado relief pitcher Mike Schweiss. Carlson’s solo home run brought the Giants back to within one run. Wilson then reached on a walk. The tying run was on base. The next two batters grounded out, advancing Wilson to third. Chase Muder also drew a walk, and then stole second. The Giants were knocking at the door.  Schweiss answered with a strike out to end the threat.

 

The seventh inning started with a triple from Slammers third baseman, Spenser Smith, followed strike out. That brought Connor Eppard back to the plate.  He watched one go by and fouled one off before he hit one on the screws to send it far beyond the right field fence.  His second two-run homer of the game put Colorado up by three with only one out.  The next batter flew out to center. Scott Thornburg reached base with a walk. But Jackson grounded out, leaving the runner on first.

 

Leading off in the 7th, Cory Deedrick singled, as did Davey.  Slammers brought in closing pitcher, Manuel Garduno who struck out the next batter. The Giants clean up hitter, Zach Carlson, approached the plate with 2 men on base. He wasn’t ready to go home and promptly hit a 2 RBI double bringing Topeka back to within one run.  Unfortunately for the Giants, Carlson’s double was followed by a pop up to second and a strike out to end the game.

 

Colorado pitcher Kyle Davis gets the win allowing 5 hits and 3 runs.  Congratulations to the Colorado Slammers who won the Roncalli site pool and advanced to the championship bracket play at Westside on Sunday.

 

The Pride opened up the First Round of the River City Conference Tournament with a 10 run victory of Ralston Friday night.  Junior Alex Terry through a complete game, 4 hitter on 51 pitches and no earned runs allowed.  The Pride jumped to a big lead in the 1st inning when the scored 7 runs highlighted by the Pride's first homerun of the season, with a 3 run shot by Senior Dylan Badura.   Ralston followed up with 3 runs in the top half of the second but that was all Ralston could manage to score.  The Pride taked on 5 more runs in the 3rd and 2 in the 4th to end the scoring.  The game ended after 5 innings due to the Mercy rule, with the Pride winning 14-3.  The Prdie had 14 hits with each of the starters have at least one. 

Team Highlights:
Badura:  HR, 3 RBIs
Terry:  2 hits, 2-2b, 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored 
Herman: 2 hits, 2b, 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored
Mazur:  3 hits, 3 runs scored
Mathews:  1 hit, 2 RBIs
Giannone:  1 Hit, 1 run
Solis:  1 Hit, 1 RBI
Coenen:  1 hit, 1 run, 1 RBI
Higgins:  1 hit, 1 RBI, 1 Run

Junior Alex Terry on the Mound

Senior Drew Mathews at First

Senior Colin Higgins leading off at First

Senior Dylan Badura and his Homerun Ball

Fan of the Day

Slammers Beat Hubbers in 8th Inning

June 21st, 2008, Roncalli High School in Omaha

 

It had the feel of a heavyweight title fight. Both teams were confident and loaded with talent. The game lived up to its billing. It looked for a while like neither team would generate any offense. Aaron Cannon was the starting pitcher for Lubbock, and Casey Coy was on the mound for the Colorado Slammers. Both dominated early.

 

Coy was especially dominating against Lubbock. The right-hander from Chatfield High School held the Hubbers scoreless through 5 innings. Coy struck out 10 and allowed 4 hits during 6 solid innings. Lubbock scored 1 run against Coy in the 6th, and they were fortunate to get that one. Coy made his only mistake with 2 away in the inning when he hit Lubbock batter Tyler Johnson on an errant pitch. The next 2 batters hit sky-high pop flies that dropped for hits without leaving the infield. Johnson scored on the second of those hits.

 

Cannon was effective pitching for Lubbock as well holding the Slammers scoreless through 3 innings. Colorado broke through with 1 out in the 4th. Shortstop Eric Cain caught a Cannon fastball on the screws sending it over the fence for a solo homerun. The next batter was Erik Mattingly. He also found a pitch he liked and drove it out of the park giving the Slammers a 2-run lead.

 

Colorado threatened again in the 5th inning. Speedster Vince Rouse had reached third base with 2 outs on the board. Slugger Spenser Jackson was at the plate. Lubbock replaced Cannon at that point in favor of talented lefty Thomas Keeling (an Oklahoma State recruit). The pitching change worked as Keeling recorded a strikeout to end the Colorado threat.
 Keeling pitched the 6th inning without allowing a hit, but ran into trouble in the 7th. He had trouble throwing strikes at that point and was replaced after hitting Connor Eppard and walking Vince Rouse. The new Lubbock pitcher was Matt Willis (another Oklahoma State recruit). The Hubbers issued an intentional walk to load the bases with 1 out. Scott Thornburg hit a ground ball to second base that had the look of a double play. The Hubbers recorded the front half of the play, but an errant throw to first allowed a pair of runs to score.

 

The Slammers held what appeared to be a comfortable 4-1 lead going into the bottom half of the 7th inning. Coy had reached his pitching count limit, so Colorado replaced him with closer Mike Schweis. Lubbock responded by opening the inning with back to back singles by Justin Jones and Kendal Carillo. A fielder’s choice ground ball brought Bradley Madison to bat. His sacrifice fly cut the lead to 4-2. Armando Dominguez promptly tied the score with a monstrous homerun over the scoreboard in left center field.

 

The game would end on controversial plays in the 8th inning.

 

Colorado started the 8th with a hit by Cain who unsuccessfully attempted to stretch his single into a double. The following batter was Mattingly who reached base via a walk. A single by Caggio and a walk to Eppard loaded the bases with 2 outs. Rouse was the batter, and he had already walked 4 times in the ballgame. He worked the count to 3-2, and then swung at a ball in the dirt for a strike out. The pitch got away from catcher Tyler Reagan who hustled after it. His only play was to collect the force out at home. He flipped the ball to the pitcher who appeared to beat the baserunner to the plate. The umpire ruled the pitcher missed the plate, and the run scored.

 

Lubbock threatened to score in the bottom half of the 8th. Nick Hanslick, a Texas Tech recruit, led off reaching base due to a Colorado fielding error. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and took third via a steal. The next batter hit a ground ball to short and Hanslick broke for home. The throw to home arrived 2 full steps ahead of the baserunner. Instead of sliding, Hanslick plowed into the catcher. He was called out and ejected from the game for the play. Lubbock didn’t threaten again, and the game ended with Colorado winning 5-4.

 

Lubbock is a great team. They have 6 big 12 baseball recruits and a bevy of other quality college bound players. Following the loss, the Hubbers elected to leave Omaha and head for home rather than wait around to see if they might back into the pool championship via a tiebreaking situation. We wish them the best of luck and enjoyed watching them play this week.

 

Click here to view the bracket

2008 Class B Area 3 District Tournament
Valley, NE
 
Day 1: Wednesday, July 23rd
Game 1: West Point 10 Hooper/Uehling 1
Game 2: Roncalli 7 vs. Valley 0
Game 3: Blair 5 Arlington 4
Game 4: Bennington 4 Wisner 2
 
Day 2: Thursday, July 24th
Game 5: Waterloo/Valley 11 Hooper/Uehling 1 (HOOPER ELIMINATED)
Game 6: Arlington 1 Wisner 0 (WISNER ELIMINATED)
Game 7: Roncalli 10 West Point 0
Game 8: Blair 8 Bennington 6
 
Day 3: Friday, July 25th
Game 9: Bennington 11 Waterloo/Valley 1 (VALLEY ELIMINATED)
Game 10: Arlington 8 West Point 4 (WEST POINT ELIMINATED)
Game 11: Roncalli 10 vs. Blair 0
 
Day 4: Saturday, July 26th
Game 12: Bennington 7 Arlington 6 (ARLINGTON ELIMINATED)
 
Day 5: Sunday, July 27th
Game 13: Bennington 15 Blair 5 (BLAIR ELIMINATED)
 
Day 6: Monday, July 28th
Game 14: Roncalli 6 Bennington 3
 
RONCALLI ADVANCES TO STATE TOURNAMENT
AREA 3 CHAMPIONS
 
 
 
 
 
 

Gillette Holds Off Late Weatherguard Challenge

June 14, 2008 Roncalli High School Baseball Field, Omaha, NE

 

The Gillette, Wyoming Riders hit the ball hard in their 7-5 victory over the Weatherguard Systems Pride. Gillette built a 7-2 lead after 6 innings hammering out 15 hits on the day. The 5 run lead shrunk to 2 runs during the Pride’s final turn at bat, but the team from Wyoming held on for the win.

 

  The Riders starting pitcher was Mick Peters. He was effective on the mound collecting 3 strikeouts without issuing a walk in the game. Peters pitched out of sticky situations frequently and came up with big pitches time after time. In 5 of the 7 innings, Peters left Weatherguard players stranded in scoring position.

 

Dylan Badura was the starting pitcher for Weatherguard. The junior showed good stuff on the hill striking out 5 Gillette batters in 5 pitched innings. Badura was replaced by Danny Kulus in the 6th inning. Kulus added 3 K’s to the tally.

 

Gillette looked strong at the plate throughout the contest. They scored one run in the first inning on 3 hits, and it could have been more. Riders shortstop, Austin Cowen, reached base on a deeply hit double in the first inning. The next batter was Ryan Hutchison who smoked a line drive single down the right field line. Kulus retrieved the ball and fired it to Joe Bircher who in turn fired a strike to Luke Coenen at home plate. Coenen was perfectly situated to catch and tag Cowen just before he reached home plate.

 

The team from Wyoming added a pair of runs in the second inning. Garrett Jackson led off the second for Gillette with a walk. He advanced to second base on Evan Cunningham’s ground ball and eventually scored via a Dalton Cowen single. Cowen also scored in the inning when Ryan Hutchison collected the second of his game high 4 hits.

 

Down 3-0, the Pride answered with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Coenen led off with a single. He advanced to third base on a pair of ground ball outs. Coenen scored from there on a wild-pitch / dropped third strike play.

 

The Riders added another run in the 4th inning on a pair of hits by Seth Means and Peters. Weatherguard answered that run on a Kulus homerun in the bottom half of the same inning.

 

Gillette was relentless at the plate adding 3 additional runs during the 5th and 6th innings. Those runs were highlighted by Jered Wass’s 5th inning homer. Gillette had built a comfortable 7-2 lead heading into the bottom half of the 7th inning.

 

That’s when Weatherguard appeared to wake up. The inning started when Badura hit a single to center field. His single was followed by a Nowak Single. Brad Metzler was then hit by a pitch loading the bases for one of the Pride’s hottest hitters. Kulus just missed a fast ball hitting a sky-high fly ball that did not leave the infield. It was high enough that Gillette’s shortstop lost it in the sun and failed to make the catch. Kulus was out anyway based on the infield fly rule.

 

Bircher followed Kulus with a ground ball out which scored a run. Coenen was next, and he responded with an RBI single. Colin Higgins followed suit with another RBI single. Weatherguard had battled back to a 2 run deficit with 2 players on base.

 

Michael Herman was next up. Everyone in the ballpark expected something special. It almost happened. Herman turned on the first pitch and sent it well beyond the left field fence. The ball was about 15 feet foul. Undeterred, he hit a ball even harder 2 pitches later. It was a shot to the deepest part of the ballpark. Gillette’s centerfielder played it perfectly making a game ending catch on the warning track in left-center.

 

Those in attendance got their money’s worth. Both teams are in action again on Sunday. Weatherguard plays at 10:00am against Rapid City Post 22 at Roncalli high school. Gillette also plays at 10:00am in Ralston against the NW Omaha Merchants.

 

 

 

 

Pride beats DC West 15-4

Two days in a row, we had great weather as the Pride traveled to DC West.  The Pride pitching duties were split between Freshman Brandon Nowak and Senior Nate Rump both pitching good innings to get the Pride the win.  The Pride jumped out early as the scored 4 runs in the first only to have DC West score 2 in the bottom half of the inning.  The pride then scored 6 in the top of the second.  DC west added 2 runs to finish their scoring in the bottom of the 3rd.  The Pride was held scoreless for the 3rd through the 5th inning but rallied late.  The scored 3 in the 6th and 2 in the seventh to win the game going away 15-4.  The pride had 13 hits and 2 errors.  Senior Nate Rump got the win.

Pride highlights:
Hits:
Terry:  3 hits, 1 double, 4 runs
Mathews:  2 hits, 3 runs 2 rbis
Giannone 2 hits, 1 double, 2 runs
Badura:  1 hit, double
Herman:  3 hits
Rump:  1 hit

Topeka Giants Come Up Big Against Collierville

June 20th, 2008, Roncalli High School in Omaha
 
Stormy weather must be just the ticket for Topeka.  Or maybe it’s the freshly grilled burgers, dogs, and brats at Roncalli Catholic High School field. Whatever it is, it was working today as the Topeka Giants dominated Collierville in Game 9 of the Decker-Westside CWS tournament.

 

Lead-off batter Erik Schoenrock drew a walk to start the game.  He advanced to second on right-fielder Brendan Clarke’s single, then took third on a wild pitch. Shortstop Jeff Wargo hit into a double play but also drove in a run.  Although Hunter Britcliffe and Jim Sherman each reached base on a Topeka fielding error, both runners were left on base as the top of the first inning ended.

 

Collierville pitcher John White promptly retired the side, generating back-to-back ground outs to third baseman Casey Willer, and a fly out to right fielder Brendan Clarke.  The early going looked good for Collierville.

 

But by the second inning, Giants pitcher T.J. McGreevy and his team had settled down to business.  McGreevy retired the side - ground out, fly out, strike out – then turned it over to his teammates who turned on the offense.

 

The bottom of the second inning started with a lead-off walk for Giants third baseman, Jon Wilson. Tobi Cowdin followed with a single and catcher Chase Muder advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt.  Then designated hitter E. J. Swanson hit an RBI single to tie the game.

 

It wouldn’t take long to break the tie.

 

Andy Mariana batted next.  He stepped to the plate and drove in the tie-breaking run. The sixth batter for Topeka, left-fielder Kyle Burkhart, provided another sacrifice bunt to advance the base runners. Again, small ball philosophy paid off when Cory Deedrick’s double drove in two more runs. Adam Davey joined in with a single, but the inning ended when the next batter gounded out to the second baseman.  Topeka led by a score of four to one.

 

Collierville tried to answer in the third.  With one out, right fielder Brendan Clarke blasted a triple to the fence.  It was his second hit in as many trips to the plate.  Clarke scored when Wargo hit a sacrifice fly deep to the outfield.  It would be the last run of the game for Collierville.

 

Collierville changed pitchers, bringing in Cameron Finch with two on and one out.  After an intentional walk, a Mariani single drove in two more runs before a ground out ended the inning. 

 

Topeka added to their lead with three runs off four hits in the fourth, including a two-run homer by Davey and an RBI double by Swanson. The game ended in the bottom of the 5th inning when Zach Carlson’s single drove in Mariani.  The final score was Topeka 10, Collierville 2.

 

Giants pitcher T. J. McGreevy picked up the win, allowing only 4 hits and striking out three.
 

Platte River Slugfest

Platte River Slugfest 2008
Grand Island & Hastings
 
We have reserved rooms for a hotel already, and as of now we have planned on every player having one room.  If you need more than 1 room, please e-mail me at m.shepherd@live.com
 
Any other questions you can e-mail me, but we are planning on every player having a parent with them while we are in Grand Island.  If you can't make it, please let us know so we can sort everything out.  The earlier, the better.
 

We have fourteen rooms holding for us at the I-80 Holiday Inn in Grand Island.  The families must call in and ask for the block of rooms for the Crimson Pride.  The deadline is June 20th.  Any rooms not reserved by then will be released.  All the rooms are non-smoking with two queen beds and the rate is $119.95 per night.  The number is 308-384-7770 – anyone at the reservation desk can help.

 

I realize that is not exactly cheap but all the other places were booked so I was not about to complain.  Please let me know if you need any other info.

 
Friday, July 4th:
3:00 vs. Lincoln Pius
-the game will be played at Ryder Park in Grand Island
-we will meet at Ryder Park at 1:00
 
Ryder Park, West North Front Street, Grand Island, NE
 
-I-680 South to I-80 West towards Lincoln (135 miles)
-Take exit 312 for US-281/US-34 toward Hastings/Grand Island..stay right to continue on US-281 North/US-34 East
-Turn right on US-281 North/US-34 East (follow US-281 North)..5 miles
-Turn right on S Webb Road
-Turn right on West Front Road
 
Saturday, July 5th
10:00 Roncalli vs. Beatrice
3:00 Roncalli vs. Hastings
-both games will be played at Duncan Field in Hastings
 
Sunday, July 6th:
TBA
 
Players suiting up for the Grand Island Tournament:
Matt Giannone
Drew Mathews
Brendan Solis
James Johnson
Brandon Herring
Mike Mazur
Kegan Casey
Jake Higgins
T.J. Feldhaus
Connor O'Neil
Dane Hansen
 

Topeka Downs Grand Rapids

June 20th, 2008, Roncalli High School in Omaha
 
The Topeka Giants picked up their second win of the tournament as they defeated Grand Rapids 8-2 in Friday’s first game. Heavy rains Thursday evening pushed the game back to a 1:00 pm start. And apparently that was just fine with the Giants. 

 

Topeka didn’t waste any time, promptly taking the lead in the top of the first inning.  Shortstop and lead-off batter Cory Deedrick reached base on a dropped third strike, advancing on centerfielder Adam Davey’s single. Two batters later, a single from Zach Carlson drove in both runners. A ground out and fly out to center ended this early threat.

 

The Grand Rapids defense fought to keep it close. Catcher Kyle Kleinendorst gunned down Andy Mariani attempting to steal in the second inning.  He also managed to catch Deedrick off third base in the third. Grand Rapids then closed out the third inning with a timely double play.

 

But the Topeka offense would not be denied. The fourth inning started with two walks and a hit batsman before Andy Mariani delivered a two run single.  Kyle Burkhart grounded out driving in another run. Deedrick was issued a walk.  Then with two men on, designated hitter T. J. McGreevy belted a three run homer to cap off this 6-run inning.

 

Billy Shaw was Grand Rapids starting pitcher

Kyle Kleinendorst picked off 2 baserunners and hit a homerun in the game

Grand Rapids started off in the bottom of the fourth with a strike out and ground out. But these players weren’t ready to call it quits. Billy Shaw hit a single to keep his team going. Then Kleinendorst stepped up to the plate and launched a two-run homer of his own.  Unfortunately the two-out rally ended when the next batter grounded out.

 

A total of only three base hits were recorded in the remaining three innings of play, with neither team producing another run.  The game ended with Topeka on top.

 

Giants pitcher Trent Speaker pitched a complete game, picking up the win.  He struck out 5, allowed 5 hits and issued only two walks.

 

Topeka Handles Weatherguard 11-5

June 19th, 2008 Roncalli High School in Omaha
 
The Topeka Giants applied pressure throughout its game against the site hosts from Weatherguard Systems. In the end, the Giants were too much for the Pride on this day. Topeka hit the ball well, played solid defense, and took advantage of 5 Weatherguard errors enroute to an 11-5 win.
 
The Giants jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the opening frame. Lead off batter Jordan Dreiling opened with a base hit. He advanced to third base courtesy of an Adam Davey ground ball and a pitch in the dirt. He scored when TJ McGreevy grounded out to the shortstop.
 
Topeka added a run in the second inning, but they did most of their damage in the 3rd and 4th innings. The Giants plated 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk in the 3rd inning. The biggest of those hits was McGreevy's 2 RBI double. The forth inning was a tough one for Weatherguard. Starting pitcher Mike Nowak struck out 3 batters - 2 of them reached base anyway due to the dropped third strike rule. Topeka was hitless in the inning, but scored 3 runs on 4 Pride errors.
 
Behind 8-0, Weatherguard finally got something going in the bottom of the 4th inning. Alex Terry reached base on a fielding error. Joe Bircher then picked up a pinch-hit double. Both players scored a few batters later when Nowak hit his second double of the contest.
 
The Giants scored 3 additional runs during the game highlighted by a pair of late inning homeruns. Jon Wilson hit a solo shot in the 5th inning, and McGreevy added to his RBI total with a 2 run blast in the top of the 7th inning.
 
Dark skies rolled in late in the game, but both teams braved their way through it. Weatherguard sent 9 hitters to the plate in their final turn at bat. They scored 3 runs, but it wasn't enough to challenge the Giants.
 
Lucas Anderson picked up the win for Topeka. He threw the first 4 innings striking out 5 Weatherguard players and allowing 3 total hits. Two runs were scored on Anderson, but neither was earned.
 

Thornburg Leads Slammers Black to Win

June 19, 2008, Roncalli High School in Omaha
 
The Colorado Slammers played error free ball and took advantage of Collierville miscues during this contest. It was close throughout, but the Slammers found a way to win in the end.
 
Collierville jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Jim Sherman reached base via a single. He advanced to second base when Tucker Tubbs drew a base on balls. Sherman scored when Erik Shoenrock came through with an RBI single.
 
The lead didn't survive the inning. Slammer shortstop Eric Cain reached base when he was hit by an errant pitch. He advanced to third base on a subsequent fielding error. With runners on the corners and only 1 away, Collierville pitcher Tyler Daily threw over to first base and created a run down situation between first and second base. Cain broke for home as the tag was being applied in the initial run down sequence. The throw to home was off the mark, and Cain scored easily.
 
Collierville didn't dwell on the miscue. Instead, they put another run on the board in the third inning to retake the lead. Brendan Clarke led off the inning with his second double of the game. He advanced to third base on a pitch in the dirt and scored when Hunter Britcliffe grounded out to the first baseman.
 
The Slammers answered once more in the bottom of the third inning. Andrew Phelan reached base via a single and worked his way around the bases to score on a combination of stolen bases and wild pitches.
 
Colorado threatened again in the forth inning. Scott Thornburg doubled off the left center field fence and advanced to third base on Spenser Jackson's infield single. Daily got tough on the mound for Collierville at that point. With runners on the corners and nobody out, the left-handed pitcher collected a strike out. He then induced a slick 4-6-3 double play to end the inning without damage.
 
Daily struck out the side in the 5th inning, but he didn't have as much success in the 6th. Casey Coy reached base for the Slammers with a single and advanced to second base courtesy of an error in right field. The Slammers hottest hitter of the day addressed the plate with a runner in scoring position. He did his job and more. Scott Thornburg saw a pitch he liked and sent it over the center field fence. His homer put the Slammers on top for the first time in the ballgame.
 
Collierville produced a baserunner in the top of the final inning, but they were unable to score. The game ended with a 4-2 score with Colorado Slammers Black on top.
 
Pitcher Steve Covelo picked up a complete game victory for the Slammers. Both he and Collierville pitcher Tyler Dailey deserve special recognition. They are talented lefties that pitched nice games. Both players struck out 10 of their opponents.
 
With the win, the Slammers Black squad moves to 3-0 in pool play. A huge game is looming tomorrow evening at Roncalli. The Slammers are scheduled to play Lubbock at 6pm. The winner of that game appears to be in the driver's seat in the Roncalli pool. It should be a great game. Anyone wanting to see quality high school aged baseball would enjoy that game.
 

Pride Beats Benson

The Pride beat Benson Wednesday night to go 4-4 on the season.  The game was tied after one, before the pride took off on a hitting spree.  They scored 4 runs in the 2nd, 6 in the third and added one in the 4th as insurance.  Benson scored one in the bottom half of the inning but that is all they could score as the game ended after 5 due to the 10 run mercy rule, 11-1.  On the mound for the Pride was Junior Alex Terry who allowed 1-hit and struck out 2 in three innings.  Senior Nate Rump pitched the last two innings allowing 1-hit and struck out 2 as well.  The Pride had 12 hits for the game.  Senior Matt Giannone and Junior Mike Herman both had 3-hits a piece.  The Pride will be back in action on April 14, when they travel to Sioux City for a Double Header.

 
Team Highlights:
Herman: 3-hits, 1-2b, 3 RBI's
Giannone:  3-hits, 2 RBI's
Higgins:  2-hits 3 runs scored
Terry:  2-hits, 1-2b, 2 runs scored

Pride runs by Wahoo

After a few days of cold weather and a few postponed games, the weather took a turn for the better and the Pride was able to get their game against Wahoo in.  The Pride pounded out 11 hits and scored 17 runs on their way to a 17-0 win.  The win featured a wild 2nd inning where the Pride scored 12 runs.  The Pride was helped out by some trouble on the mound for Wahoo as they walked six batters and hit six batters during the game.  On the mound for the Pride was Senior Dylan Badura who held Wahoo to 2 hits while striking out 5 on 57 pitches.  All 9 starters for the Pride had a hit and scored a run.  Leading the way for the pride, were Freshman Tyler Alitz who had 3 hits and 5 RBI, Junior Alex Terry also add a double and 2 RBIs   Best of all the Pride played error-free.  The Pride is next in action on Wednesday versus Benson. 

 

Weatherguard Wins All Class Trophy

August 9th, 2008 at Roddy Field in Bellevue, NE

 

The All Class Championship series game between the Class B state champ Weatherguard Systems Pride and Class C state champ Wakefield was a good one. Weatherguard prevailed 3-2 in a defensive ballgame. It was a great game requiring less than 90 total minutes to play.

 

Roddy Field was in spectacular condition

It was a beautiful day for baseball. Temps were in the mid 80s with a gentle breeze. The sky was mostly clear, but occasional small clouds drifted over providing filtered breaks from the sun. Roddy Field was well manicured for the event with a classic design mowed into the outfield. One look at the field and both teams were ready to play.

 

Alex Terry drew the pitching start for Weatherguard. The talented underclassman is always a tough competitor. Wakefield’s lead-off hitter, Joel Nixon, started the game with a single. A sacrifice bunt and a fielder’s choice play preceded the team’s second single, hit by Mason Nixon. This put runners on the corners with 2 outs. Pride catcher Luke Coenen ended the threat by gunning Mason Nixon out as he attempted to steal second base.

 

Joel Nixon was Wakefield’s starting pitcher, a right-hander reputed to be among the best pitchers in the state. It was clear early that Wakefield’s strategy did not involve blowing fastballs by Weatherguard hitters. The off-speed game plan worked well. The Pride struck out only once but hit plenty of ground balls and pop flies.

 

The Pride offense got things going in the bottom of the second inning. Drew Mathews led off with a single to right field. He moved to second base on a well executed bunt by Colin Higgins. Terry reached base as well thanks to a Wakefield error. When Coenen was hit by a pitch, the bases were loaded with 1 out on the board.

 

Alex Terry picked up his 7th win of the summer

That’s when Brad Metzler came through with a single to right field. Mathews scored the game’s first run leaving the bases loaded. Mike Nowak collected an RBI when he drew a bases-loaded walk. Michael Herman was the next Weatherguard batter, and he smoked a 1-hop shot straight at the second baseman. It resulted in a double play to end the inning. But the Pride scored a pair in the frame and grabbed an early lead.

 

The top of the third inning was good and bad for Wakefield. The first 2 batters of the inning were retired on a strike out and a bunt back to the pitcher. That bunt was a costly one.  It resulted in a close play at first during which Joel Nixon injured his right knee trying to beat the throw. He was helped from the field and did not return to the game.

 

With 2 outs, Chad Clay, Ben Henderson, and Mason Nixon came through with 3 consecutive singles. Clay scored on Nixon’s hit. Henderson also scored thanks to a Pride error. The top of the third inning ended with the score tied at 2.

 

With Joel Nixon injured, Wakefield inserted Andrew (AJ) Bormann in the pitching spot. Danny Kulus welcomed him to the game with a lead off double. The Pride appeared to be in great shape to score, but it didn’t work out that way. A pair of fly balls to center field and a ground ball to second base ended the third inning with the game still knotted at 2.

 

Mike Nowak assumed the role of set-up man pitching the 6th inning for Weatherguard

Joe Bircher struck out 2 Wakefield batters in the 7th inning earning a save

Neither team threatened to score again until the bottom of the fifth inning when Herman singled for the Pride. He advanced to second base on a wild pitch giving the Pride another opportunity. Joe Bircher found a pitch he liked and laced it to the right centerfield gap. Herman scored easily on Bircher’s double giving the Pride a 3-2 advantage after 5 innings.

 

Weatherguard coach Tom Kupfer’s game plan was to hand the pitching over Mike Nowak and Joe Bircher in the late innings. It worked perfectly. Nowak entered in the sixth inning retiring the side. Bircher took over in the seventh collecting his first save of the summer.

 

Today officially ends Weatherguard’s 2008 campaign. It was a great season. Winning back to back championships is a rare accomplishment, and capturing the Nebraska All Class trophy is the perfect way to end the year. Congratulations to everyone involved!
 

Weatherguard Systems Pride - Class B State Champs & All Class Trophy Winners

Banquet of Champions Celebration

August 8th, 2008
 

Cascio's Restaurant was the location for the inaugural Banquet of Champions dinner. Sponsored by American Legion Post 339, the event was a celebration of what is “right” and “good” in baseball. Creighton baseball coach Ed Servais emphasized that point during his key note speech.

 

Ed Servais

Jack Mayfield

Coach Servais spent most of his time speaking directly to the players. He offered advice about hustle and passion. Servais implored them to play the game with the enthusiasm they had as nine year old baseball players.

Master of Ceremonies for the event was Don Kiviniemi, JR. His closing comments echoed the sentiments of Coach Servais. Kiviniemi was the driving force behind the event.
 

Jack Mayfield (webmaster of baseballnebraska.com) was also recognized during the evening. Mayfield has done a remarkable job promoting and publicizing Nebraska high school baseball over the past few years. His website attracts thousands of visitors weekly.

 

When Mayfield had the microphone, he wasted no time in sharing the spotlight. His business included recognizing the time and effort put into the Pride Baseball website. Our group was presented the first “MOJO CUP” (in recognition of the best area high school baseball site).

 

Note: I am sipping mojo from the cup as this article is being written. Thank you Jack.

Pride loses to Skutt

Pride lost to Skutt Friday April 3rd.  Junior Alex Terry was on the mound and had a great pitching performance that was wasted.  Once again, the Pride lacked timely hitting and costly errors that lead to the loss.  Skutt won 2-0, but both runs were unearned.  The Pride only had 5 hits, 11 strikeouts and 4 errors.  Alex Terry had 8 strikeouts, one walk and allowed only 6 hits. 

Team Highlights: 
Mathews 1 Hit
Novak 1 Hit
Herman 1 Hit
Badura 1 hit
Mazur 1 Hit
Satuday's game with Millard North was suspended after 2 1/2 innings with Millard North winning 4-1. 
Here are a few pictures from the last couple games and as you can tell, it's been cold so here's hoping for warmer weather after the snow we are suppose to get on Sunday.
 

Weatherguard Repeats State Championship

August 5, 2008 in St Paul, NE

 

Weatherguard players raise the state championship plaque in celebration

Weatherguard Systems got down to business last night downing Gretna 9-3 and won a second consecutive summer state championship in the process. The game was competitive until the final inning when timely hitting combined with sloppy defensive play on Gretna’s part allowed the Pride to pull away.

 

Ryan Schuetz was the starting pitcher for Gretna. Although this was the fifth time Gretna and the Pride had clashed in 2008, it was the first opportunity for Schuetz to face down the Pride from the mound. He started strong for Gretna retiring the side in the first inning.

 

The bottom half of the first inning was a different story. Joe Bircher was pitching for Weatherguard - the fifth time in 5 games that he drew the starting assignment against the Dragons. And the most recent of those meetings was a complete game outing 4 days earlier.

 

Gretna opened the contest with back to back singles by Dario Melendez and Stefen Katsampes. Both players eventually scored due to a passed ball and additional hits by Jay Omar and Schuetz. The 4-hit inning gave Gretna a 2 run advantage after one. The decision to go with Bircher on short rest appeared to be a risky one.

 

Weatherguard did what they have done all year. They answered their opponent’s early runs with a run of their own in the top of the second. Following a pair of singles by Colin Higgins and Alex Terry, Luke Coenen hit a ground ball to Gretna’s third baseman allowing Higgins to reach home. The Pride trailed 2-1 after the top of the second inning.

 

Joe Bircher pitching against Gretna in St Paul

Popular thinking says you’d better get to a good pitcher early. It only gets tougher once he’s settled in. Such was the story in this one. Gretna scored 2 runs on 4 hits in the first inning, but Bircher found a rhythm and took control of the game. He remained focused throughout the contest striking out 9 batters against 2 walks.

 

The Pride applied pressure throughout the ballgame, sending a total of 37 batters to the plate. Those 37 plate appearances remarkably yielded zero strikeouts. Their relentless offensive attack produced a second run in the top of the third. The Pride’s 3 and 4 hitters did the damage this time. Danny Kulus came up with a 2-out single and scored when Bircher hit a double to the center field fence.

 

With Gretna still unable to generate any offense, the next scoring occurred with 2 outs in the top of the fourth. Brad Metzler battled back from an 0-2 count to reach base via a walk. Mike Nowak followed Metzler with a single putting 2 men aboard for Michael Herman. His response was a line drive that plated both base runners. Herman’s hit gave the Pride a lead they would not relinquish.

 

Weatherguard struck again in the fifth. Drew Mathews reached base via a single and eventually scored thanks to Alex Terry’s sacrifice bunt. Mathews’ score gave the Pride a 3-run margin. It was still anyone’s ballgame, but the momentum was clearly in Weatherguard’s favor.

 

After a scoreless sixth, the Pride put the game out of reach in the final inning. Gretna had played solid defense most of the game, but the wheels fell off when they committed 3 defensive errors in the seventh. Weatherguard took full advantage of the mistakes scoring 4 runs on a pair of doubles by Higgins and Coenen.

 

The game was essentially over at that point with Weatherguard leading 9-2 going into Gretna’s final turn at bat. The Pride allowed one run to score on a fielder’s choice play making the final score 9-3. The game ended when Doggett flied out to Higgins in centerfield.

 

The victory raised Bircher’s 2008 legion record to 10-1. It was the second year in a row that the lefty picked up 2 wins in the state tournament. Notably, all 4 of those wins came against the tournaments’ second place teams.

 

Joe Bircher and Mike Nowak after the game

Winning repeat championships isn’t all that uncommon in sports. But this year’s accomplishment appeared unlikely 12 months ago. Teams don’t often bounce back after losing the kind of talent this team lost after the 2007 season. Players like Mark Schlueter, Mark Shepherd, Ross Ossino, Drew Petersen, and John Ocken don’t come along every year. Each brought something special to the team that was irreplaceable.

 

The 2008 Crimson Pride didn’t dwell on those losses. Instead, they worked hard and developed faith in each other’s abilities. The team regularly defeated teams from schools that dwarfed Roncalli/Brownell Talbot. The Pride expected to win every game, and they usually did. They never quit!

 

When the baseball gods frowned on their game, the Pride lost with class. We didn’t see fits of temper from this group. The 2008 Weatherguard team put losses behind them better than any team in memory. They learned from their mistakes and grew stronger because of them. This team focused on positives. It never mattered who was batting. When the chips were on the table, 18 young men believed in the same thing – each other. The result was more than a championship. It was an experience they will cherish forever.

 

Winning the Class B championship qualifies Weatherguard to play another game against the Class C champions from Wakefield. That contest will be played at Roddy Field (Bellevue East High School). Game time is 3pm this Saturday (August 9th). The winner will have the option to play in a division 2 legion regional in Pratt, Kansas. A second game will also be played Saturday evening between the 2 Class A champions (Papio South and Millard West).

 

 

PRIDE BLOWS BY NEBRASKA CITY

It was a very cold and windy day when the Pride took on Nebraska City on Tuesday.  With the temps in the 30's and wind gusts of 30 or more the players took the field.  The Pride came out a little cold in the first inning of play as they had two errors that lead to two runs.  It must have just took the first inning to get their blood flowing as they took advantage of numerous walks in the third inning to coast to a 14-2 win.  Mike Herman pitched 4 strong innings for the pride to earn the victory.  He allowed no earned runs, no walks and three strike outs.  Other highlights included Freshman Tyler Alitz started for Mike at shortstop, he played flawless after the first with 5 assists.  He went 2-2 with a double and a walk, 2 runs scored and 4 RBI's.  Also seeing his first varsity action of the year was Freshman Brennen Nowak, (younger brother of UNK player Mike Nowak) finished the game at short.  
Team highlights:
Tyler Alitz 2 Hit (4RBI's, 2 runs and a double)
Mike Herman 2hits (RBI and a double)  
Mike Mazur  2 hits (2 runs, RBI, HBP)
Matt Gianonne Hit (2RBI)
Alex Terry Hit (run, RBI)
Drew Mathews 3 walks (3 runs, RBI)

Weatherguard Off to Good Start

August 2, 2008 in St Paul, NE

 

Weatherguard Systems won its first 2 games in the 2008 State Baseball Tournament in St Paul, Nebraska. The first game was a 13-2 blowout win over Wahoo. The second was a 6-2 win over Gretna. Both games involved solid overall performances offensively and defensively for the Pride.

 

Alex Terry was Weatherguard's MVP in the Wahoo game. He pitched 6 innings of no hit baseball before yielding an infield hit to open the 7th inning. Terry also brought some offense to the game. His first plate appearance resulted in an RBI single. Terry added a 3-run homer in the top of the 7th as an exclamation point.

 

There were several offensive standouts in the Wahoo game. The Pride pounded Wahoo pitching for 14 hits including 2 hits a piece by Danny Kulus, Mike Nowak, Drew Mathews, and Terry. Luke Coenen, Joe Bircher, Colin Higgins, Mathews, and Terry picked up extra base hits during the game.

 

The day 1 win over Wahoo set up a day 2 match-up between tournament co-favorites Gretna and Weatherguard.

 

The Gretna vs Pride game began as a pitchers' dual between Gretna's Jay Omar and the Pride's Joe Bircher. There was not a hit by either team until Michael Herman came through with a 2 out double in the bottom of the 3rd inning. The game was scoreless through 3 complete innings.

 

Bircher started the game strong on the mound facing the minimum allowing no hits through 3 2/3 innings. Scott Doggett changed that with a solo homerun in the top of the 4th inning. Bircher kept his composure and struck out the following batter to end the inning.

 

Weatherguard responded in the bottom of the 4th inning with 4 hits and 2 sacrifices. The Pride also benefited from 2 Gretna errors in the frame to plate 4 runs. The inning ended with Weatherguard leading 4-1. The Pride added 2 more runs in the 6th inning which extended the lead to 6-1 going into the 7th inning.

 

Gretna's Mitch Reinig led off the 7th with a nicely executed bunt single down the 3rd base line. Jay Omar followed Reinig with a pop fly that dropped for a hit behind Weatherguard's first baseman. Fly balls by Ryan Schuetz and Stefan Katsampes followed. Reinig tagged-up and scored on the second of those fly balls to end the game's scoring.

 

The game was close in many respects, but Weatherguard won every aspect of the game. The Pride out hit the Dragons, made fewer mistakes, and took advantage of Gretna's miscues. Both pitchers did a nice job. Omar struck out 6 Weatherguard batters against 3 walks and 1 hit batter. Bircher struck out 8 Dragon batters, issued 1 walk, and hit no batters. The result was a 6-2 final score.
 
A noteworthy aspect to the Gretna game was the heat. It was 100 degrees outside when the game started. Both teams did a great job in spite of the heat. Hustle was apparent throughout. Sunday's forecast in St Paul also calls for triple digits.

 

Weatherguard's victory sets up a winner's bracket contest at 8pm Sunday night with the surprising tournament hosts from St Paul. It will be a fun game with a lot on the line. The winner is guaranteed a spot in Tuesday's championship game. The community of St Paul has demonstrated extraordinary support for its team. The bleachers have been full of rowdy fans each time its team has played.
 
It was a beautiful day at the ballpark for the Pride's opening day games.  There was a good crowd for both teams on hand and it appeared early that every thing were going good for the Pride.  Junior Alex Terry threw 3 solid innings of pitching and the team was up 4-0.  In the fourth inning, Columbus fought back and tied up the game at 4.  On the Pride's side of the inning it look like the pride was going to add to their run total as they had bases loaded with one out.  But  they failed to score.  After that it was all Columbus as Sophmore Feldhous and Senior Mike Mazor finished the game.  In the game the pride committed 6 costly errors and left 14 men on base to lose to Columbus 11-4.  Feldhous took the loss for the Pride.
During the break between games, the coaches had an extra long conversation with the players which included some running that must have gotten the players attention.  I don't know what was said, but the players came out strong, The pride played errorless ball and had great team hitting and they kept the pressure on the Columbus Pitchers with 12 runs on 10 hits.  Senior Dylan Badura was on the mound and kept the Columbus batters guessing all day.  He showed great control, mixing in a variety of pitches.  Badura finished the day with 5 K's and 5 hits (3 of which were to future Husker Farmer).  The Pride ended up winning 12-1 in 5 innings.    Badura gets the win throwing all 5 innings.  The Pride had a great day of Baseball minus 3 innings of play but it was a great way to start off the year.

Player Highlights for the two games:

 
Badura 4 hits, 1 RBIs, Double      
Herman  2 hits, 2 RBI's            
Giannone,  2 hits 3 RBIs 2-Doubles
Rump    2 hits, Double
Terry  2 hits, 5 RBIs, 2-Doubles
Higgins 2 hits, RBI
Mathews 2 hits I RBI                               Solis  1 hit, RBI, Double

Pride Drops Game vs Wayne

August 4, 2008 in St Paul, NE
 
Weatherguard Systems lost its first game of this year's state tournament 10-5 to Wayne. The loss sets up an interesting scenario for tomorrow night's championship game. The Pride will play the winner of a playoff game involving Gretna and Wayne. The Gretna/Wayne game is scheduled to begin at 5pm. The tournament championship contest will  follow at 8pm.
 
Tonight's game was one to forget for Weatherguard. The Pride had 4 total hits, committed 8 errors and allowed 9 unearned runs. The team's lone bright spot was Alex Terry. Batting in the 8 hole, tonight's designated hitter collected his second homerun of the tournament.
 
The Pride played poorly, but Wayne deserves a lot of credit. They played a clean game and took advantage of the opportunities they had to score runs.
 
 

Weatherguard Wins Area B-3

July 28, 2008 at Memorial Field in Valley, NE
 
 
Weatherguard Systems came up big when the heat was on. Not only was it a 95 degree afternoon, but the Pride fell behind early. They showed what they are made of, and fought their way to a 6-3 victory over the Bennington Badgers.
 
The Badgers did a nice job hitting the ball in the early going. Bennington collected 4 hits during the first 2 innings scoring a pair of runs in the second to grab an early lead. Weatherguard starting pitcher, Joe Bircher, was tougher after that, and Bennington had a hard time getting anything more. Bircher threw 5 1/3 innings striking out 10 without issuing a walk. He was replaced in the 6th inning by Mike Nowak who added another strike out to the tally. The win was Bircher's 8th of the summer. The save was Nowak's 5th.
 
The Pride played well defensively, but had a difficult time scoring against Bennington's starting pitcher, Ben Milliken. The lefty had nice movement on his pitches and held the Pride to 4 total hits during his 4 2/3 innings on the mound. Milliken pitched well until control problems ended his day in the fifth inning. He hit 2 batters, walked 3 batters, and allowed 1 hit during that frame. The result was 4 runs on the board for Weatherguard Systems. The resulting 6-2 advantage was too much for Bennington to overcome. The Badgers threatened in the top of the seventh inning, but could only push 1 run across.
 
Offensive standouts for the Pride included Colin Higgins, Alex Terry, and Brad Metzler. Higgins reached base and scored 3 times during the game. Terry had a pair of hits including a big 2 run single to key the decisive fifth inning. Metzler batted 3 times collecting a RBI in each plate appearance. His first 2 appearances were run scoring singles. And his final appearance was a bases loaded situation during which he was hit by an errant pitch.
 
The win gave Weatherguard Systems the B-3 tournament championship. It represents the seventh consecutive year that Coach Tom Kupfer's Pride has won an area tournament and qualified for state. This year's state tournament will be played in St Paul, Nebraska. The Pride's first game in that event is scheduled for 11am against the winner of the area B-4 tournament (being played tonight in Schuyler).
 

Terry Tosses Shut Out vs Blair

July 25, 2008 in Valley, NE
 
Alex Terry demonstrated once again why he is such a valuable member of the Weatherguard pitching staff. The young lefty kept Blair off balance throughout the game. The result was a 5 inning shutout. Terry limited the Bears to 3 hits while facing 20 total batters.
 
Offensively, the Pride jumped on Blair's pitching early. The first 4 Weatherguard batters of the game hit their way on base. Each of these players eventually scored putting a lot of pressure on the Bears.
 
The Pride had a nice game at the plate collecting 10 hits in the 5 inning game. Six of the hits were for extra bases. Joe Bircher and Danny Kulus each had 2 doubles in the contest. Bircher was 4 for 4 at the plate, had 4 RBI, and scored 3 runs himself.
 
With today's win, Weatherguard automatically qualifies for the championship game Monday at 5:30pm. If the Pride wins that contest, they will be district champions. Should they lose the 5:30pm game, a second contest will be played at 8pm to determine the district championship. Weatherguard's opponent will be determined Sunday afternoon when Blair plays the winner of the Bennington/Arlington elimination game.
 

Badura Shuts Down West Point

July 24, 2008 at Valley Memorial Field
 
Weatherguard Systems improved to 2-0 in the B-3 district baseball tournament with a 10-0 win over West Point. The victory represented the Pride's second consecutive 2 hit shut out. West Point was the tournament's top seed.
 
Dylan Badura dominated West Point from the opening pitch. The junior lefty did not allow a hit until the 5th inning. He struck out 8 total batters including at least 1 in each of the game's 5 innings.
 
Weatherguard batted well in the game collecting 11 total hits. The third inning was huge for the Pride as the team sent 9 batters to the plate and scored 5 runs. Mike Nowak got things going in the decisive inning with a lead off homer that left the field in a hurry. Later in the inning, Colin Higgins, Alex Terry, and Luke Coenen hit consecutive doubles.
 
The game ended early due to the 10-run mercy rule.
 
Weatherguard will next face Blair tomorrow evening at 8pm in a battle between the tournament's two remaining unbeaten teams. The winner of that game automatically qualifies for the tournament championship game on Monday.
 

Weatherguard Wins First Round Game

July 23, 2008
 
Weatherguard Systems got its Area B-3 tournament started on the right foot Wednesday night downing the tournament hosts from Waterloo / Valley 7-0.
 
The game started with Waterloo's Austin Burke at the plate. He opened the game with a single to right field. It was a noteworthy hit because his team would not get another one until the 6th inning. Joe Bircher threw 5 sturdy innings for the Pride collecting his 7th win of the summer. He was relieved in the 6th inning by Mike Mazur who has come on strong on the mound this summer. Bircher and Mazur combined to throw a 2-hit shut out.
 
Brad Metzler stood out offensively for Weatherguard. Batting in the 9-hole, Metzler's first at bat was a bases-loaded double to the left field fence. His shot cleared the bases and effectively put the game out of reach. Metzler added a second hit in the 6th inning.
 
The win puts the Pride in tomorrow's 8pm winners bracket slot against the tournament's top seed from West Point.
 
Weatherguard actually won twice in this game. They beat Waterloo Valley on the field, and the organization cashed-in on the "match the pot" fundraiser. John Terry's ticket was the winner. He promptly handed the winnings over the Kathy Sullivan and said, "put this in the concession fund". Kathy was smiling ear to ear as she added $89 to the 2008 concessions earnings. Thanks John!
 
 

Weatherguard Scrimmage & Cookout

July 20, 2008 at Roncalli High School

The Pride Seniors held a nine inning scrimmage Sunday afternoon with a group a talented alumni. The scrimmage ended with the score knotted at two.
 

Greats from the Pride's recent past roamed the field and dug into the batters box against today's version of the team. Participants included Nick Bidroski, Brad Cook, Kyle Klabunde, Drew Petersen, John Ocken, Ross Ossino, Mark Shepherd, and Mark Schlueter.

A large group of families and friends attended the event, and it was a great time. The smell of brats and burgers filled the air. Hearty conversations reminiscing about past glory and projecting future accomplishments were everywhere.
 
 
Thank you to everyone that attended.


CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICTURES FROM THE EVENT...
 
 

Weatherguard Downs Sox / Loses to Burke

July 15th, 2008 at Roncalli Field in Omaha
 
 
Weatherguard Systems completed its regular season schedule splitting a double header Tuesday afternoon. The Pride defeated the Millard Sox 11-3 in the first game and dropped a decision to Reagan Buick (Burke) by the same score in the late game.
 
The team played hard but was clearly tired after its 6 game weekend in Minnesota. Fatigue is understandable considering the group had played nearly 60 innings of baseball between Friday and Tuesday.
 
It was the final home appearance on the schedule for Weatherguard Systems. Five graduated seniors were thanked for their contributions to the baseball program during a brief ceremony. All of these young men made significant impacts during their years in the program. And all of them will participate in competitive college athletics. Four of them will play college baseball, and the other will play college football.
 
Among the group's biggest accomplishments while playing baseball for the Pride were helping the team win a state tournament in 2007 and qualifying for the high school state tournament in 2008.
 
The first game of the afternoon was between the Millard Sox and Weatherguard Systems. Brandon Herring was the starting pitcher for the Pride. He did a great job and held the Sox in check for 3 innings. He was replaced in the 4th by Mike Mazur who also pitched well. Mazur's performance is noteworthy because he threw most of a game against Richfield, MN 1 day earlier.
 
Weatherguard had little trouble generating offense against the Sox. They collected 9 walks, were hit by pitches twice, and added 5 hits including doubles by Joe Bircher and Matt Giannone. The game ended early due to the 8 run mercy rule.
 
The second game did not go Weatherguard's way. Reagan Buick (Burke) was sharp led by their hard throwing right hander, Zach Weinandt. The Pride hit the ball fairly well generating 8 hits and striking out only twice. The problem was scoring. Weatherguard left baserunners stranded at third base in 3 of the 5 innings played.
 
Michael Herman was Weatherguard's starting pitcher. Herman had pitched sparingly this season, but he looked sharp on the hill. He retired Burke's first 8 batters before running into trouble. The sophomore hurler collected the first 2 outs in the third inning before hitting Burke's 9 hole hitter with an errant pitch.
 
Herman kept his composure and induced a routine ground ball from the next batter. A fielding error kept the inning going, and things got worse after that. By the time the inning ended, Burke had batted through its order and scored 5 unearned runs. Weatherguard never got it going after that.
 
Herman was replaced in the fourth inning by Bob Sullivan who pitched 1 inning. Nate Rump then made his first senior team pitching appearance in the game's final inning.
 
A tired Crimson Pride baseball team played hard but ran out of steam. Coach Kupfer is giving the team a much needed break. Practice will resume Friday, so the team can start preparing its area tournament. That event will be held in Valley, Nebraska beginning Wednesday, July 23rd.
 
 

Weatherguard Wins Pool at Gopher Classic


CLICK HERE TO VIEW GOPHER CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHS...
 
July 14th, 2008, Veterans Field in Minnetonka, MN
 
Weatherguard Systems gave a great effort at the largest American Legion baseball tournament in the country. The Pride went 4-1 in pool play winning the Excelsior pool in the process. Weatherguard dropped a 1 run game in the quarter finals to end their tournament run.
 
Here are the scores along with some stand out performances in each game:
 
Game One: Weatherguard 4-2 Over Anoka
 Danny Kulus got the pitching win collecting 5 Ks without issuing a walk. Mike Nowak had 2 hits, stole a base, scored a run, and collected a save on the hill.
 
Game Two: Weatherguard 1-0 Over Eagan
Alex Terry pitched 6 2/3 innings scattering 6 Eagan hits and collecting the win for Weatherguard. Drew Mathews had the game winner in the bottom of the 6th inning. His hit produced the game's only score.
 
Game Three: Weatherguard 4-1 Over Fargo
Joe Bircher picked up the win striking out 13 Fargo batters and allowing 3 hits. Fargo's only score was an unearned run in the bottom of the last inning. Mike Nowak had a huge game at the plate which included a 3 run homer in the 3rd inning and a run producing single in the top of the 7th inning.
 
Game Four: Excelsior 8-7 Over Weatherguard
  This game was a 13 inning slug out with Excelsior coming up with the win. Both teams made big defensive plays time and again during the 6 extra innings. It ended when Excelsior's Matt Norring hit a walk off double in the bottom of the 13th inning.
 
Game Five: Weatherguard 7-1 Over Thunder Bay
Bob Sullivan earned the win throwing a complete game on 80 total pitches. Sullivan faced 25 batters during a 2 hitter. Mike Nowak was a difference maker at the plate again in this game adding a single and a homerun to his tournament totals.
 
Game Six: Richfield 3-2 Over Weatherguard
Mike Mazur pitched a nice game but did not receive enough run support to earn a win. The Pride made solid contact during the game but had bad luck with numerous sharply hit balls going directly to Richfield defenders. Drew Mathews had a triple to right field which was the only extra base hit of the game for Weatherguard. The game ended when Mike Nowak was thrown out at home trying to score the tying run in the top of the 7th inning. Richfield's pitcher did a great job and limited Weatherguard to 4 total hits.
 
 

Monarchs Score 2 in 7th Inning to Win

July 9, 2008, Fricke Field in Papillion, NE

 

You won't find more evenly matched teams than Weatherguard Systems and the Papillion Monarchs. Both teams compliment solid pitching with sturdy bats and dependable defenses. When teams like these meet on the field, winning and losing normally comes down to a few key situations. A bad hop, a bad call, or a big hit is all that is required.

 

That was case in this one. Weatherguard out-hit the Monarchs and led most of the way. But Papillion scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the 7th to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The most amazing part of it was that they scored both 7th inning runs without generating a hit.

 

Dylan Badura was the starting pitcher for the Pride, and he threw a great game. The underclassman pitched 5 complete innings allowing 2 runs (1 earned) and struck out 5 Monarch batters. During an impressive stretch of pitching, Badura struck out the first, second, and third hitters in Papio's batting order.

 

The score was tied after 5 innings, and Mike Nowak replaced Badura on the hill for the final 2 innings. Nowak retired the Monarchs in order during the 6th inning including a pair of strikeouts. Nowak then came up big in the top of the 7th with his bat. His solo homerun shot over the left field fence gave the Pride a 1 run lead going into Papillion's final turn at bat.

 

The bottom of the 7th inning was a nightmare. Nowak consistently fired fast balls and breaking balls over the plate for what looked like strikes to Weatherguard fans. The umpire saw most of those pitches differently and called ball after ball. The first 4 batters were granted walks which tied the score at 3. A shallow fly ball to right field put one out on the board and allowed the Pride's infielders to back up to double play depth.

 

The strategy almost worked. Papillion hit a sharp ground ball to second base. The Pride collected the out at second, but the throw to first was a split second behind the batter. The winning run scored on the hit. Weatherguard's coaches argued runner interference on the final out because Papillion's base runner did not slide into second base (which is required on such a play). The umpire disregarded the argument, and the game officially ended.

 

In addition to Nowak and Badura, Michael Herman also had a stand out game for the Pride. The middle infielder returned to the line up after resting a sore foot for a little more than a week. It didn't take him long to make a difference. Herman generated 2 hits, collected a walk, and was hit by a pitch in his 4 plate appearances. He also scored the game's first run.
 
 

Weatherguard Wins a Pair

July 7, 2008, Roncalli High School in Omaha, NE

 

Rain was in the forecast, but the baseball gods held weather at bay long enough for Weatherguard Systems to play a pair of games against metro area competition. There was some rust coming off the holiday break, but it ended up being a good afternoon for the Pride. After downing Associated Fire (Papio South) 6-3, the Pride handled Kinman Lawncare (Benson) by the same score.

 

The first game involved Associated Fire and Weatherguard. Joe Bircher was the starting pitcher for the Pride, and he struggled to find his groove early. Bircher allowed 2 hits and issued 4 walks over the first 2 innings. He got it going in the 3rd inning and the Titans were unable to mount much of an attack after that. Bircher struck out 5 and held Papio South to 3 total hits in the game. Mike Nowak replaced Bircher on the mound for the final inning and picked up his second save of the season. The win was Bircher’s 5th.

 

The Pride hit the ball well against Associated Fire piling up 11 total hits. The offensive attack was led by Nowak and Alex Terry – each had 3 hits in the contest. Nowak’s second hit of the game ended up being important. His 5th inning double put him in position to score a few batters later courtesy of a Colin Higgins single. That score came with 2 outs on the board and represented the winning run.

 

Weatherguard hosted Kinman Lawncare (Benson) in the second game. Bobby Sullivan was the winning pitcher in this one throwing 5 strong innings for the Pride. Sullivan handed out 5 Ks and kept Benson from scoring until the third inning. Danny Kulus took the mound for the final 2 innings and picked up his first save of the season. Kulus was tough in relief retiring all 6 batters he faced – 3 of them on strikes.

 

Drew Mathews was the Pride’s leading batter in the second game. The first baseman collected 3 hits, knocked-in a run, stole a base, and scored a run himself. Mathews is among Weatherguard’s hottest hitters. Nate Rump also had a nice game at the plate highlighted by his 2 run double in the bottom of the 3rd inning.

 

The Pride was originally scheduled to play tomorrow afternoon against Omaha South. That game is being forfeited by South. Weatherguard’s season record currently stands at 14 wins against 10 defeats. They are next in action Wednesday at Papillion’s Fricke Field. That game is scheduled to begin at 5:30pm.

 

Raburn / PI Midwest Downs Weatherguard

July 1, 2008, Roncalli High School Field in Omaha

 

PI Midwest (Creighton Prep) pitched well and played error-free baseball this afternoon downing Weatherguard Systems on its home field. The game was competitive throughout, but the Junior Jays’ steady offensive and defensive pressure produced a 5-1 win.

 

Josh Raburn was PI Midwest’s starting pitcher. He battled control issues going into deep pitch counts with many batters. He walked 3, hit a batter, and allowed 8 total hits. But he also showed great stuff when he needed it. A South Dakota State pitching recruit, Raburn struck out 10 Weatherguard batters, and only allowed 1 run in the contest.

 

Offensive standouts for PI Midwest were easy to find. Nebraska recruit, Nick Ludemann. went 4 for 4 at the plate. He scored twice and picked up 1 RBI. Mike Pritchard produced fireworks of his own with the game’s only homerun. His shot over the right field fence ended up being the winning run. Tom Grant also shined in limited action. Grant’s only appearance was as a pinch runner in the 7th inning. He stole 2nd base on one pitch, and took 3rd on the next.

 

Weatherguard Systems came out on the short end of a 5-1 score, but they competed throughout the game. Starting pitcher Alex Terry retired the side in the top of the 1st inning. In the bottom half of the inning, singles by Michael Herman, Danny Kulus, and Colin Higgins produced a run and gave Weatherguard the early lead.

 

The lead didn’t last long. Ludemann doubled for PI Midwest in the top of the 2nd inning. He scored a few batters later courtesy of a Max Huerter single.

 

The bottom half the 2nd inning was key to the game. The first Pride batter of the inning was retired on strikes, but the next 3 reached base via consecutive walks. Raburn took stock of the situation during a coaching visit to the mound. A strike out followed by a ground ball ended the Weatherguard threat without any runs being scored.

 

PI Midwest led off the 3rd inning with Pritchard’s homerun. They added another run later in the decisive inning along with insurance runs in the 4th and 7th innings.

 

Kulus stood out offensively for Weatherguard Systems. The Dana baseball recruit was 3 for 4 at the plate. He was the only Pride batter to register more than 1 hit in the contest.

 

Terry pitched well in the game. He fought through a number of tough situations and grew stronger later in the game. Terry had success against several of PI Midwest's best hitters. He collected 6 strikeouts while walking only a single batter. Most impressive was Terry's 3 K's against PI Midwest's lead off batter.

With the loss, Weatherguard moves to 11-9 on the season. The team is in action again tomorrow evening at Orval Smith Field in Ralston. The game is scheduled to begin at 5:30pm (weather permitting).
 

Weatherguard Shuts Out Millard South

June 29, 2008, Millard South High School in Omaha

 

It had been 10 days since Weatherguard Systems played a game uninterrupted by weather. You typically see some rust after that kind of layoff. Not tonight. The Pride played error-free baseball handing the Primetime Patriots (Millard South) a shut out loss on their home field.

 

If there was any rust in the Crimson Pride attack, it was demonstrated by some pitching control issues. Weatherguard pitcher Joe Bircher walked 2 and hit 2 batters in his outing. He more than made up for those mistakes with 10 strike outs and a pair of pick off plays en route to a complete game victory.

 

It was a big few days for Bircher. First he committed to play college baseball at Bradley University next season. Then he followed his college decision with a pitching win over Millard South. The lefty improved his summer record to 4-1 with the win. All 5 of his starts have been complete game performances and all have involved double digit strikeout totals.

 

The game began with Weatherguard’s Mike Nowak at bat. After falling behind in the count, Nowak worked the situation like a pro. He fouled off several pitches and eventually reached base the hard way being hit by an off target fast ball. Michael Herman followed Nowak with an RBI double shot to the outfield fence. Bircher brought Herman home from there with the first of his two hits on the night.

 

Trailing 2-0, the Primetime Patriots threatened to answer in the bottom of the first inning. Brad McKweon led things off with a double. He advanced to third base on a passed ball and stood 90 feet from pay dirt with nobody out. A pair of strike outs and a fly ball caught by Brad Metzler in right field ended the threat.

 

Alex Terry produced the game’s next run with a 2-out single in the third inning. The hit scored Danny Kulus from second base. Terry duplicated the accomplishment with another 2-out single to score Bircher in the fifth inning. The junior-to-be had a nice game and led the Weatherguard attack with 3 singles.

 

The Patriots threatened again in the 4th inning. Pat Burkhardt collected a single and Colton Thomas was hit by a pitch. Millard South had 2 on base with nobody out. Clean up batter, Austin Bell produced a fly ball to right center which advanced Burkhardt to 3rd base. Bircher responded to the challenge by striking out Nick Shreiver and inducing a shallow fly ball by Alex Duncan to kill the threat.

 

Colin Higgins was back to his old tricks in this game. In 4 plate appearances, the center fielder was hit by pitches twice and walked twice more. Higgins leads the team in both categories. He also holds an impressive .552 on base percentage average.

 

The win improves Weatherguard’s summer record to 11 wins against 8 defeats. The Pride’s schedule this week includes games Tuesday and Wednesday. The Tuesday contest is against Creighton Prep at Roncalli (3:00pm). Wednesday’s game is a late one. It is scheduled to begin at 8:00pm against Ralston at Orval Smith Field.

Danny Kulus Has a Big Game

June 7th, 2008, Omaha Home for Boys Baseball Field 
 
Kinman Lawncare (Omaha Benson) was on a roll after downing its rival from Omaha Northwest. The Bunnies' celebration wouldn't last long. They were about to get a big dose of Danny Kulus.
 
Kulus got his first pitching start of the season in this game, and he had a nice outing. The senior was strong throughout striking out 8 Benson batters and walking only two. Kulus allowed 3 hits and threw a complete game shut out.
 
The hot pitching performance would have be enough for most players, but Kulus didn't stop there. He also hit the cover off the ball. The Pride's 3-hole hitter went 3 for 3 in the contest knocking in a pair of runs along the way.
 
Bradley Metzler also turned in a solid offensive performance. The Weatherguard utility player had 2 hits, batted in a run, and crossed the plate twice himself.
 
Colin Higgins was once again productive at the plate without getting a hit. The center fielder made 3 plate appearances in the game. He walked twice, stole a pair of bases, and collected a RBI with a ground ball in the third inning.
 
With the win, Weatherguard improved its summer record to 7-3. They play again tomorrow at 11:30am against Bellevue West. That game will be followed by a game against Omaha Northwest. If the Pride wins its pool, they will play in tomorrow's championship game which will not begin until after the 7pm contest between Benson and Elkhorn is complete.
 
 
 

Weatherguard Wins Defensive Game

June 7, 2008 at Omaha Home for Boys Field 
 
Elkhorn Post 211 must be tired of playing Weatherguard Systems (Roncalli). The scores have differed, but the results have been the same with the Pride coming out on top the last 5 times the teams have locked-up. This morning's game ended in a 2-0 Weatherguard victory. It was the second time this week that the Pride dealt the Antlers a loss.
 
The story of this game was pitching and defense. Tadd Johansen was the starting pitcher for Elkhorn. He rolled through the opening inning retiring the game's first 3 batters on a pair of strikeouts and a fly ball to the second baseman. Johansen worked quickly during the game and held Weatherguard to 5 hits.
 
Joe Bircher was on the hill for the Pride. The bottom of the first inning was the only time Elkhorn threatened to score. Jake Ritzdorf led off for Elkhorn reaching base on a Pride fielding error. Elkhorn's second batter (Ben Zahm) executed a bunt single. With two men on base and zero outs, Elkhorn was in great position to put a run on the board. Bircher struck out the next 3 batters, and the Antler's chance to score evaporated.
 
Bircher picked up 10 Ks against no walks during the ballgame. He allowed 3 hits and hit a batter. With the win, the senior improved his early summer pitching record to 3-0. Those wins have come over the Nebraska class A regular season champs, the Nebraska class A state tournament champs, and the Nebraska class B state tournament champs.
 
The game's only scoring came in the top of the second inning. Bircher led off with a line drive single to left center. Colin Higgins was then hit by a pitch. With two on, Alex Terry executed a sacrifice bunt. Elkhorn's only error of the game came on his bunt which loaded the bases for Drew Mathews. The junior promptly knocked in the game's first run with a single to left field. The game's only other score came on a ground ball double play a few pitches later.
 
Michael Herman had a nice game at the plate for Weatherguard. The sophomore went 2 for 3 on the day. His other batting attempt looks like an ordinary ground ball in the scorebook. But it might have been the hardest hit ball he had all game. He smoked the ball, but it went straight to the shortstop. Herman has been impressive with his bat this summer. His .364 batting average is currently the team's best.
 
Among the Pride's most productive offensive contributors lately has been Higgins. In 28 plate appearances this summer, the junior has collected 8 walks, has been hit by 3 pitches, and has executed a sacrifice. Higgins owns a .519 on base percentage which leads the team.
 
With the win, Weatherguard improves to 6-3 on the season. The team plays again at 7pm this evening against Kinman Lawncare (Omaha Benson).
 
 

Pride Bounces Back - Terry Dominates

June 4, 2008, Roncalli Field in Omaha, NE
 
Among the 2008 Weatherguard baseball team's greatest attributes is "resiliency." A day after a poor showing against Omaha Central, the Pride bounced back in dominating fashion. The result was an 11-3 victory over the 2008 Nebraska Class B high school state champions from Elkhorn.
 
Alex Terry was on the mound for Weatherguard and retired the first 3 Elkhorn batters he faced. The sophomore pitcher started fast and never let up. Terry worked efficiently on the mound and didn't allow a hit until there were 2 outs in the top of the 5th inning. He was one strike away from a no hitter.
 
Weatherguard's batters showed up at the park ready to hit in this game as well. The first inning was huge. The Pride sent 13 batters to the plate and scored 9 runs in its first turn at bat. Elkhorn's starting pitcher was unable to complete the first inning. He was removed after facing 12 batters and recording a total of 2 outs.
 
The Pride is in action again this Friday when they play a pair of games during the day. The first game is scheduled to begin at 11:30am against Bellevue West. The second game is scheduled to start at 2:00pm against Omaha Northwest. The contests are part of the Ames Street Bash baseball tournament and will be played at the Omaha Home for Boys (50th and Ames).
 

Weatherguard Wins Last Game of Turf Classic

June 1, 2008, Westside Field in Omaha, NE
 
Weatherguard Systems ended the Westside Turf Classic with a 3-2 win over the Sioux Falls Cyclones.
 
Dylan Badura was fantastic on the mound for the Pride. The junior left-hander struck out 7 Cyclones while walking only 2 during a complete game pitching performance. Badura faced a total of 28 batters and limited Sioux Falls to 2 runs, only 1 of which was earned.
 
Badura mixed his pitches and did a fine job changing speeds. He kept Sioux Falls off balance by locating both fast balls and breaking balls for strikes. In addition, he worked well out of the stretch picking off a pair of Cyclone baserunners. Badura was particularly sharp late in the game. His final inning included 2 of his 7 strike outs.
 
The other hero in this game was Brendan Solis. The junior was asked to pinch hit with the score tied at 2 in the bottom of the 7th inning. With 2 strikes, Solis blasted a double to the right center field gap. He scored the winning run when Mike Nowak laced a single up the middle.
 
With the win, Weatherguard improved its summer record to 4-2. The Pride is in action again Tuesday evening against Omaha Central at Boyd Park. That game is slated to start at 8pm.
 
 

Weatherguard Beats GI / Loses to Westside

May 31, 2008, Westside Field in Omaha, NE
 
Day 2 of the Turf Classic followed a similar script as Day 1 for the Weatherguard baseball team. The Pride won its first ballgame of the evening and dropped its second.
 
The win on this day came against  the 2008 Nebraska class A high school state champions from Grand Island by a final score of 6-1. Joe Bircher picked up his second win of the summer with another solid pitching performance. The senior limited the Islanders to 4 hits striking out 11 on his way to a complete game victory.
 
Bradley Metzler remained a hot batter for Weatherguard offering a multiple hit game. Sophomore Alex Terry had the biggest hit of the game in the 4th inning. His 2 RBI triple broke a 1 to 1 tie.
 
Weatherguard's second game of the evening was against the tournament hosts from Westside. The Pride got off to a quick start taking a 5-0 lead, but Westside rallied and eventually won the contest 11-7. Mike Nowak was Weatherguard's starting pitcher, and he pitched well. The right hander did not allow a hit until the bottom of the third inning. He was relieved by Danny Kulus in the 4th inning. Kulus threw well too, but he eventually would be charged with the loss.
 
Nowak did more than just pitch in this game. He also hit the ball with power. The pitcher/shortstop belted a double and scored in the first inning. Then he added a 3 RBI homerun in the second inning. Kulus and Terry also had extra base hits in this ballgame.
 
Westside is a talented club. They are blessed with team speed, and they know how to use it. They were clearly the most aggressive team the Pride had faced on the bases this year. Westside took extra bases whenever the opportunity presented itself. Westside hit the ball well too, but base running was the difference.
 
Weatherguard plays again bright and early tomorrow morning. Game time is 9am at Westside. The opponent is a legion team from Sioux Falls, SD.

Weatherguard Wins/Loses: Day 1 of Turf Classic

May 30th, 2008, Westside Field in Omaha, NE

The Weatherguard Systems Pride baseball team won its first game and lost its second in the Westside Turf Classic tournament.
 
In the first game, Alex Terry got the pitching start. He was sharp from the beginning holding Omaha Central to 5 hits in a complete  game effort. Central scored twice in the game, but only one of the runs was earned. The final tally in that contest was Weatherguard 10, Central 2. The worm turned in the second contest, and the Pride lost to Pius 11-3.
 
The Weatherguard offense was active in the Central game. Pride batters collected 10 hits in the game on top of 8 walks. Two additional batters reached base when they were hit by pitches.
 
The offensive results in the second game against Pius were not as productive, but the Pride continued to hit the ball. No Weatherguard batters struck out against Pius, and the Pride recorded eight hits in the losing effort.
 
With so much offense, picking a leading performance of the day was not easy, but Bradley Metzler was very productive. Batting from the lead off spot for the first time this year, the senior went 5 for 7 at the plate. He scored 3 times on the day, was hit by a pitch, and had an RBI double in the Pius game.
 
In addition to his offense, Metzler sparkled defensively at second base. He made a diving stab on a sharply hit ground ball to rob Central of a hit and he made an over the shoulder catch on a fly ball hit into right field. The kid had a great day.
 
After the first day of the Westside Turf Classic, Weatherguard's 2008 summer record stands at 2-1. The Pride is in action again tomorrow when they will compete against a pair of outstanding Class A baseball teams. The first game is scheduled to begin at 6:15pm against the 2008 high school state champions from Grand Island. The second game of the day will be against the tournament host from Westside. That game is scheduled to start at 8:30pm.
 

Bircher, Nowak are all state

Several Crimson Pride players were rewarded this week for the team’s outstanding 17-4 record this spring and the school’s first trip to the state baseball tournament since 1984.

 

Senior pitcher Joe Bircher was named Class B first team all-state by both the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star and second team all-Nebraska by the World-Herald.

 

Senior Mike Nowak also was named Class B first team all-state for a spring season in which he was second in the state in home runs, led the state in saves while pitching and sparkled with his glove at shortstop.

 

Honorable mentions for the all-Nebraska teams were senior slugger Danny Kulus and sophomore pitcher Alex Terry.

 

The final spring stats for Class B showed a number of Pride players among the state leaders.

 

In batting average, Kulus finished at .412 and Bircher at .400.

 

Three Pride players were among the leaders in hits: Kulus with 28, Bircher with 26 and Nowak with 24.

 

Nowak was among the leaders in doubles with 7, followed by sophomore second baseman Mike Herman with 6.

 

Among the RBI leaders were Kulus and Bircher with 21 and Nowak with 18.

 

Nowak, the Pride’s leadoff hitter, was fifth in runs scored in Class B with 25.

 

In pitching victories, Terry was second with 7 and Bircher was fifth with 5.

 

Pride pitchers recorded four of the top seven ERAs in the state in the spring: Bircher second at 0.77, Terry fifth at 1.37, Nowak sixth at 1.64 and Bob Sullivan seventh at 1.81.

 

Bircher also finished fourth in strikeouts with 70.

Bircher Shuts Down Creighton Prep

May 25, 2008, Roncalli Field in Omaha, NE

 

Sunday afternoon was a great time to start the 2008 legion baseball season. Mostly sunny weather and a steady breeze greeted players, coaches, and fans as they arrived for the noon game. The Weatherguard Systems Pride played well earning a 3-0 win over PI Midwest (the American Legion team for Creighton Prep).

 

Concerns about a hangover from a poor Roncalli showing in the state baseball tournament were erased early. Joe Bircher was on hill for Weatherguard and started strong. He struck out the first 3 batters of the contest. The theme for the game was established at that point. By the time it was over, Bircher would collect 15 strikeouts in a complete game shutout.

 

Creighton Prep’s biggest threat was in the second inning. That inning began with Bircher’s only walk of the game to power hitter Derek Nelson. Charlie Krueger followed the walk reaching base on a Weatherguard throwing error. With 2 on and nobody out, Prep appeared to be in business. Bircher had other ideas. The lefty responded with 3 consecutive strikeouts killing the threat.

 

Nebraska pitching recruit Nick Ludemann drew the start for PI Midwest and was a hard luck loser in the game. Ludemann pitched well allowing 1 run on 2 hits during 3 1/3 innings on the mound. He removed himself from the game when he cramped-up in the fourth inning. The relief pitcher was Jace Anderson who finished the game for the Jays.

 

Offensively, the Pride managed 5 hits and pushed 3 runs across. The winning run was plated in the second inning. Drew Mathews reached base on a walk. He advanced to third base on a Colin Higgins single, and scored one batter later when Alex Terry hit a ground ball to the short stop.

 

Insurance runs were added in the fifth and sixth innings. Mike Nowak led off the fifth inning with a double for the Pride. A fly ball and a ground out followed. Nowak scored when Bircher helped his own cause with a line drive RBI single up the middle.

 

The final run of the contest was scored in the sixth inning by Mathews. It was the designated hitter's second run of the game. Mathews reached base on a dropped third strike and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Colin Higgins. Luke Coenen took advantage of the opportunity with a 2-out, RBI single down the third base line. Mathews scored easily from second base.

Weatherguard is in action again Tuesday evening at Burke. That game is scheduled for a late start with the first pitch being thrown at 8pm.

Four Honored as All Conference

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

The River Cities Conference announced its all conference baseball team this morning. Four Roncalli baseball players were among those selected.
 
Joe Bircher - First Team All RCC

The senior pitcher / first baseman ended the 2008 high school baseball season with a 5-1 pitching record and a 0.77 earned runs allowed average. In pitching 45 1/3 innings, he struck out 70 batters and issued 15 walks. Offensively, he ended the season with a .400 batting average, slugged .523, and collected 21 runs batted in.

Joe has not yet picked a college destination but plans to play baseball at the next level. He also plans to pursue a premedical degree.

Danny Kulus - First Team All RCC

The senior pitcher / first baseman / outfielder ended the 2008 high school baseball season with a team high .412 batting average. He also achieved a .544 slugging percentage and produced 21 runs batted in. Danny was successful on the mound as well. He pitched 5 1/3 innings in relief without issuing a walk.

After the summer, Danny will continue his baseball career while pursuing a teaching degree at Dana College in Blair, NE. He eventually wants to teach high school students and coach baseball.

Alex Terry - First Team All RCC

The sophomore pitcher / outfielder completed the 2008 high school baseball season with a 7-1 pitching record and a 1.37 earned runs allowed average. He collected 24 strike outs against only 11 walks, and opponents only managed to hit .219 when Alex pitched. Offensively, he batted .246 and had an on base percentage of .338.
 
Alex's 7-1 record is remarkable and is the best among Nebraska sophomores this year. Alex is the only sophomore on the All RCC starting team this season.

Mike Nowak - Honorable Mention All RCC

The senior pitcher / shortstop ended the 2008 high school baseball season with a .364 batting average. He led the team in several offensive categories. His 25 runs scored, 5 homeruns, 7 doubles, and .697 slugging percentage were team bests. On the mound, Mike had a 1.64 earned runs allowed average, collected 26 strike outs, and held opponents to a team best .157 batting average.
 
Mike plans to continue his baseball career at the University of Nebraska Kearney next year.
 
The 2008 All RCC Selections:
 
First Team Selections:
 
Joe Bircher-Roncalli Senior, Brian Boro-Gross Senior, Justin Coleman-Beatrice Junior, Jamie Johnson-Skutt Junior, Adam Kresl-Gross Senior, Danny Kulus-Roncalli Senior, Derek Landis-Ralston Senior, Andy Smolinski-Ralston Junior, Alex Terry-Roncalli Sophomore, Brandon Winkelmann-Gross Senior
 
Honorable Mention:
 
Beatrice - Justin Wittler, Garrett Bruhn, Korey Diekman
Gross - John Schneider, Tom Van Haute
Ralson - Glenn Fletcher, Kory Robertson
Roncalli - Mike Nowak
Skutt - Payton Brannen, Austin Cole, Andrew Gard
South Sioux City - Alex Groth, Tyler Hohenstein
 
 
 

BOBBY SULLIVAN HITS HIS SPOTS

 

At 6’4”, he stands a head taller than many teammates. As a skilled left-handed pitcher, he is a difficult match up for opposing batters. He hits his spots remarkably well. These are great attributes, but they are not what make Bobby Sullivan most valuable. Sullivan stands out due to his competitive nature and his gift for inspiring and motivating his teammates.

 

Coach Bryan Nielsen smiles when asked about Sullivan. He laughingly refers to the senior as “Gumby”, but immediately makes it clear that the kid is much more than a jokester. “Bobby is a hardworking team leader who consistently gives everything he’s got…he is not afraid to take the mound in any situation.”

Nielsen continues to say that Sullivan does all these things with a smile on his face. His attitude rubs off on everyone around him. It makes the team better.

 

Chris Shanahan is another coach that works regularly with Sullivan. Shanahan believes the “sky is the limit” for the lanky lefthander.

 

Shanahan will talk your ear off about Bobby Sullivan. He is proud of the strides the young pitcher has made in the past year. It is clear to him that Bobby is coming into his own. As Shanahan puts it, “the kid could do great things in baseball as his strength catches up to his talent.”

 

Bobby’s strongest suit when pitching has always been control. He hits his spots and he doesn’t issue walks. Sullivan matured late, so he learned to “pitch” when some others were learning to “throw”. He might have been late to develop, but recent growth made up for lost time. Bobby has added 40 pounds to his frame and 10 mph to his fastball since last spring.

The best news is that his increased power hasn’t led to a loss of control. Sullivan has faced 82 batters so far this spring. During that span, he has issued exactly 1 walk. 

 

Bobby’s parents, Dan and Kathy, are among the most positive people around. They are active volunteers. They never skip a game.  And they never miss a chance to encourage the boys.

The youngest of four children, Bobby grew up chasing after 2 older brothers and a big sister. His siblings are Danny, 29, Eileen, 24, and John, 22. It wasn't easy, but Bobby tried like heck to keep up with them. At long last, he surpassed them in three ways…Bobby is now the tallest of the Sullivan children; he is the first to letter in three sports (baseball, tennis and swimming); and he will be the first to play a sport in college.
 
 
Sports have always been a big part of Bobby’s life.  As an infant, he attended the baseball, softball, basketball and soccer games of his older brothers and sister.

When he was 3 years old, Bobby insisted on wearing a Dodgers baseball uniform to all of his oldest brother Danny’s games.  At one game, someone referred to him as “The Dodger Kid,” a name that stuck with him for some time.
 

 

Bobby Sullivan was recruited by numerous schools. After considering his choices, Mount Marty stood out as the best overall fit. (Head coach Andy Bernatow was a left-handed pitcher at Papillion and at Mt. Marty).
 
Bobby recently signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at the school. Consequently, Sullivan will take his talent to Yankton, S.D at the end of the coming summer. Bobby plans to major in sports management or psychology, with hopes of becoming an athletic director and coach. With Bobby’s positive attitude, the sky really is the limit.

NOWAK LEARNED LESSONS EARLY


Michael Nowak trotted toward the dugout after an inning on defense. He was concerned about dealing with the coach. You see… a softly hit ball had been booted by the second baseman, resulting in a missed out. Michael could have fielded it from his position at shortstop, but he let it go instead. Missing outs is not good, and Michael took the problem seriously.


 

Upon reaching the dugout, he told the coach he was sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again. His coach responded with a laugh and a hug, “Don’t worry kid, I couldn’t be prouder – nobody likes a ball hog!”


 

You never know which lesson will be learned from a given game. This day’s lesson?  Everyone wants to win, but baseball is fun! Nothing else should matter when you’re 5 years old, being coached by your Dad.


 

Michael’s parents, Jim and Kathy, are never far from their children’s activities. Whether that means coaching youth baseball or decorating for a school party, they enjoy being part of the memories. Jim and Kathy are salt of the earth people raising a wonderful family. Michael is the second of three children. Older brother Christopher graduated from Omaha Northwest four years ago, and younger brother Brennan will begin his high school career next year at Roncalli.


 

Michael Nowak stands out from the crowd as a high school athlete. He excelled in football and basketball, but baseball was always his favorite sport. The kid’s a natural. Bryan Nielsen is Nowak’s infield coach at Roncalli. There isn’t enough room here to share all the wonderful things Coach Nielsen had to say about his shortstop.


 

According to Nielsen, “Nowak shows great poise at the plate and has remarkable power for his size and frame.” That opinion is supported by Nowak’s homerun production. The senior’s 6 dingers place him near the top in Nebraska this year. Nielsen is even more complimentary about the young man’s defensive skills. The coach says “Nowak’s hands are as true as any shortstop in the state…and his footwork is remarkable”. It isn’t uncommon for Nowak to change the momentum of a game with his glove. He is a rare athlete that can take your breath away with a play.


 

Nowak’s talent is widely known. He was recently asked to represent Roncalli in the Collin-Orcutt All Star baseball game; an event reserved for the top baseball players in Omaha. After high school, Michael will take his talent to the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Coach Damon Day recruited Nowak after seeing him at a baseball camp last fall. Michael felt good about the situation and committed right away.

 

The games Michael plays these days are loaded with pressure, but he still finds a way to enjoy them. The kid has a secret. He never knows which lesson will be learned from a given game, but he knows lessons learned yesterday still apply. Everyone wants to win, but baseball is fun! Nothing else matters when you’re 18 years old, being cheered on by your family and friends.
 

Brad Metzler - Roncalli Senior Outfielder

Choosing your best sport is easy for most people – not so with Bradley Metzler. The speedy senior feels at home in football pads, on the hardwood, or patrolling the outfield. If a ball is involved, odds are good that Metzler has played competitively in the activity. He possesses college level skills in baseball, basketball, and football.
 

It is baseball season now, so Metzler finds himself featured in the two-hole of Roncalli’s batting order. Defensively, he plays wherever he is needed. Last year, that meant second base. This season the team needs outfielders, so that is where you’ll find the versatile Metzler. His coaches are quick to praise the senior. Coach Bryan Nielsen describes Brad as a “tough nosed kid that gives you 100% on and off the field”. Nielsen considers Brad a quiet leader who works very hard and never complains. He is the kind of kid coaches love to coach.

 

Jim Meister, Roncalli’s activities director and head varsity basketball coach agrees. Meister has coached Brad throughout high school…primarily on the basketball court. Meister uses terms like “special” and “rare” when talking about this young man. He describes Metzler as “one of the most competitive and committed individuals I have coached”. Most importantly, Meister believes Brad’s passion and hard work guarantee success in life.

 

Bradley’s parents are Brad and Jeannie Metzler. You will normally find one or both of them in the stands when  their son is competing. Third among four Metzler kids, Bradley has three sisters. Danielle is 22, Ashley is 20, and little sister Gina is 12. They get along great now, but it wasn’t always that way. Bradley’s father believes part of the reason the kid got so fast was self preservation. “He needed ‘get away speed’ to escape the wrath of his older sisters”.

 

Running came naturally for Brad, but it wasn’t always easy for Mom and Dad. There were times they wished he would just slow down. But all that time spent chasing him has paid off. Now, it’s a joy for the family to sit back and watch Brad run on the football field, the basketball court, or the baseball diamond for the Crimson Pride.

 

What’s next for this remarkable student athlete? A college football career is waiting for young Metzler. Dana College in Blair, Nebraska was his college of choice. They got a good one with Bradley Metzler.

DANNY KULUS DELIVERS

Nobody leaves more on the baseball field than Danny Kulus. He has a knack for making big plays, getting big hits, and doing whatever is necessary to help his team win. That can mean offering his shoulder to an inside fastball or giving up his body to stop a sharply hit baseball. Whatever it takes, Danny Kulus delivers.

  

The kid has intangible qualities. He is confident, and he wants the bat in his hands in big situations. Examples are too long to list. Just this season, he robbed Gretna of a late game RBI double with a diving catch in left field. A few games later, he came to the plate with the bases loaded and his team behind by two runs at Blair. The result was a bases clearing double that put the Pride on top.

 

Baseball is a tough game. It takes extra effort to succeed and nobody works harder than Kulus. He worked all winter to improve the little things in his game. And now Danny’s off season work is paying dividends. Where did he get this work ethic? Look no further than his parents. Greg and Jo are always pitching in to help – whether it’s working the field or running the concessions stand.

 

There is no doubt Greg and Jo are wonderful parents.  But they’ll readily admit to a mistake made four years ago. Danny wanted to attend Roncalli even though he lived much closer to Skutt Catholic. Greg and Jo asked him to give Skutt a try.

Eighteen months later, they realized Danny was right all along. Skutt is a fine school, but Roncalli was a better fit. They allowed him to transfer, and are pleased with the results. Danny found acceptance in the hallways. His happiness showed up on his report cards as well as on the baseball field. He hit nearly .400 in his first baseball season at Roncalli and was a key contributor to the team’s state championship.
 

Coach Bryan Nielsen noticed a transformation in Kulus following his arrival at Roncalli. According to Nielsen, “Danny has grown tremendously as a player and as a young man. He has become a true anchor to our offensive lineup.”

 

When asked about his favorite memories, Danny immediately mentions the 2007 state championship. He also mentions the time he spends with coaches and teammates. Danny cherishes these friendships, and the experience has had a profound effect on him.

 

After this summer, Danny Kulus will attend Dana College in Blair, Nebraska. He recently signed a national letter of intent to play baseball for the school. Danny plans to pursue a career in secondary education. He enjoys English and History, and would love teaching those subjects while also coaching baseball. Those of us who know the kid have no doubt he can accomplish his goals. Because whatever it takes, Danny Kulus delivers.
 
 

Joe Bircher - Roncalli's King of the Hill

Any discussion of Crimson Pride baseball the last two years has to begin with the accomplishments of Joe Bircher. The 6-foot-3 lefty has delivered big win after big win on the mound and anchored the middle of the lineup with his bat. Big Joe’s finest moment might have come last summer in the championship game of the Class B American Legion tournament, freezing Beatrice batters with his laser fastballs on the inside corner. Teammates, classmates and fans poured onto the field in
Gretna after he left the final hitter standing defenseless at the plate.
 
 
Not satisfied with his accomplishments last year, he had a senior year to remember this spring, leading the Pride to a No. 1 ranking during the regular season and the school’s first trip to the spring state tournament since 1984. And not he’s not ready to stop there: Joe opened the summer season with a three-hit shutout over Creighton Prep, which spent much of the spring ranked No. 1 in Nebraska Class A. With 15 strikeouts, it was as dominating a pitching performance over such a top-level opponent as Pride fans could remember. And it gives a signal that the team is ready to take another run at a state title this summer.

 

“Roncalli has made major strides in baseball the past few years, as evidenced by its Legion crown last summer and its No. 1 ranking in Class B much of this season,” said Omaha World-Herald reporter Mike Patterson. “I think Joe brings a certain presence out there that allows the whole team to play with more confidence.”
 

Patterson said that opposing coaches recognize his ability as well. “Coach Keith Engelkamp talked about how tough Bircher was and how fortunate Skutt was to get two runs off of him” after a 3-2 Roncalli win this spring. “I think that was pretty much the attitude of most of the coaches.”

 

That includes his own coaches. “Joe is a very bright young man and has been awesome to work with,” said Crimson Pride pitching coach Matt Garland. “He is extremely talented and has earned everything that has come to him through hard work. He also assumed a strong leadership role this year, which is invaluable to the team.”

 

Pride Coach Bryan Nielsen calls him “a bulldog on the mound” and one of the most intelligent players he has ever coached, both in the classroom and on the field, evidenced by his academic and baseball scholarships to study pre-medicine in college. Joe is  “One of the very best pitchers in the state, he can match up against any team and give us a chance to win. He exemplifies the words ‘team player.’ He never complains, works extremely hard to perfect his craft, and never takes a play off.”

 

Being a team player means being humble about his own success and supporting others. When playing first base, he is a frequent visitor to the mound when a teammate is struggling. And it’s not just to pass along advice, which he could easily do. Instead, one teammate recalled giving up a home run and finding Joe trotting over, getting him to laugh, then trotting back to first.

 

While Joe has always been a great teammate first, his list of individual accomplishments is impressive: Class B all-state 2008, all-class second-team all-state 2007 and 2008, all-River Cities Conference first team 2007 and 2008, all-conference academic 2006, 2007 and 2008, and Collins-Orcutt All-Star in 2008. His stats this spring included a .400 batting average and a 5-1 record with 0.77 ERA, 70 strikeouts and only 15 walks.

 

Joe Bircher learned his winning ways from his parents, Todd and Katie, both tireless supporters of the Roncalli baseball program. Humility obviously was a lesson taught at home. Just try telling Todd or Katie how great Joe pitched and their first response is typically, “Well, he had a lot of help” or “Everyone played well.” Joe’s older sister Lindsey, who attends UNL,  is also a noticeable supporter at games, along with Grandma Bircher, aunts, uncles and cousins.

 

He is quick to credit coaches with his progress as a baseball player. In addition to coaches Garland and Nielson, he mentions Head Coach Tom Kupfer, who has worked with him on hitting since he was 9 years old, and Chris Shanahan, a fellow left-hander who knows the ins and outs of throwing from the wrong side of the mound. He is especially grateful for his time spent with pitching coach Bill Olson, a legend in Omaha baseball circles and the father of former American League rookie of the year Gregg Olson. He also recalls the positive influence of upperclassmen Matt Shepherd, Bruce Aken and Nick Bidroski, who made sure he felt welcome when he was learning the ropes as a freshman and sophomore with the varsity.

 

Joe wouldn’t have done so well if he hadn’t enjoyed the game, and he is always relaxed on the field. When he was 10 years old, he came in to pitch the final inning of a tight tournament game amid a din of shouting at umpires, cheering of fans and instructions from coaches. But through it all, Joe was smiling ear to ear, bringing some perspective to the adults who were watching. The fun has never left the game.

And while the rest of us were sweating through the state championship game last summer, Joe was enjoying his time on the mound as his shirtless friends cheered from the stands with his name and number painted on their stomachs. And nobody enjoyed it more when his last pitch blew past the final batter and secured the state title for the Crimson Pride.

2008 DISTRICT CHAMPS

May 5th, 2008, Beatrice NE
 
It took 9 innings, but Roncalli eventually defeated Gretna 5-4 and picked up its first district baseball championship in several years. With the win, the Pride improved to 17-2 on the year and advanced to the state baseball tournament which starts Saturday.
 
Joe Bircher and Mike Nowak combined on the mound to strike out 11 Gretna batters. Bircher pitched the first 7 innings, and Nowak took over in the 8th inning. Danny Kulus delivered the game's biggest hit with an RBI single in the top of the 9th inning. That run proved to be the difference.
 
The Pride plays Gretna again on Saturday, May 10th in the first round of the state baseball tournament. That game is scheduled to begin at 10:00am at Den Hartog field in Lincoln (70th and A Street).
 
 
 
 
 

PRIDE ADVANCES TO DISTRICT FINAL

May 3rd, 2008, Beatrice NE

 

The Crimson Pride cruised through the semi final round of the B2 district tournament handling Crete 14-0 in 5 innings. Alex Terry, Bobby Sullivan, and Dylan Badura combined to toss a shut out striking out 7 and walking none.

Terry threw the first 3 innings earning the win in the process. Sullivan and Badura contributed an inning a piece of no hit relief. Badura, a junior, collected 3 strike outs during his turn on the hill.

 

The Crimson Pride offense worked well in this one. In 4 turns at bat, Roncalli collected 12 hits, 1 walk, and had 5 batters hit by Crete pitchers (including 3 hit batsmen in a row in the 4th inning). Brad Metzler and Danny Kulus both were hit twice in the game. The offensive highlights of the day included back to back homeruns by Drew Mathews and Mike Nowak in the 3rd inning.
 
With the win, the Pride improves to 16-2 on the season and qualifies for the district championship game. They will face Gretna in that one after the Dragons defeated Beatrice 8-3 in the other semi final game. The championship contest will begin at 6:30pm Monday evening.
 
 
TERRY WINS AND NOWAK HOMERS FOR PRIDE
April 28, 2008, Christensen Field, Beatrice, NE
 
The Crimson Pride took care of business in Beatrice this afternoon beating the Orangemen 12-5. In the process, sophomore Alex Terry picked up his 6th win of the season. Roncalli's 2008 record now stands at 15-2.

The game was close to becoming a blowout early. After 2 1/2 innings, the Pride led 7-0.

Beatrice took advantage of Roncalli mistakes in the bottom half of the 3rd inning and plated 3 runs of their own. They added single runs in the 4th and 5th innings to cut the Pride's lead to 7-5 entering the 6th inning.

In the top half of the 6th, Mike Nowak found himself batting with the bases juiced. Someone in the bleachers was heard yelling "be patient up there" as the senior approached the plate. Nowak didn't listen. Instead he blasted the first pitch he saw over the center field fence for a grand slam homerun. His shot rebuilt the Pride's lead to 12-5 with only 2 innings remaining.

Roncalli used 5 pitchers during the 7 inning game. After Terry threw the first 3 innings, Dylan Badura, Bobby Sullivan, Nowak, and Danny Kulus each picked up an inning on the mound.

Sullivan's inning was vital. He entered the game with 2 men on and nobody out in the bottom of the 5th inning. The senior lefty worked out of the jam allowing only 1 run to score. Nowak and Kulus worked the final 2 innings retiring 5 Beatrice batters on strikes.

This game was the final regular season contest on the schedule. The Pride is in action again this Saturday against Crete in the district 2 baseball tournament. That game is scheduled to begin at 1pm and is also to be played in Beatrice.
 

RONCALLI DOWNS GROSS 5-3

April 26, 2008, Gross High School, Omaha, NE

 
Roncalli's varsity baseball team improved to 14-2 this afternoon with a 5-3 victory over the Gross Cougers. This one was truly a team victory.

Seniors Joe Bircher and Mike Nowak pitched well and controlled the game on the mound. Numerous other Crimson Pride players contributed offensively and defensively.

One of the game's biggest plays was turned in by Brad Metzler in the 4th inning. Gross's Joe Waller was on second base with 2 outs when the Cougers' Dan Cordwin came to the plate. Cordwin hit a sharp ground ball into left field. Waller rounded third base, and headed for home. Metzler fielded the ball cleanly, took a crow hop, and fired a strike to catcher Luke Coenen. Waller was out, and the inning ended.

The game was scoreless until Roncalli broke through in the 5th inning. Nate Rump got things going with a lead off single. His hit was followed by a Nowak double. With runners on 2nd and 3rd base and nobody out, Metzler made sure the team did not waste another scoring opportunity. His ground ball to the right side plated the game's first run. Danny Kulus followed up with a double of his own to collect another run.

Gross answered with 3 runs on 2 hits in the bottom of the 5th. They took a 1 run lead, but it didn't last long.

Michael Herman started the 6th inning with a single up the middle. He advanced to 3rd base via a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. Luke Coenen walked putting runners on the corners with 1 out. Rump came up big again with a sacrifice fly which tied things up.

The score was knotted at 3 going into the 7th inning. A pair of Gross errors and an infield hit by Bircher loaded the bases one more time for Roncalli with nobody out. Alex Terry came to the plate and quickly fell behind in the count. With 2 strikes, Terry became a tough out. He refused to chase anything outside the zone and fouled off a pair of potential strike out pitches. His great batting attempt ended as a bases-loaded RBI walk. That run proved to be the difference in the game. Roncalli added an insurance run, and took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the 7th.

Nowak calmly retired Gross in order during the 7th inning and earned the pitching win in the process.

Roncalli is down to 1 more varsity baseball game before the district tournament. That game is scheduled for 5pm next Monday in Beatrice.

PRIDE VARSITY IMPROVES TO 13-2

April 23rd, 2008, Roncalli Field, Omaha, NE 

The Crimson Pride improved its 2008 record to 13 wins against 2 losses with a 9-5 victory over the Thunderbolts from Lincoln Pius.

Weather created a 3 week delay between pitching starts for Alex Terry, but you would never know it by watching him. The sophomore lefty was sharp on the mound pitching 5 2/3 innings without issuing a walk. With the win, Terry's pitching record improved to 5-0. Being undefeated at this point in his sophomore season is impressive.

Terry pitched well, but Pius presented a challenge. Aaron Molinaro of Pius had a great day at the plate. The senior was 3 for 3 including 2 homeruns and 4 runs batted in. Other than Molinaro, the Pius batters seemed off balance against Terry.

Roncalli missed some great scoring opportunities early, but still held a 7-2 lead after 5 innings. The game appeared under control, but Pius wasn't going to give up without a fight.

They made it interesting in the 6th inning. The first Thunderbolt batter of the inning flew out to left field, but the next 2 batters reached base on solidly hit baseballs. Molinaro came to the plate with a pair of teammates on base. He took full advantage of the opportunity with an opposite field homerun. The shot plated 3 and cut Roncalli's lead to 7-5.
 
Terry struck out the next batter, but a two-out Roncalli error followed. With the tying run at the plate, Roncalli coach Tom Kupfer had seen enough. Senior Mike Nowak got the call to replace Terry on the mound. Nowak quickly induced a ground ball ending the threat.
 
The Pride answered with 2 runs in the bottom half of the 6th and built a comfortable 4 run advantage. The score was 9-5 at that point which is how it ended. The save was Nowak's 3rd this season.

Offensively, Roncalli's bats were humming all day. The Pride pounded Pius with 14 hits. Six Roncalli players had multiple hit games. Brad Metzler and Danny Kulus had 3 hits each to lead the attack.

Roncalli is scheduled to play again at noon this Saturday at Gross.

 

PRIDE IMPROVES TO 10-1

April 5th, 2008, Roncalli Field, Omaha, NE
 
The Crimson Pride improved its record to 10 wins against 1 defeat this afternoon with a shut out victory over Bellevue West. Joe Bircher picked up his 4th win of the season striking out 10 T-Bird batters during 5 innings of work. Bellevue West's only hit of the day came with 2 outs in the 5th inning. Mike Nowak replaced Bircher on the mound to start the 6th. Nowak was perfect in 2 innings of relief adding 3 strike outs to the tally.
 
Pitching statistics on the day for Roncalli included 0 runs allowed, 13 strike outs, 1 walk, and 1 Bellevue West hit.

The game was tight for a while. Derek Foster from Bellevue West demonstrated a strong right arm. The senior pitched well early holding Roncalli to 1 hit through the first 3 innings. The game was knotted at zero at that point.

The 4th inning was big for the Pride. Danny Kulus started things off with a double to the gap. Kulus scored two batters later on a ground ball RBI by Colin Higgins. A pair of walks loaded the bases, and Luke Coenen cashed in on the opportunity. The junior catcher/third baseman roped a single to left field driving in a pair of runs. Bradley Metzler added 2 more runs to the board with his 2-out single. Roncalli sent 11 men to the plate during the 4th inning and scored 6 runs.
 
Two insurance runs were added in the bottom of the 5th inning. At 8-0, the game was effectively out of reach.

Roncalli's varsity baseball team has a break in its schedule at this point. Unless things change, the Pride won't play again until next Friday. Enjoy the time off because things get intense after that. Weather permitting, the schedule involves 14 games during a 17 day stretch before the district tournament.

 
 

SULLIVAN SHUTS DOWN DC WEST

April 16th, 2008, Roncalli Baseball Field, Omaha, NE

Roncalli bounced back from its loss at Ralston in good form with a dominating 10-0 win over DC West. Senior pitcher Bobby Sullivan pitched a complete game without offering a walk. With the win, Roncalli's record moves to 11-2 on the season, and Sullivan improved his pitching record to 2 wins against no losses. The big lefty has walked 1 batter so far this season in over 17 innings pitched.
 
The Crimson Pride's offensive attack was equally impressive. The team unleashed 12 hits during a game shortened by the high school mercy rule. Danny Kulus enjoyed the most productive game at the plate. The senior went 3 for 3 including a double, and he collected an RBI with each of his 3 batting attempts.

Roncalli is scheduled to play again Thursday afternoon against Fremont. Game time is scheduled for 4:30pm at Moeller Field in Fremont. The weather forecast is uncertain. As always, cancellation announcements will be posted on this website as soon as we are aware of them.
 
 
 

PRIDE GOES TO 12-2

April 21, 2008, Roncalli Baseball Field, Omaha NE

Roncalli's varsity baseball team downed Benson 11-1 this afternoon in a 5 inning contest. Joe Bircher picked up his 5th win of the year throwing the first 3 innings. Brandon Herring and Dylan Badura each threw an inning in relief, and both flashed something special.

Herring found himself in trouble in the top of the 4th inning, but he worked out of it. With men on second and third and nobody out, Benson's clean up batter hit a chopper to Herring's right. The junior pitcher fielded the ball and faked a throw to first base. Benson's baserunner bought the fake and headed for home. Herring then fired the ball to the catcher collecting the out at home plate. Badura looked strong as well. The junior lefty made quick work of 3 hitters allowing no baserunners during his inning of work.

Offensively, several got involved for the Pride. Eight different Roncalli players shared 10 hits during the 5 inning game. Michael Herman led the way for Roncalli with a pair of hits producing 4 runs. Danny Kulus and Joe Bircher  had back to back homeruns on the first 2 pitches of the second inning.
 
Benson did some nice things as well. The Bunnies fell behind right away, but they did not quit. One of the most noteworthy achievements during the game involved Benson's middle infield. They turned 3 inning ending double plays. One in each of the second, third, and fourth innings.

Roncalli's varsity is in action again Wednesday afternoon against Lincoln Pius X. That game is at Roncalli and is scheduled to start at 4:30pm.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

TERRY'S ARM LEADS PRIDE TO ANOTHER WIN

April 2nd, 2008, Roncalli Field, Omaha, NE
 
This game looked like a breeze during the early innings Wednesday afternoon at Roncalli High School. Alex Terry was pitching well, and life was good. Through the first 5 innings, South Sioux had seen a total of 4 base runners. Even when they got on base, they didn't stay there for long. Two of the 4 were erased via double plays. Another was eliminated by Terry's pick off move to first base. After 5 innings, the scoreboard read Roncalli 5, South Sioux 0.
 
Things got interesting in the 6th inning. With a comfortable lead, Terry was shifted to right field. Three walks, and 2 hits later, the Pride's lead was down to a single run. Mike Nowak was brought in to close when the situation called for it. Nowak's first pitch was laced for a double to the right center field gap. South Sioux was unable to produce anything else against the senior, and the Pride held on for a 5-4 victory. The save was Nowak's second of the year, and the win improved Terry's pitching record to a dazzling 4-0.
 
Nowak had a nice day at the ball field. His batting stats included 3 plate appearances and 0 official batting attempts. Nowak walked all 3 times he came to the plate, and he scored all 3 times he reached base. Just as impressive was his defense. He figured in 2 double plays in addition to collecting the save on the mound.
 
South Sioux City's pitcher showed a strong arm. Number 23, Bararra, limited Roncalli to a total of 2 hits in his complete game loss. He struck out 5 Roncalli batters along the way but was hurt badly by 3 defensive errors and 7 walks issued.
 
 
 
PRIDE TAKES TWO FROM NORFOLK
March 29th, 2008, Norfolk, NE
 
Roncalli’s early season success continued this afternoon on a cold, windy day in Norfolk, Nebraska. The Crimson Pride pitched well and hit even better to take both sides of a double header over the Class A Norfolk High School Panthers. With the wins, Roncalli raised its record to 8 wins against 1 loss.
 
The Pride won the first game 10-6 behind a fine pitching performance and a relentless offensive attack. Senior lefty Bob Sullivan tossed a complete game walking only one Norfolk batter. The win was Sullivan's first this season.
 
The top half of the double header was the best offensive display by Roncalli so far this season. The Pride scored 10 runs on 14 hits – both represented season bests. Mike Nowak, Danny Kulus, and Alex Terry led the attack in the game collecting 3 hits each.
 
Game two of the double header did not feature a Roncalli hit parade, but the Pride did manage 7 hits. What was lacked in quantity of hits was made up for by quality. Five of the Pride’s 7 hits in the ballgame went for extra bases. Nowak had a 2-run homerun in the 3rd inning. Kulus accomplished the same feat in the 5th inning. 
 
Three Roncalli pitchers participated in game 2. Dylan Badura got the start, and was perfect during the first 2 innings. He was replaced with 1 out in the 4th inning by Kulus who looked strong on the hill. Upon entering the game, the right hander inherited 2 base runners with 1 out on the board. He worked out of the jam without allowing any damage. Kulus proceeded to pitch the 5th and 6th innings without allowing a run. His work on the hill earned Kulus the pitching win and improved his season pitching record to 2-0. Sophomore Michael Herman closed the game pitching for the Pride. In his first action as a pitcher at Roncalli, Herman struck out a batter and allowed no runs.
 
Offensively, Roncalli scored a total of 19 runs on 21 hits during the double header. Pride pitchers were solid on the day issuing a total of 4 walks during the 2 game set. Roncalli’s next action is at home Monday against South Sioux City. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30pm
 
 
 

RONCALLI 3-2 OVER SKUTT

March 28th, 2008, Roncalli Field, Omaha, NE

Roncalli improved to 6-1 this evening by following a familiar script. The team fell behind in the top of the 5th inning and responded with just enough horsepower to pull out another single run victory. The victim this time was cross town rival, Skutt Catholic high school.

Joe Bircher threw a complete game this evening collecting his second win of the young season.

Mike Nowak and Alex Terry had leading performances at the plate. Both had multiple hit games, and each scored runs that were critical to the team’s victory tonight.

It was an odd game. Bircher pitched well, as is indicated by his 11 strike outs on the night, but still found himself in numerous situations with Skutt base runners in scoring position. The senior kept his poise and made key pitches when it counted. Only a pair of unearned runs in the 5th inning spoiled a shut out.

Down by just one run, the Skyhawks came to the plate in the top of the 7th eager to take back the lead. But this Roncalli team is tough in crunch time. Up by a count of 0-2 against Skutt’s lead off batter, Shane McBride, Bircher threw an off speed pitch buckling his knees. The umpire called it a ball, drawing a chorus of moans from Roncalli fans. The next pitch struck McBride giving him a free pass to first base. A sacrifice bunt followed by a passed ball advanced McBride to third with only one out on the board. With the tying run on third base, Bircher dialed it up a notch for the next two batters striking both out, and ending the game.

The Skyhawks’ record fell to 1-5 against Nebraska competition, but don’t be fooled. Their opponents so far this season are a combined 38-9. Skutt is a much better team than their record indicates.

IS THERE SOMETHING IN THE WATER?

April 4th, 2008, Omaha, NE

At 9-1, Roncalli is off to a good start this spring baseball season. Part of the reason for the early success has been solid pitching in just about every contest. This year’s staff is deep and talented. They also leave opponents pondering the following: Where did all those left-handed pitchers come from?
 

That's a good question. According to the Nebraska State Activities Association, the combination of Roncalli Catholic High School with Brownell Talbot yields a student enrollment of 336 total students. That number ranks as the second smallest pool of students among all high school athletics programs offering spring baseball in Nebraska. In spite of the low enrollment, the 2008 version of the Crimson Pride varsity baseball team includes a total of 5 varsity level left-handed pitchers.
 

Returning varsity pitchers with significant experience include Joe Bircher, Colin Higgins, and Bobby Sullivan. Sophomore Alex Terry and Junior Dylan Badura made a few pitching appearances last summer for the senior legion team, but they did not participate with the high school varsity team in 2007.
 
 
Even so, the Crimson Pride essentially returned 5 lefties with varsity-level pitching experience. It isn’t simply a matter of rolling lefties out to the mound and asking them to throw. These guys know how to pitch and they are producing.
 
 
Through the first 10 games, Roncalli pitchers have thrown a total of 70 innings. Fifty-three and two-thirds of those innings have been pitched by lefties. As a group, the lefties have collected 41 strike outs while walking a total of 15 batters. Most impressively, the lefties carry a 7-0 record with a combined ERA of 1.57.
 
 
Two of the lefties are seniors, so the number of southpaw pitchers involved in the program will be more reasonable next season at 3, right? Perhaps not...TJ Feldhaus, Jack Folsom, and Stephan Woods are talented freshman left-handers which have already started their high school pitching development. The situation could become even more interesting if more left-handed pitchers come on board as part of next year's freshman class.
 
 
Is there something in the water at Roncalli producing all these solid left handed pitchers? Probably not – it is more likely a result of a statistical anomaly complimented by hard work and excellent coaching.
 
 
Roncalli is considered by many to employ the state's finest collection of pitching coaches. Matt Garland and Chris Shanahan have incredible experience both as players and coaches. Both men are sought after for clinics and pitching lessons by many of Omaha's best youth prospects.
 
 
Garland was a standout pitcher in high school before making a name for himself at the division 1 college level. He pitched at Creighton University, and developed a reputation as a bulldog on the mound. Garland's intensity clearly rubs off on his pitchers.
 
 
Shanahan is also a local product. He produced on the mound at UNO before embarking upon a 6 year professional pitching career that included time with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. Shanahan specialized as a pitcher in pin point control and a cool head. Family and work commitments have made it harder recently for Shannahan to remain actively involved with Roncalli's pitchers. He does what he can to remain engaged. As a lefty himself, "Shanny" does a fine job helping the group get the most out of being left-handed.
 
 
A scary thought for future opponents is one of Roncalli's best left-handers hasn’t yet been cleared to pitch. Colin Higgins is very talented, but he is recovering from off season shouder surgery. Thus far, Higgins has been limited to light throwing as part of his rehab routine. One has to wonder what it might be like this summer if all 5 of these talented pitchers get involved.

 
 

PRIDE JV LOSES CLOSE GAME TO SKUTT

April 28, 2008, Ralston, NE

Junior Mike Mazur tossed a complete game, allowing only one earned run and striking out five Skutt hitters in yet another close game that the Pride Junior Varsity ended up on the wrong side of.

 

Mazur set the tone for the Pride, as they played fairly solid defense, in the 4-3 losing effort. 

 

Leaving runners on base was the big problem for the Pride all day, as they left the bases loaded three different times in seven innings.  The Pride did a lot of things right, including pushing across two runs in the first inning without a hit.

 

Junior Drew Mathews led the hitters, going 3 for 3, with a double and an RBI.  Freshman Connor O’Neill, came into the game in the third inning and went 2 for 3 in his first game in over a month.  O’Neill, who was recovering from a concussion, placed two balls perfectly over the first baseman’s head for his two singles.

 

“These young men have been playing hard all year.  Today, we could have used a break but it just didn’t happen.  It stinks, but it’s baseball,” said Coach Bidroski.

 

“You could see the frustration on the players faces that we didn’t push across a run.  You can bet they will be anxious to hit tomorrow and I feel bad for whichever team draws Roncalli tomorrow,” added Coach Shepherd.

 

The final game of the season will be today, April 29 at 3:30 at Ralston.  Junior Nate Rump will get the start and will lead the charge of a whole slew of pitchers slated to work in the final game of the spring.

 

ALEX TERRY DOMINATES ELKHORN
March 26, 2008, Roncalli Field, Omaha, NE
 
Roncalli improved its record to 5 wins against 1 loss this evening by beating Elkhorn 6-1. In the process, Alex Terry improved his 2008 pitching record to 3-0. Terry frustrated Elkhorn batters throughout the ballgame and needed only 72 pitches to earn a complete game, 3-hit win. Few observers had any idea that this was Terry's first varsity start on the mound. The sophomore looked like a veteran.
 
Elkhorn had two hits in the first inning. A bloop single by Jake Ritzdorf was followed by a perfectly executed hit and run with Jeff Hansen at the plate. The play resulted in Elkhorn's only run of the game. Terry grew stronger as the game went along. Elkhorn managed an infield hit in the second inning, but that was it for the defending Class A state champions. Terry retired 17 of the final 19 Elkhorn batters. He walked a couple, but they never reached second base.
 
A standout performance was also turned in by the Crimson Pride's super shortstop, Mike Nowak. The senior collected 3 hits, knocked-in 4 runs, and crossed the plate twice himself. Nowak's biggest moment was a 3-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning. That shot put Roncalli ahead 5-1.
 
Not lost to observers was the difference a day can make in the game of baseball. One day earlier the Crimson Pride defense committed 8 errors and allowed 10 unearned runs. This game was different. Roncalli fielders committed no errors and turned in a handful of beautiful plays. Nate Rump and Nowak played superb defense on the left side.
 

GROSS DOWNS PRIDE JV IN GREAT GAME

April 23rd, 2008, Gross High School, Omaha, NE

We don’t call him Mark “The Vacuum” Vogel for no reason.  The freshman shortshop showed why he has become the “Hoover” of the Junior Varsity/Reserve teams. 

Vogel led his Junior Varsity squad Wednesday for a game under the lights at Gross Catholic High School, making several key plays in the field and also contributing with some great at-bats.

Once again, JV fans got quite a treat with one heck of a ballgame.
Gross jumped out to a 5-0 lead off of Roncalli starter Alex Shada.  Shada battled back though, keeping Gross scoreless in the third and only allowing one more run in the fourth inning before being relieved by Ben Harrison.  Shada, getting his first start of the season, not only contributed on the mound, he also kept the team in the game and motivated.

“Alex did exactly what we wanted him to do tonight,” said Coach Matt Shepherd.  “He came out and challenged the Gross hitters.  He kept us right in the ballgame from the first pitch he threw until the last!”

Matt Giannone led the offensive attack yet again, hitting his 405th double of the season (just kidding).  Giannone did double off the left field wall to spark a two-run third inning to pull the Pride to within three runs.

In the fourth inning, the Pride worked the counts, ran the bases hard, and pushed across five runs in the fourth inning.  Every hitter in the line-up hit in the inning and contributed in the go ahead effort.

The Pride took a 7-6 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning, which proved to be the last inning due to the time limit.  The first Gross batter walked and after a defensive miscue, scored on error.  The Gross hitter that bunted reached third base on the error and eventually scored on a double to center field to end the game.

“Though this was a losing effort, the Roncalli Junior Varsity has taken huge strides this year,” said Coach Scott Bidroski.

“You can’t be anything but happy with the effort these young men put in day in and day out.  You can see the maturity and determination each and every day,” Bidroski added.

The Junior Varsity (3-6) will be back in action on Friday, April 24 at 4:30 at Roncalli against Bellevue West. The Reserve squad plays today (April 23) against Ralston at Roncalli at 4:30 and Saturday, April 25 against Bellevue West at Roncalli with a 12:00 start.

A.T. for absolutely terrific!

THESE BOYS NEVER QUIT
March 24, 2008 – Vets Field, Blair, NE
 
Roncalli found itself in familiar territory Monday evening. The score was 5-3. Blair was leading, and Roncalli was down to its final 2 outs. For the third consecutive game, the Pride stole a victory in the last inning. This team’s early season signature is obvious. They won’t quit.
 
Every game has different heroes. Joe Bircher dominated at Columbus. Mike Nowak hit a walk off homerun against Nebraska City. Alex Terry and Colin Higgins pitched and hit the team to victory at Gretna. Who was going to star against Blair? As it turned out, the spotlight would be shared by Bobby Sullivan and Danny Kulus.
 
The game started out as a pitcher’s dual. Sullivan cruised through the first 4 innings collecting 3 strike outs, zero walks, and allowing only one earned run. The big lefty was composed throughout, applying steady pressure to Blair batters. Blair’s pitcher, David Koziol was tough on Roncalli until late in the game. Koziol struck out 6 Roncalli batters, walked 2, and allowed only 3 hits through 5 and 1/3 innings.

The nature of the game changed in the 6th inning. Trailing 2-0 after 5 innings, Roncalli catcher Luke Coenen collected 2 RBI on a hit that tied things up in the top of the 6th. The Pride managed another run during that at bat and held a brief 1 run lead. Blair responded in the bottom half of the 6th with 3 runs of their own. Down to their last at bat, Roncalli trailed 5-3. Michael Herman got things started when he was hit by an errant pitch. Mike Nowak followed Herman with a double to right center field. Brad Metzler followed Nowak’s double with a walk which loaded the bases. Danny Kulus responded to the situation with the shot of the night. His bases-clearing double put 3 huge runs on the scoreboard and Roncalli took the lead for good.

Blair had one more chance to respond in the bottom half of the 7th inning. Joe Bircher pitched the final half inning and Blair’s batters never reached base.
 

Pride JV Loses Then Wins

April 22-23, Omaha, NE
 
Roncalli's JV played .500 ball on Monday and Tuesday of this week losing 9-3 at Ralston and bouncing back with a 13-9 win at home over Bryan.
 
On Monday, the pride struggled against Ralston's pitcher striking out 10 times and managing just 3 runs. Catcher Matt Giannone stood out among Roncalli players in the game. The junior had a pair of doubles and produced all 3 Roncalli runs.
 
Things went differently on Tuesday. Crimson pride batters got off to a fast start scoring 9 runs in the opening inning and coasted to a 13-9 victory. Mike Mazur earned the pitching victory for Roncalli. Drew Mathews came on in relief to collect the save.
 
The junior varsity plays again this evening at Gross. First pitch is scheduled for 7pm.
 
 
 
NOWAK LIFTS PRIDE
March 18, 2008, Roncalli Field, Omaha, NE

The scoreboard read 1-0 after six and one-half innings. Nebraska City had the lead. And based on the first six innings, that single run looked nearly insurmountable. Everything changed in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Alex Terry got things started in the bottom half of the seventh with his second single of the afternoon. Terry worked his way to third base taking advantage of a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. After a Roncalli strike out, it seemed the tying run could be left stranded at third base. Mike Nowak had other ideas. The senior blasted a walk-off homerun that bounced in the parking lot well beyond the right center field fence. The game changed in an instant, and Roncalli’s 2008 home opener ended in style.

The game ended with fireworks, but its real story was pitching. Nebraska City’s Logan Ehlers dominated Roncalli’s line up for most of the game. The sophomore struck out 11 Crimson Pride batsmen and allowed only three hits over six innings. Roncalli’s pitching was equally dominant. Nowak started for the Pride and threw five shut out innings allowing only one hit before giving way to the bullpen. Nebraska City took advantage of a Roncalli error in the sixth inning, and plated their only run of the ballgame. Alex Terry took the mound for the final inning and retired Nebraska City in order.

 

With the win, Alex Terry earned his first varsity baseball victory on the mound, and Roncalli improved to 2-0 on the young season.

MATHEWS SPARKS PRIDE JV TO WIN

April 14th, 2008, Omaha, NE

If you are looking for a good time for a good price, come on out and watch the Roncalli Junior Varsity play.

Here’s what you will see, seven innings (or six depending on the time limit) of hard-nosed, never-give-up baseball.  You’ll see bunting, stealing, hitting with two outs, spectacular defense, and filthy curveballs.  Oh, and don’t forget, late-inning rallies.

Finding themselves down 9-7 in the top of the sixth inning, the Pride pushed across three runs to take the lead going into the bottom half. This proved to be the last inning of the game due to the time limit and with Drew Mathews on the bump, it was game over.

Mathews struck out one hitter in his lone inning of work, picking up his first save of the season. Ben Harrison picked up his first win on JV, second on the year if you include his performances with the Reserve team. Harrison pitched two innings of relief, striking out one and scattering four hits. Nate Rump pitched the first three innings for the Pride, striking out four.
 
Mathews clearly felt like being a hero yesterday, plating four of Roncalli’s ten runs with his stick, including a two-run double in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game.

Mike Mazur had two hits along with Mathews, including a double. Matt Giannone singled twice in the win to help pace the offensive attack. The Pride have the week off until they travel to take on the Ralston Rams on Monday, April 21. Then the Pride will host their first home game of the season against Bryan on Tuesday, April 22.

Let me remind everyone that the Roncalli Reserves will be playing at home today, Tuesday, April 15 and Friday, April 18 with both games starting at 4:30.
 
 
 

PRIDE JV KNOCKS OFF SKUTT FOR FIRST WIN

April 8th, 2008, Skutt Catholic High School, Omaha, NE

 

A five-run third inning, solid pitching, and  timely defense dialed the Crimson Pride JV in with their first win on the season.


The Pride (1-5) pushed across five runs in the third inning against the Skutt Skyhawk pitching to help propel them to an 8-4 win Tuesday evening at Skutt.

Mike Mazur picked up his first win of the year, tossing 4 1/3 innings, allowing 3 runs and striking out two.  Brandon Herring came on in relief, throwing the final 2 2/3 innings to preserve the win.
 
The play of the game was not made on the mound; it was made from behind the plate.  Matt Giannone picked off the Skutt base runner with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to halt the attempted late-inning rally.
 
Brandon Herring led the hitting attack, going 2 for 2 with two singles, two runs scored, and a key sacrifice bunt.  Nate Rump followed Herring closely with a 2 for 3 effort.  Drew Mathews and Jake Harter also had RBI’s in the win.
 
The Pride is back in action at 5:00 on Friday against Beatrice.  This will (hopefully) be the first home game of the season for the JV squad.
 
 

PRIDE RESERVES DOWN RALSTON

April 24th, 2008, Roncalli Field, Omaha, NE
 
Check for that ball in the parking lot!
 
Freshman Stephen Woods deposited a first pitch fastball 350 feet over the right center field fence to lead the Roncalli Reserve Team to a 10-8 victory, Thursday afternoon.
 
Woods highlighted the offense which put up 10 runs against Ralston pitching, including two in the bottom of the fifth inning to break an 8-8 tie.  The fifth inning was the last, due to the time limit.
 
Jake Ashworth had two hits, including a triple to aid the offense.
 
Fellow freshman T.J. Feldhaus tossed four innings for the Pride but ended up with a no decision.  Mark Vogel turned in a perfect fifth inning on the mound, picking up his first win of the season.
 
Defensively the Pride struggled early but came up big when it counted.
 
In the top of fifth inning, second baseman Cody Smoot snagged a line drive and fired to first to double-off the baserunner. Following a Ralston single, the next hitter plopped a ball into shallow right field.  Jack Folsom came up firing to Blake Tomasso at third base to nail the runner to end the inning.
 
The 10-8 win pushed the Reserve’s record to 5-4 on the season.  They will look to complete a very successful year this Saturday at 12:00 against Bellevue West.
 
Side Notes:
  • “Can you believe how far that ball went,” said the Ralston shortshop.
  • “Yeah man, that kid really crushed it,” replied the Ralston third baseman.
  • “Whoooo!!” said Coach Shepherd.
  • “Stay, go, wait, stay.  Slide!!!” said Coach Bidroski.
 
 
 
 

RESERVES COME UP BIG AGAINST GROSS

April 9th, 2008, Gross High School, Omaha, NE

Don't call it a comeback; call it a complete team effort. The Pride pushed across five critical runs in their final at-bat to deliver the Gross reserve team their first loss of the season Wednesday evening at Omaha Gross Field.

The Pride (3-3) scored in their first and final at-bat, including the five runs in the seventh inning, to propel them to a 7-5 win.
   It was truly a team effort because all fourteen of the Crimson Pride that suited up, played a key role in the win. Jack Folsom, Blake Tomasso, and Ben Harrison all shined on the mound in the win for the Pride with Harrison pitching the final two innings, striking out three of the six hitters he faced for his first win (and also his first appearance). 
 
At the plate, hits were not abundant but good at-bats were plentiful.  In the final inning, Gross pitchers loaded the bases with three consecutive walks.  Stephen Woods came to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered with a clutch walk and RBI.  Mark Vogel followed Woods with the most important at-bat of the night.  Falling behind 0-2 in the count early, Vogel battled and fired a line shot into right field, scoring T.J. Feldhaus with the sacrifice fly.
 
Garrett Berg then stepped the plate, tattooing the first pitch he saw with a hard liner past the second baseman.  With Coleman Lonergan at the plate, Stephen Woods slid head first into home to score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.  Nick Grage put the icing on the cake with another RBI single later in the inning.
 
Harrison came back out onto the bump and threw two filthy curveballs to trip up two Gross hitters, with the final strikeout ending the game.
 
The Pride are back in action tomorrow evening at Roncalli against Elkhorn at 4:30.
 
 
 
 
RESERVES LOSE CLOSE ONE TO FREMONT
 April 8th, 2008, Roncalli High School, Omaha, NE
 
It was a great game that could have ended with either team getting a win. Ultimately, the Roncalli Reserves were on the short end of a 7-5 score against the class A team from Fremont.
 
Fremont was hot early and generated 4 runs on 3 hits during the top half of the 1st inning. Roncalli's starting pitcher, T.J. Feldhaus, found his groove after that. Feldhaus held Fremont scoreless during the 2nd and 3rd innings. The lefty struck out 4 batters during 3 solid innings on the mound.
 
Feldhaus was replaced on the mound in the 4th inning by Steven Woods. Both pitchers are left-handed, but they look nothing alike. Woods is much taller and throws from a completely different angle.

Woods picked up where Feldhaus left off and added 5 additional strike outs to the tally. Together, the lefties collected 9 K's during the 6 inning game.
 
The Crimson Pride was 4 down right out of the gate, but they battled back. The 3rd inning was big. Feldhaus got things started with a lead off double. He scored 2 batters later when shortstop Mark Vogel collected a ground ball RBI. Jake Ashworth kept it going with the second of his 4 hits on the day. Ashworth's single was followed by a Jack Folsom walk. With 2 men on, Dane Hansen crushed a ball over the center fielder's head. Both base runners scored, and Hansen strolled into second with a double. Fremont's lead was down to a single run.
 
The 4th inning was also big for Roncalli. Garrett Berg led off with a double. He advanced to third base via Blake Tomaso's sacrifice bunt. Feldhaus then reached base with a walk. Berg and Feldhaus both eventually scored. One of them due to a wild pitch, and the other thanks to Nick Grage's RBI single. Roncalli fought back from 4 runs down, and held a 1 run lead after 4 innings. It wouldn't last.

Fremont
demonstrated excellent patience at the plate and worked several long counts during the 5th and 6th innings. The strategy worked, and the Fremont kids did a great job running bases. They took advantage of every opportunity, and scraped out 3 runs to earn a hard fought victory
 
Roncalli's coach, Ryan Birge, was pleased with his team's effort. Birge credited the entire team for fighting back after falling behind early. According to Birge, "the boys played hard and showed a lot of heart coming back...we had 10 hits this afternoon which is great...you have to credit Fremont...they did what they had to do to earn a victory".
 
With the loss, Roncalli moves to 2-3 on the season. The Pride is in action again Wednesday with a game against Gross Catholic High School. That game is scheduled for a 4:30pm start and will be played at Omaha Gross.
 
 
 
 
 

RONCALLI SEASON ENDS IN LOSS TO PIUS

May 13th, 2008, Den Hartog Field in Lincoln, NE
 
Roncalli's season ended in disappointment this afternoon with a 3-1 loss to Lincoln Pius X. The Pride played well defensively but were unproductive at the plate.
 
Offensive highlights were hard to find. Joe Bircher and Drew Mathews produced 2 hits each in the game. Those hits were all that Roncalli would come up with on the day. The second inning was Roncalli's best. Bircher led off with a single. Michael Herman advanced Bircher to second with a sacrifice bunt. Then Mathews collected a single to center field scoring Bircher from second base. The Pride had other chances as well, but they were unable to produce more runs.
 
 
Alex Terry was strong on the mound. The lefty went the distance striking out 7 Pius batters in the process. His outing was among his best of the season. Ironically, the game represents Terry's only pitching loss this year. The sophomore's final 2008 record was 7-1.
 
The Pride ended the season with an overall record of 17 wins against 4 defeats. It was a successful campaign that saw winning streaks of 6 and 7 games. It also included a district championship. Losing 2 in a row in the state tournament was disappointing, but the season will not be defined by those losses. It was a greatly successful year. Congratulations to all the players and coaches.
 
The Pride will next be in action this Saturday morning at Roncalli Field. No...it isn't another game. Saturday is a much overdue fieldwork day. See you there!
 
 

GRETNA DOWNS RONCALLI AT STATE

May 12th, 2008, Lincoln, NE
 
There aren't excuses in baseball, but the game is not normally played in halves. It was this time. The first 4 1/2 innings were played Saturday morning. Rain blew in, and the game was suspended. It resumed 2 days later and required another 4 1/2 innings to finish.
 
It was a great game.
 
Roncalli started strong scoring 2 runs in the first inning. Senior lefty Joe Bircher was pitching for Roncalli and retired Gretna's first 9 batters. Gretna struck back in the 4th inning plating 3 runs on 2 hits and a Roncalli error. Lightning was spotted in the area with Gretna batting in the 5th inning. The game was suspended at that point and resumed 48 hours later.
 
When the game resumed, Mike Nowak took over on the mound for Roncalli and took control of the game. Neither team scored again until the bottom of the 7th inning. Roncalli was behind 3-2 at that point. Sophomore Michael Herman led off with a double to the left field fence. When Gretna missed a cut-off man, Herman alertly advanced to third base.
 
Coach Tom Kupfer then substituted Brandon Solis to run in Herman's place. The strategy worked perfectly when Solis raced home to tie the score on a wild pitch. A missed opportunity followed. Colin Higgins was the next batter. He singled and reached second base on a passed-ball. The winning runner was standing on second base with nobody out. Roncalli cashed-in on these situations all season, but it didn't happen today. A strike out and 2 fly balls left the winning run on the bases.
 
The game went into extra innings, and Gretna pulled it out with 2 runs in the top of the 9th inning. The Pride fought back in the bottom half of the 9th. Herman once again led things off with a double, but Roncalli could only muster 1 run during the frame.
 
Give Gretna credit. Roncalli played them 3 times this season, and every game has been decided by a single run. In fact, each game ended in the same score (5-4). Today it was Gretna's turn to win. The Dragons starting pitcher, Mitch Reinig, threw all 9 innings. He had a great outing and kept Roncalli's offense in check. Reinig held the Pride to 7 hits. He retired 12 Roncalli batters on strikes, and he issued a pair of walks.
 
With the loss, Roncalli moves to 17-3 on the season. The Pride now must move through the loser's bracket of the state tournament where they will face Pius. That game is scheduled for 4pm Tuesday, May 13th. The location is Den Hartog Field in Lincoln.
 
Not that losing is good, but take note of what happened last time Roncalli lost a baseball game. The date was April 15th. After that loss, the Pride rattled off 7 consecutive victories. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.
 
 
August 30th World Herald Article about Tom and Herb Kupfer
 

Published Thursday  |  August 30, 2007
American Legion Notes: Coach joins dad in boasting about title
BY MIKE PATTERSON
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER


When Paragas Law Pride (Omaha Roncalli) captured the Class B American Legion title, the team became a part of history.

The Pride was coached by Tom Kupfer, whose father Herb guided Anthony's (Omaha Ryan) to a Class A Legion crown in 1975. It's believed to be the first father-son championship coaching combination in state history.

"It's pretty cool," Tom said. "My dad talks about his '75 team all the time, so now I've got something to brag about, too."

The younger Kupfer, who also coaches the Roncalli varsity, said a lesson learned during the spring season helped his squad during the summer. The Crimson Pride fell short of the state tournament, losing to Norfolk in district play.

"We got close to state, and I think we got a little overconfident," he said. "During the summer, we made it a point to try and jump on other teams right away and score as many runs as possible."

Paragas Law defeated Beatrice 10-1 for the title, which also made Tom's dad a happy man.

"He stops down at the dugout during games to give me tips," Tom said. "He always cheers for us, and I know he feels like part of our team."

Copyright ©2007 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Omaha World Herald Article about Day 5 of the 2007 Class B State Tournament


American Legion Baseball: Bircher leads Pride to Class B title

 

 

GRETNA, Neb. — A Paragus Law teammate gave Joe Bircher the title of MVP as he did his postgame interview. Anyone who watched Paragus play the last six days knew he deserved it.

Paragus (Omaha Roncalli) jumped on Beatrice Exmark starter Caleb Jackson for four runs in the first and rode another strong outing by Bircher to a 10-1 win in the title game of the Class B Senior Legion state championships on Wednesday.

"'Birch' comes out and gives you a chance for a shutout every night," Paragus coach Tom Kupfer said. "He's a special athlete and he stepped up. If you can get him some early runs, you feel good about what can happen."

Bircher, after shutting out Beatrice in a complete-game one-hitter Saturday night, handcuffed Exmark through seven stellar innings Wednesday night.

The big left-hander struck out 10 and scattered four hits. His lone walk came in the seventh with the game already out of hand. Wednesday's gem comes on the heels of Bircher's 11-strikeout performance in his last outing against Beatrice.

"It's hard to explain the feeling," Bircher said. "As soon as I threw that last pitch, I felt it. We've been thinking about this all season."

The trouble for Jackson started immediately, as Paragus leadoff hitter Mike Nowak walked to open the bottom of the first. Mark Schlueter then reached on a sacrifice bunt when Jackson tried to gun down Nowak at second but sailed the throw into center.

A wild pitch, two walks and a hit batter sandwiched around a rundown loaded the bases for Bircher, who singled into right to score a pair. Bircher finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs. A squeeze bunt by Drew Petersen plated another when Jackson slipped coming off the mound.

"Getting those runs in the first inning was huge," Kupfer said. "In a championship situation there's a little bit of nerves involved. Once you get a few runs in and you know you have a strong guy on the mound, it settles everyone down."

Paragus nearly ended it early. Third baseman Mark Schlueter drove a pitch deep to left in the sixth inning that emptied the bench before sailing foul. The shot would have been a two-run homer and given Paragus a walk-off 10-run victory.

Bircher said he's dreamed of throwing the last pitch for a state championship, but would have gladly given that spotlight to Schlueter.

"He's a senior, he deserves this more than anyone," Bircher said.

Bircher, Mark Shepherd, Ross Ossino and Luke Coenen all went 2 for 3, combining for five runs and five RBIs.

Beatrice.........................000 001 0— 1 4 5
Paragus Law Pride.........................420 301 x—10 11 0
• W: Joe Bircher. L: Caleb Jackson. 2B: P, Shepherd, Ossino.

Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom

Omaha World Herald Article about Day 4 of the 2007 Class B State Tournament

 


Chadron secures its spot in tournament's last day

Casey Downs and his Chadron teammates are still fighting.

Downs and Chadron jumped out with four runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back, handing Paragas Law Pride its first loss of the Class B Senior Legion state tournament, a 9-4 setback Tuesday night at Gretna.

Downs turned in another stellar performance, his third extended outing of the tournament, to lift Chadron into the tournament's final day. They'll lock up with Beatrice today at 5:15 p.m. for the right to play Paragas (Omaha Roncalli) in the 8 p.m. title game. Downs, after throwing 115 pitches Friday and more than 80 on Sunday, gave up only a single hit in his 42/3 innings of work.

"He's been our workhorse all year long," Chadron coach Rob Stack said. "He's always been up to the challenge."

After blowing a 5-1 lead in the second round of the tournament, Chadron has picked up back-to-back victories with its tournament life at stake.

"We came in the underdogs and no one knew what we had," Downs said. "We just believed. We know we can play with anyone out here."

Chadron proved it Tuesday night, jumping on Paragas starter Nick Monaco for four runs on only one hit in the first inning. Monaco didn't record an out before being pulled. His two walks and three wild pitches set up Chadron for the early lead Stack was looking for.

A two-run single by Charlie Hawk bolstered the lead to 6-0 before Paragas rallied for three runs in the top of third. That's when Downs entered and clamped down. Though he walked six, Downs also struck out two and gave up only a seventh-inning sacrifice fly.

A huge two-run single by A.J. Grant in the bottom of the fourth was part of a three-run inning that answered Paragas' scoring in the third.

A couple of well-struck balls found the Chadron defense, something Paragas coach Tom Kupfer said was just one of those baseball things.

"It all evens out," Kupfer said. "We had an off night tonight, but that's why we put ourself in the position of being in the championship no matter what. We'll come back tomorrow ready. The baseball gods seem to have a way of evening things out."

Paragas, which moves into the title game automatically because it was the last remaining unbeaten, has starters Mike Nowak and Joe Bircher available for the championship.

John McLain was 3 for 4 with an RBI and three runs scored for Chadron. Grant finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs.



Paragas Law Pride.........................003 000 1—4 4 2
Chadron.........................420 300 x—9 9 2
• W: Casey Downs. L: Nick Monaco. 2B: P, Ossino; C, Hawk, McLain.

    

Grand Island Independent Article about St Paul's Game with Paragas Law

St. Paul suffers first tourney loss

By Tony Boone
sports.desk@theindependent.com

 

GRETNA ‹ Whether it was Newton's Third Law of "an equal and opposite reaction" or Murphy's Law of "whatever can go wrong, will go wrong" acting against it, St. Paul's fortune at the Class B American Legion Senior Tournament did a drastic 180 on Sunday.

After preying on its opponents' mistakes in its two earlier wins, Reed Farms fell apart in nearly every way possible in an 18-1, five-inning loss to Paragas Law (Omaha Roncalli) in the winners bracket final.

St. Paul gave up 18 runs and 12 hits in only three innings, used six different pitchers and struggled to find its offense until the game was way out of hand. The only saving grace for Coach Steve Schenck's team on was that it saved some arms for tonight's 5:15 elimination game with Beatrice.

"We knew coming in we were going to have to play pretty much error free and walk free, and we didn't do that off the start," Schenck said. "After that, we just went to the staff and the subs to come back tomorrow and be ready to go. We just have to give (Paragas) credit and give them this one."

Paragas Law went up early when Mark Schlueter tripled in the first inning and scored on an RBI single by Danny Kulus. An errant pick-off attempt by St. Paul's Justin Maddox, who was making his second start in three games, plated another run to make it 2-0.

Then, things really got bad. The Pride (28-17) sent 14 batters to the plate in a nine-run second inning that broke the game open. Paragas then added seven more in the third to go up 18-0.

Maddox lasted through only eight batters. Saturday's winner Louis Poss gave up two hits, two walks and hit a batter in the six men he faced. And Brett Peters walked a batter and hit two others in a third of an inning of work.

St. Paul wasn't much better at the plate. It managed just five singles, two of them infield hits, off the Pride's John Ocken and Nick Monaco.

Luke Coenen and Mark Schlueter led Paragas Law's offensive attack. Coenen drove in four runs while going 3-for-3. Schlueter had hits in all four of his at-bats and drove in three runs. Both players also scored three times.

"We had some real quality at-bats," Pride coach Tom Kupfer said. "We got some guys on base and got some key hits. And we just kept hitting the ball. The guys were really patient, and we drew some walks. We just had real quality at-bats all the way around."

Paragas Law, which faces Chadron at 8 tonight, had 10 consecutive batters reach base in the second inning and eight straight in the third. At 3-0, it is the only unbeaten team left in the tournament.

St. Paul's lone run Sunday came in the fourth when Tyler Hansen singled home pinch runner Michael Killinger.

Mike Knapp is expected to start on the mound for Reed Farms in tonight's elimination game. The St. Paul closer hyperextended a knee earlier in the tournament and was still hobbling during Sunday's game. Schenck said the knee is about 70 percent.

St. Paul (24-7) 000 10 - 1 5 3

Paragas Law (28-17) 297 0x - 18 12 0

W - Ocken. L - Maddox.

2B - PL, Petersen, Coenen, Nowak. 3B - PL, Schlueter.

  
 

Omaha World Herald Article about Day Three of the Class B State Tournament

 


Paragas lone Class B Legion unbeaten

Tom Kupfer is liking what he's seeing out of his Paragas Law Pride bunch. His team gave him even more reasons to smile in a blowout win Sunday night.

Paragas pounded St. Paul 18-1 in the winners' bracket of the Class B Senior Legion state tournament at Gretna to become the lone remaining unbeaten team. The offense seemed to be clicking on all cylinders throughout, and at the perfect time, Kupfer said.

"We're playing as good as we've played all year long," Kupfer said. "We're having real quality at-bats, our pitchers are coming out throwing strikes, and our defense is playing stellar right now."

A nine-run second inning put the game out of reach before Paragas (Omaha Roncalli) added seven more in the third. Ten straight batters reached base in the second, and another eight found their way aboard in the third.

Mark Schlueter, a Dana football and baseball recruit, went 4 for 4 with a triple, an RBI and three runs scored for Paragas.

"We wanted this one real bad, because we want to stay undefeated throughout this tournament," Schlueter said. "Everything is clicking right now. Hitting, pitching and defense is all coming together right now, and when that happens, we're a pretty tough team to beat."

Paragas' John Ocken cruised through his four innings of work, giving up only four hits and a lone run in the fourth. Bob Sullivan worked the fifth, giving up only an infield single. St. Paul needed six pitchers to get through four innings.

"After the second inning, we started thinking that we're going to give it heck tomorrow," St. Paul coach Steve Schenck said. "This is a group that's bounced back all year. They never get their heads down. I think we're going to go home and get a good night's sleep tonight and try to forget about this one."

A win in tonight's game at 8 against Chadron would put Paragas in the title game.



St. Paul.........................000 10— 1 5 3
Paragas Law Pride.........................297 0x—18 12 0
• W: John Ocken. L: Justin Maddox. 2B: P, Petersen, Coenen, Nowak. 3B: P, Schlueter.

Tri-City News Article about Lexington's Two Days in the State Tournament

Lexington ousted from state contention
Five runs inning not enough against Gretna

The Lexington Senior baseball team wrapped up the summer of 2007 season with a pair of losses at the State Tournament over the weekend in Gretna.

 

Friday, Omaha Roncalli, also known as Paragas Law Pride, turned in a four run sixth inning to pull away from Lexington for a 7-2 victory. The host squad Gretna ended Lexington's state run with a 7-6 victory.

 

Against Omaha Roncalli, Lexington stepped up the defensive effort early. Shortstop Eric DeLa Torre recorded a double play to start the game, catching a shot from Mark Schuleter and tossing to second base for the second out as Mike Nowak meandered a touch too far from the base.

The second inning was different in the field for Lexington though. Lead off batter Ross Ossino reached after a dropped third strike and stole second base. A single by Collin Higgins pushed Ossino around to score. The defensive troubles began as Jared Bennett couldn't put the glove on a fly at second base. A second error on the play was recorded as Joe Berke over threw the ball to third base to try to get Higgins, who scored on the mistake.

 

Trailing 2-0, Lexington bounced back in the fourth inning. Ryan Gruntorad slapped the team's first hit of the game, reaching with a single. He later moved to second with a passed ball. Joe Berke muscled a double to score Gruntorad and then advanced to third base with an error by the shortstop.

 

Nate Araujo followed up Berke's blast with a double of his own, tying the game at 2-2. A pair of strikeouts ended the Lexington threat, but not before knotting the score.

 

Gruntorad was tagged with a big hit in the bottom of the fourth inning. A 1-1 pitch to lead off hitter Joe Bircher was blasted for a home run to break the deadlock.

 

Roncalli put the game away with a four run sixth inning, forcing Gruntorad from the mound. Lead off batter Ossino was hit with a pitch to start the spree, followed by a walk to Bircher.

 

Ossino was erased with a fielder's choice play on a Drew Petersen hit for the first out. A second walk in the inning moved Collin Higgins to the bases, loading the pads for Luke Coenen. A single from Coenen pushed Bircher and Petersen around to score, as Coenen ended up at second bases. A single by Nick Manaco brought home two more runs from Roncalli.

 

The spree prompted Lexington coach Josh Kuecker to make a change, bringing in Jon Dillard to pitch the remainder of the game. Dillard was helped out of the inning with a pop up to centerfield for the second out and a short fly out to catcher Nate Araujo.

 

Lexington had opportunities to climb back into the game. In the fifth inning, the squad advanced Armando Hernandez to second base, only to see him get picked off for the final out of the inning.

In the sixth inning Blake Reynolds moved all the way to third base, but a deep fly ball to centerfield by Araujo ended the threat.

 

In the final at bat of the game, Lexington's Jon Dillard and Jared Bennett filled second and first bases with two outs before Jason Dillard tapped back to the pitcher for the last out of the game.

Lexington recorded five hits in the game, spread among five different players. Berke and Araujo's doubles in the fourth inning accounted for driving in both runs fro Lexington.

 

Gruntorad was tagged with the loss, allowing seven runs on eight hits. He struck out two batters and walked two in the game.

 

The loss dropped Lexington into the elimination bracket against Gretna, a 7-1 victim of defending champion Beatrice.

 

The Dragons built a 4-0 lead through three and a half innings, scoring single runs in the second and third innings before adding two runs in the fourth off a solo home run and two other hits.

Blake Reynolds opened the Lexington half of the fourth inning with a single before stealing second and third bases. A single by Berke pushed home Reynolds for Lexington's first run of the game.

 

After giving up a single run in the fifth inning. Lexington grabbed its first lead of the tournament, posting a five run outburst. Eric DeLa Torre opened the rally with a double, with Bennett following after reaching the bases on an error by the shortstop.

 

DeLa Torre advance to third with a wild pitch and eventually scored with a single from Ryan Gruntorad, which also drove in Bennett from second base.

 

A Berke single moved Reynolds around for Lexington's third score of the inning. A single from Nate Araujo to load the bases prompted a pitching change, which did little to slow the explosion. Jason Dillard slapped a singled to bring both Gruntorad and Berke around to score. The rally ended with Jon Dillard flying out to the shortstop and DeLa Torre popping up to the third baseman.

 

The lead was short-lived though for Lexington as Gretna manufactured a run in the sixth inning to tie the score a 6-6. The deciding run came in the seventh inning as Jesse Manzitto advanced with a leadoff single. He advanced to second with a sacrifice from Nick Blasnitz before taking third on a wild pitch. Manzitto scored on a catcher's error.

 

Fly outs by the Dillard brother, Jason and Jon, accounted for the first two outs of the final inning before Eric DeLa Torre hit back to the pitcher for the third and final out of the game and the season for Lexington in the seventh inning.

 

Blake Reynolds, playing in his final high school contest, finished 2-for-3 at the plate. Joe Berke and DeLa Torre gave 2-for-4 showings. Berke drove in two runs, as did Gruntorad, who finished the game 1-for-3.

 

Armando Hernandez turned in a complete game on the mound, allowing 11 hits and one walk but striking out five in the game. 

    

Omaha World Herald Article about Day Two of the Class B State Tournament

 


Class B: Bircher leads Pride into bracket final

 

 

GRETNA — If there was a two-day MVP award for the Class B American Legion Senior Tournament, Paragas Law's Joe Bircher would have it wrapped up.

One night after hitting the go-ahead home run in a win over Lexington, Bircher fanned 11 Beatrice Exmark batters in a 3-0, one-hit gem that put the Pride (Omaha Roncalli) into tonight's winners bracket final.

"Joe was outstanding," Paragas Law coach Tom Kupfer said. "He did what he did all year. He got ahead of hitters, he had all of his pitches working and he finished guys off."

Bircher allowed four baserunners a complete-game effort, and only one of those reached second. He allowed only a fourth-inning single to Andrew Haake and was backed by a pair of spectacular catches by outfielders Collin Higgins and Mark Shepherd on deep fly balls in the sixth.

The Pride struck first in the bottom of the first when Mark Schlueter was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Ross Ossino.

After stranding runners on third in the third and fourth innings, Paragas added two insurance runs in fifth. A single, an error and two sacrifice bunts preceded a two-run single by Danny Kulus that made it 3-0.

That was more than enough for Bircher, who walked two and hit a batter in his complete-game effort. He had at least one strikeout in every inning and retired 12 of the last 13 batters he faced.

Exmark starter Micah Busboom was solid as well. He allowed only one earned run on five hits in six innings of work while suffering the loss.

Paragas Law advanced to the 8 p.m. winners bracket game with St. Paul. Beatrice will meet David City in an elimination game this afternoon.
Beatrice Exmark.........................000 000 0—0 1 1
Paragas Law.......100 020 x—3 5 0
• W: Bircher. L: Busboom.

Kearney Hub Article about Lexington vs the Pride (Day 1, 2007 - B State Tournament)

Lex falls in state opener

08/04/2007

Updated 08/06/2007 01:06:02 PM CDT

 

GRETNA — Omaha Roncalli scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull away with a 7-2 win over Lexington in an opening-round game at the Class B Seniors State Tournament Friday in Gretna. With the loss, Lexington will play the Beatrice/Gretna loser at 2:30 p.m. today (Saturday) in an elimination game.

Omaha Roncalli used two walks and a hit batsman from Lexington starter Ryan Gruntorad to load the bases with one out. Roncalli’s second batter in the inning, Joe Bircher, drew a walk after a 12-pitch at-bat, which Lexington coach Josh Kuecker said keyed the big inning.

Roncalli’s Luke Coenen and Nick Monaco later followed with two 2-RBI singles to blow the game open. All four Roncalli runs were scored on two hits.
“The lead-off kid had a great at-bat. …We thought we had him fooled on a 3-2 curveball and the umpire didn’t think so. He got the walk, then we had a passed ball and another walk and they came up with some key hits,” said Kuecker. “The score was 7-2, but I thought our kids played a lot better than that.”

Gruntorad allowed eight hits and seven runs — six of them earned — in 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two.

Before Roncalli’s outburst, Lexington stayed close. Trailing 2-0, Lexington’s Joe Berke and Nate Araujo hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the top of the fourth inning to tie the game.

“We hit some balls hard in the first couple innings and didn’t have anything to show for it. We finally got something going and that was kind of a relief for us,” said Kuecker on his team’s 2-run inning.

However, that was the only damage Omaha Roncalli starter Mike Nowak suffered. Nowak gave up four hits and struck out six in six innings of work for the win.

Joe Bircher gave Roncalli the lead for good when he led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run.

Besides Berke and Araujo’s doubles, Blake Reynolds and Jared Bennett were the only other Lexington players to get a hit. Both players notched one single.

No Roncalli player had more than one hit.


OMAHA
RONCALLI 7, LEXINGTON 2

Score by Innings

LEXINGTON 000 200 0 — 2

OMAHA RONCALLI 020 104 X — 7

WP — Mike Nowak. LP — Ryan Gruntorad. HR — Joe Bircher

©Kearney Hub 2007
  

Omaha World Herald Article about Day One of the Class B State Tournament

 


Class B Legion Tourney: Bircher provides levity, power in win

Mike Nowak credited first baseman Joe Bircher for helping settle him down Friday. The pitcher also might want to thank Bircher for his work with the bat.

Bircher connected for an opposite-field solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to break a 2-2 tie that helped send Paragus Law Pride to a 7-2 win over
Lexington Friday in the first round of the Class B Senior Legion state tournament in Gretna.

"This is my first time coming to state, so there were a little bit of nerves there," Nowak said. "(Bircher) came over and made me laugh a little bit and that helped me settle down a lot."

Paragus (Omaha Roncalli) broke the game open in the sixth behind two-run singles from Luke Coenen and Nick Monaco.

"They came up with some key hits in some key spots,"
Lexington coach Josh Kuecker said. "They made us pay. They put some balls in the gap."

Lexington answered a pair of second-inning runs with two in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Joe Berke and Nate Aruajo. Bircher's shot to left field put Paragus back on top for good.

Nowak scattered four hits and struck out six in six innings before Mark Schlueter worked around a hit and a pair of walks in the seventh.

"It's huge," Paragus coach Tom Kupfer said of Nowak's work. "Momentum is so big in these games. It's nice to get a guy out there to set a good tone."

The big sixth inning was just what his group needed, Kupfer said.

"We were waiting for a breakout inning," he said. "We got a couple guys on and got a couple of key base hits."

Paragus advances to tonight's winner's-bracket game against the Gretna-Beatrice winner.
Lexington will play the Gretna-Beatrice loser in a 2:30 p.m. elimination contest.

Lexington.........................000 200 0—2 5 3
Paragus Law Pride.........................020 104 x—7 8 1
• W: Mike Nowak. L: Ryan Guntorad. 2B: P: Schlueter, Kulus; L, Berke, Aruajo. HR: Bircher.

 

Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom

 

PRIDE RALLIES TO BEAT ELKHORN ON SENIOR NIGHT

July 3rd, 2007
 
Senior night gave Paragas Law Crimson Pride baseball fans a chance to thank five special players as they took their home field for what could be the last time. John Ocken, Mark Schlueter, Ross Ossino, Drew Petersen, and Mark Shepherd were honored in a brief ceremony immediately preceding the first pitch. The stage was set for the Pride to continue a run of solid baseball during which they had won 4 out of 5 against the likes of Millard North, Omaha Central, Millard South, and Omaha Northwest. It wasn't going to be easy. The competition on this night was Elkhorn Post 211. Deep and talented, Elkhorn's roster consists primarily of players having won the 2007 Nebraska Class A state baseball championship in May.
 
It didn't look good early as the Pride found themselves behind 6-0 after three innings. Things were about to change. Drew Petersen relieved the Pride's starting pitcher in the third inning. Petersen entered the game with two men on base and nobody out. Elkhorn was uncomfortable with the change. Petersen allowed no hits in two innings of work which included an inning ending strike out of Elkhorn's all state catcher, Trevor Gappa. In the bottom of the fourth, Ross Ossino was robbed of a homerun via a spectacular over the fence catch by Elkhorn's left fielder. Ross's shot did not produce any runs, but it signaled a change in momentum. The Pride bats were coming to life.
 
Colin Higgins relieved Drew Petersen on the mound in the top of the fifth inning. The young lefty kept Elkhorn off balance striking out a pair of batters while allowing no runs or hits during two innings of work. The bottom half of the fifth was huge for the Pride. Brad Metzler pinch hit with two outs and nobody on base. He sparked the offense with a single up the middle. His hit was followed by three consecutive RBI hits. Mike Nowak hit a triple, Mark Schlueter hit a single, and Mark Shepherd hit a double. The inning ended with Ross Ossino grounding out on a sharply hit ball to short stop. The score was now 6-3, and the park was filling with energy.
 
The sixth inning was another big one for the Pride as the team produced another three runs. This time the offense started with a texas leaguer from Joe Bircher. Elkhorn's second baseman made a great attempt on the ball but couldn't keep it in his glove. With Bircher on base, Higgins and Petersen hit back to back singles. Then Mike Nowak layed down a beautiful sacrifice bunt.
 
The score was tied heading into the seventh inning. The Pride coaching staff routinely turns to its senior closer in such situations, and this game was no exception. Mark Schlueter trotted to the mound, and made quick work of three Elkhorn batters . The stage was set. The Crimson Pride needed one run to end the game. Mark Shepherd led off with a line drive single. Then power hitter Ross Ossino showed his versatility with a bunt moving Shepherd to second base. Elkhorn followed Ossino's sacrifice with an intentional walk to Danny Kulus. Joe Bircher followed the walk with a deep fly ball to right field. Shepherd tagged up on the out and advanced to third base. Colin Higgins stepped to the plate with two outs and the winning run standing 90 feet away. It presented the sophomore center fielder with a high pressure situation. Higgins responded with a game winning single. The rally was complete, and the Crimson Pride ended its Senior night with another win over a powerful class A baseball team.
 
 
 
 

MARK SHEPHERD - RONCALLI'S #9

With the score tied and bases juiced, it is comforting to see Mark Shepherd at bat. The right fielder always seems to cash in on such opportunities. Head coach Tom Kupfer understands Shepherd’s contribution. According to Kupfer, “Mark is everything a coach wants…he plays hard and brings energy to the field…Mark’s attitude makes him a role model for younger players.”

Shepherd’s success is no secret. He was recognized as a 2007
All State and All Conference player. Opposing pitchers know about Mark Shepherd too. Consequently, he normally sees curve balls and sliders when batting. Why? Because he hits the cover off the ball when presented with an ordinary pitch. Northwest recently made the mistake of giving him too many hittable pitches. The result was a five for five performance.

Mark’s parents, Sue and Dick, have a great philosophy about their kids’ athletic endeavors. According to Dick, “as long as the kids have fun, that is all that counts.” The entire Shepherd family participates. It’s not unusual to find Dick or Sue at Roncalli making sure everything is in order for the following day’s game. Mark’s sisters, Jill and Katie, attend games to cheer for their brother. And Mark’s older brother Matt, a former Roncalli baseball player, now coaches the program’s junior squad.

If you’ve attended a home game lately, you’ve likely met Mark’s Grandma, Marge Sneed.  You’ll find Grandma seated along the right field line under a shade tree. She cheers loudly and does her best to keep the umpires honest. Grandma has a keen understanding of baseball, often stopping by the Shepherd house after games to discuss the action. The baseball complex is a richer experience when Marge is there – especially for Mark.

The family has particularly fond memories of the summer of 2005.  It was a special time when the Shepherd brothers, Matt and Mark, started on the same Roncalli squad. The best of those memories involved a district tournament game during which both boys hit homeruns. Winning that game put the team in position to qualify for state.

As Mark Shepherd’s high school baseball career draws to an end, he looks forward to pursuing a career in public utilities.  He is sure to succeed.  Mark’s commitment to hard work and a positive attitude will see to that.
 
 
 

MARK SCHLUETER - RONCALLI'S #3

Mark Schlueter is a rare athlete. He’s fast, strong, and well coordinated. He is a fine pitcher, and he carries homerun power in his bat. All this is unusual, but it isn’t what defines him as a baseball player. Mark Schlueter is a winner.
 
Evidence of it is everywhere. Individual honors like ALL CONFERENCE and ALL STATE prove the kid is talented, but they are not what best illustrate Mark’s gifts. To appreciate his talent, look no further than the success of his teams. Mark has played an integral part in helping his baseball teams qualify for the state tournament the past two summers. Plain and simple, Mark makes everyone around him better. His individual skills are unusual, but his team skills are remarkable.
 
It isn’t hard to find where Mark learned teamwork. His parents, Bill and Mary, know all about it. Bill spent many seasons coaching high school athletics. As a coach, the team always came first for Bill. Mary also has an athletic history. She played volleyball for Roncalli during high school. The experience taught her about uniting with teammates to achieve a common goal. With parents like them, Mark was destined to pick up solid team skills. He learned them early. While playing in Keystone’s little league, Mark’s team won the State Little League championship and traveled to Indianapolis for the Little League Regional tournament.
 
Bryan Nielsen has been Mark’s infield coach the past two seasons. According to Coach Nielsen, “Mark has an exceptionally intelligent baseball mind…he is literally another coach on the field…he does the little things well and the big things even better…Mark has a special ability to rise to the occasion, and can spark his team at any time.” It is a treat to watch Mark play baseball – one that everyone associated with Roncalli baseball has enjoyed for many years.
 
What’s next for Mark Schlueter? It appears that this competitive, confident young man will take his talent on the road to Dana College in Blair, Nebraska.  Mark accepted an athletic scholarship and plans to play both football and baseball for Dana. Roncalli will miss his presence on the field, but we know Mark will continue to be the spark, in a number of ways, for years to come.

JOHN OCKEN - RONCALLI'S #35

John Ocken was “born to pitch”.  He has always loved to throw - newspapers, balls, rocks, anything would do. And he always hurled them with force.  Many windows were broken by young Johnny O.  It didn’t take long for his parents, Jerry and Lou, to see that baseball was the perfect outlet for John’s unique gift.  

 

That was the start of something special. At age 10, John threw a no hitter against Fort Calhoun. And over the years, he has grown into the kind of versatile player coaches love. John runs well, hits hard, and fields cleanly.  Following in his Uncle John Heinzman’s footsteps, John now showcases those talents as part of Roncalli’s baseball program.

 

John’s strong right arm has led Roncalli baseball to a series of victories over traditional baseball powers including Millard West, Millard North, and Omaha Skutt to name a few.  John also threw great games during the 2006 American Legion area and state tournaments helping Roncalli advance when it was most important. With 2007’s area tournament around the corner, expect more of the same. He’s truly a big game pitcher.
 
John is a warm-hearted person. Teammates and friends alike enjoy his modest tone and healthy sense of humor. But don’t be fooled. Behind that easy smile lies a tough competitor. When things look impossible, expect something special from Johnny O because that’s what he expects from himself.  When faced with a challenge, you’ll not find John hanging his head.  He works through it and expects to succeed.  Just ask his sister (and lifelong fan) Amber. You’ll find her in the stands at most games, right next to Lou and Jerry.

Earlier this week, John Ocken made a big decision. He accepted a baseball scholarship to Dana College in Blair, Nebraska.  Head baseball coach Ken Misfeldt watched John compete several times and convinced him to join Dana’s program. John expects to see a lot of action next year so we know what that means - success is just around the corner.

ROSS OSSINO - RONCALLI'S #10

After three years starting on Roncalli’s senior legion baseball team, Ross Ossino has transformed from a sophomore with pop in his bat to a savvy clean up hitter who anticipates fast balls and fights off curve balls.
 

One can tell right away that Ross is a powerful athlete. Broad shoulders and a brawny frame give him away. He shows that power with 420 lb bench presses and in 420 foot home runs. It is a treat when Ross hits a baseball into the night sky. Conversations stop for a moment. The ball nearly disappears before gravity pulls it to earth. Ross breaks into a trot, and his teammates meet him at home plate.

 
It seems only natural that Ross names baseball as his favorite sport. The Ossino family has a lot of ties to the game. Ross’s great uncle Angelo and grandpa Ross were standouts who played semi-professionally. Several others played baseball in high school and college too.
 
When asked for his best baseball memories it’s no surprise that Ross mentioned his friends first. He enjoys winning, but his favorite memories involve the five seniors he has played with during the last four years (Shep, Schluete, Pete, Herb, and Ocken).
 
Ross’s parents, Nancy and Mike, did a fine job teaching him to play baseball. And they did a great job teaching him to be a good person.  Those who know Ross Ossino speak highly of him. He is a classy young man with a big smile and a bigger heart. Ross looks you in the eye when he shakes your hand. He listens first and speaks later. Ross cares about others and it shows.

Wayne State is fortunate to have Ross Ossino heading its way. Ross plans to red shirt as a freshman in 2008. He will use that year to adjust to college life and to learn more about baseball from coach Manganaro’s staff. Ross will resume hitting balls into the night sky in the spring of 2009. Good luck, Ross!

DREW PETERSEN - RONCALLI'S #12


Those following Roncalli baseball know Drew Petersen as a soft-handed second baseman with fine baseball instincts. It is obvious as you watch him. He patrols the middle infield with quick feet, a clear head, and a sturdy right arm. Drew is very smooth on the field and makes playing second base look simple.

He makes it look easy, but baseball is hard. It presents challenges, and a strong support system is helpful when a boy plays baseball. Drew Petersen has that support. His parents, Andy and Fran, rarely miss Pride baseball games. Drew's sister, Ashley, attends as well. They celebrate with him in victory, and they encourage him in defeat. His Grandparents, Barney and Carole, live too far away to attend many games, but they follow Drew’s baseball via newspaper, the internet, and telephone calls. They always know what to say, and Drew is inspired by their attention.

Drew’s baseball journey got an early start. His Grandpa Petersen was a huge baseball fan and made sure little Pete was properly introduced to the game. Grandpa regularly took Drew to ballgames and tossed a ball around with him every chance he got. God called Grandpa Petersen home when Drew was only four, but they had already formed a special bond related to baseball. Many times Drew will look toward the heavens after coming up with a big hit or making a special play. Grandpa isn’t sitting in the bleachers, but he is watching.
 
Roncalli is lucky to have a player like Drew Petersen on the team, and one thing is certain. The Pride is losing a fine second baseman after this summer. Roncalli’s loss is Dana College’s gain. Drew’s special combination of skills created an opportunity for him to continue his baseball career in college. Drew recently signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Dana College in Blair, Nebraska.

Ken Misfeldt is Dana's head baseball coach. He found a good one with Drew Petersen.

YOU NEVER KNOW WHO IS WATCHING


June 17, 2007

Nebraska head baseball coach Mike Anderson caught most of Sunday's game involving the Paragas Law senior legion team and the team from Minot, North Dakota. The Pride battled hard but ended up on the wrong side of a 7-3 score in this baseball game. Mike Nowak threw very well striking out seven North Dakotans during six innings of work.

As can be seen in the photograph to the right, Kathy Sullivan was nice enough to help coach Anderson associate player names and faces with their uniform numbers. She also appears to be sharing her umbrella...nice work Kathy!

SENIORS ADD A PLAYER

 
June 9, 2007
 
The Paragas Law Crimson Pride is expanding its summer roster by one player. An English teacher at Roncalli Catholic High School, Bill Schlueter is a regular at Roncalli sporting events. It now appears Mr. Schlueter will be doing more than advising umpires from his front row bleacher seat.

A remote subsection of the American Legion player eligibility rules allows each team to add one senior citizen to its roster. At age 60, Bill qualifies to participate. Coach Tom Kupfer stumbled on to the rule while reading the American Legion regulations about "Legion Babies". The very next section referenced "Legion Oldies". Kupfer immediately knew what had to be done. "We need more pop at the plate", said Kupfer, "at 6' 1", 225 lbs, Bill is just the guy to give it to us. The wood bat tournament is perfect because metal bats didn't exist in Schlueter's day."

Appropriately, Schlueter will wear uniform number 60. As a player, Bill does it all. He can play first base, outfield, and even pitches on occassion. But his real specialty lies as a third baseman. Apparently his son (Mark) will have to find another position for the rest of the season.

Welcome to the team, Bill. We're glad to have you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

RONCALLI'S 2007 ALL CONFERENCE & ALL STATE PLAYERS


The Omaha World Herald recognized 6 Roncalli High School players as part of its 2007 all state and all conference baseball issue. Having so many honored is a testament to Roncalli's baseball program. Congratulations to the honorees, the coaches, and the entire team.

Mark Shepherd
- First team outfielder for the River Cities Conference, and honorable mention all state.
Mark Schlueter - First team infielder for the River Cities Conference, and honorable mention all state. 
Joe Bircher - First team pitcher for the River Cities Conference, and second team all state.
Mike Nowak - Honorable mention all state.
John Ocken - Honorable mention all state.
Ross Ossino - Honorable mention all state.