The baseball season has been off and running for a few weeks in the North Shore and Homestead, Whitefish Bay, Nicolet, Brown Deer and Shorewood are all kicking up dust and hoping that it doesn't rain.
A quick early synopsis of each team follows.
The Highlanders improved to 10-2 overall and 5-2 in the North Shore with a 7-3 win over Slinger on Monday.
That victory came on the heels of an important, 4-3 decision over Bay on Friday.
"We have six seniors and three sophomores in our starting lineup," said Highlanders coach Ernie Millard, "and our defense is vastly improved from last year. Against Grafton (a state qualifier last season) and Bay we committed no errors and we have more double plays already this year than in the last two seasons combined."
Key leaders include senior three-plus year starter at catcher Mitch Hauser, senior first baseman Max Beckers and outfielders Zach Enea and Matt Schroeder. Seniors Kevin Koch, Tommy Martin and Doug Mueller along with sophomore Jake Eurfourth, lead the pitching staff.
Division I golf recruit Jordan Niebrugge has emerged as a closer, the first Millard said he can remember having (three saves already).
The Highlanders have a critical home game against Nicolet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and then visit Greater Metro power Muskego at 5:30 p.m. Friday in a nonconference tilt.
Sophomore Alex Fish got the win over Slinger as Koch had three hits and two RBI.
The Blue Dukes are off to a 7-1 start including impressive wins over West Bend East and Slinger and a 4-1 record in the North Shore.
The senior-dominated squad includes seniors Austin Gavic (utility/pitcher), Mike Leckie (infield), Joe Fiorita (utility), Pat Harrington (catcher/third base), Jack Fagan (outfielder/pitcher), Phil Kistler (outfield/pitcher), Dan Umland (outfield), Jordan Mielke (catcher/outfielder), Will Stock (second base) and Garrett DeMuth (first base/outfield).
The Blue Dukes host Port Washington (2-7) on Thursday, visit Grafton (4-4) on Friday and host Germantown (4-3) on Monday. All games are at 5:30 p.m.
The Knights are trying to work around huge graduation losses including two-time All-Suburban selections Sam Kohnke and Brian Huntsinger.
They are 7-3 overall (3-2 in league) so far including a tough 7-4 loss to defending state champion Franklin.
Seniors include Jason Blumenfeld (outfield/pitcher), Peter Maric (catcher), D.J. Peltz (infield/pitcher), Joel Sharon (outfielder/pitcher), and Dave Stein (infielder). Sophomore Tyler Crass was a starter last season on the infield.
After the Homestead game on Thursday, the Knights will be at Port Washington on Friday, home against Grafton on Monday and then at West Bend East (6-5) on Tuesday.
The veteran Falcons are off to an excellent start with an overall record of 8-4, including a 2-1 mark in the Woodland.
They beat St. Thomas More twice last week, 2-1 and 8-2.
Leaders include seniors Steve Lillie (infielder), Mike Rudolph (infield/pitcher), Sean Andryauskas (outfield), Brian Michalica (infield), Brett Youngbeck (catcher), Chris Smith (outfielder/pitcher), Sam Kuchenreuther and Ryan Hudson.
Sophomore infielder/pitcher Jake Schimenz was already pulling double-duty when he won the WIAA state Division 2 track title in the 800 meters on June 4.
The Falcons host Whitnall at 7 p.m. on Thursday and then host Kettle Moraine on Saturday.
The Greyhounds earned their second win of the season with a 10-0 rout of St. Francis on Monday.
Senior infielder/pitcher Declan Gruber threw all five innings, allowing only two hits with five strikeouts. The Greyhounds played errorless ball behind him as Gruber helped himself with three hits, two runs scored and two RBI, while freshman utility player Cooper Lang had two hits and two runs scored and sophomore utility player Elliott Kucharczyk also had two hits and two runs scored.
Other seniors on the roster include outfielder/catcher R.J. Adams, first baseman Charlie Dixon, outfielder/second baseman Evan Ludwig, outfielder/pitcher Marshal Mikolajczak, second baseman Jenny Vrobel and senior utility Daniel Zens.
Shorewood (1-3 in Woodland and 2-5 overall) take on Greenfield at Sheridan Park at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and then play at Brown Deer on Monday.
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