Time for State: A look back on the baseball season

Varsity is getting ready for the state tournament

Jacob Janousek, Sports Director

The baseball team wrapped up Districts this past weekend with a loss to Kearney 4-2, a game that went to extra innings, finishing off this part of the season 23-5 with losing four of their last six games.

This has been a strong season by this senior led team. With the team having 13 total seniors leading them there is much to look forward to before this season ends as they wrapped up a two seed in the State tournament.

One of the seniors who have brought this team to the next level is senior Jackson Meier. He has been here for four years and has done an amazing job being a catcher and being a brick wall behind the plate with a .989 fielding percentage.

“The seniors have done a great job building the core for this team,” Meier said. “Most of us have been together for all these years and we have always picked each other up and kept us going.”

Going into this season this team lost a majority of their players, specifically contributing players such as former Wildcat Colby Gomes who has been a productive pitcher for Nebraska at the division one level.They still obtained a preseason ranking of two according to Nebraska Prep Zone.

Junior Max Anderson was someone to look at in the season as he committed to Texas A&M a Division 1 school in the NCAA. He is batting with a .388 batting average, and adding on to that seven home runs. Nine other players are going to college next season to continue their baseball careers. With this much talent for the Wildcats you knew they weren’t going to be playing around.

On March 21, the Wildcats started off the season against the preseason ranked one team Creighton Prep. They fell down early 2-0, but they really started to get the bats rolling. They scored four runs in the fourth and ended up winning in extra innings and this was just the start of what this team would become. This team would go on to string 18 more wins, starting this season 19-0. It was just win after win. Not only were they beating these teams but they were winning comfortably beating each team by a average of 4.7 runs. Wildcats played well on both sides of the ball.

“We did the little things right,” baseball coach Steve Frey said. “Our pitching did really well and we capitalized off of mistakes at the plate.”

Towards the tail end of the season this team started to struggle. They looked like a different squad after their streak ended on April 22nd with a loss at Omaha Central, 3-1. They lost to rival Millard South and a losing streak started. The pitching for this team wasn’t doing at its peak and that is due to them just not having great arms here in the end. They had a game this year where they went through seven pitchers in one game and that just explains it. Some of the teams they lost to during the streak of losing four of their last six games were teams they shouldn’t be losing too. They lost to Bellevue East on Senior night and lost against top ranked Elkhorn and with losing this past weekend in districts there is much to work on.

Wildcats seemed to not have the same mindset of that 19-0 team. For the start of this season they were hitting with a .300 batting average comfortably, but with this losing streak, they have hit barley over .200. The ERA has not been where they want it too be.

They didn’t end the season too well, but with State coming up their mind is shifting.

“We lost some of these strings of games because other teams have done a good job of pitching against us,” Frey said. “We are just going to keep working on our hitting and get our pitchers going to get prepared for State.”

Due to the tough ending, this team will be looked at differently by fans and media around, but the Wildcats know their identity.

“People are going to doubt us going in to State,” sophomore Kyan Lodice said. “I know what kind of talent we got and we are going in and playing each game like it is our last.”

State is just right around the corner as the Wildcats go in trying to win the first State title in school history as they play Creighton Prep Saturday, May 11th at 7 p.m and are prepared to elevate their game again and make history.