The Mound Westonka High School baseball team will open its season this Saturday, April 8, hosting Southwest Christian at 3 p.m. at MWHS. The White Hawks look to build upon last season’s 10-10 record.
Twenty-two juniors and seniors are out for baseball this spring. These upperclassmen, along with sophomore Sam Dufault, form the varsity and varsity reserves teams. This is the third year that the White Hawks will field a reserves team, which allows additional games for players to get more at bats, innings played and innings pitched. It has allowed the White Hawks to build depth in the program.
Senior captain Dylan Roth is back behind the plate for his third season as the White Hawks catcher. He also will begin the season hitting in the leadoff spot. Other returning senior starters are third baseman Hunter Ellis and six-year varsity pitcher/player Evan Kennedy.
Evan Dahl, a junior, returns to man an outfield spot and pitch. Dufault started last year as a freshman and will again be counted upon to hit in the middle of the lineup and play outfield and pitch for the White Hawks.
Other players hoping to make an impact this spring include juniors Hank Nagel, Jack Latour and Jarek Witzcek and seniors Jerry Krahl and Cody Rolighed. Nagel and Latour will be manning shortstop and second base, respectively, and spent last summer getting used to playing with one another. Krahl emerged last spring as one of the White Hawks’ top pitchers and continued that during the summer season.
Adam Fish, Grant Henkels, Leo Kreatz, Bobby Kohman, Carter Matt, and Tommy Clobes are all seniors on this year’s varsity team who bring a number of different talents to the program. Andrew Wolf, Jackson Leinfelder, Marshall Boser, John Koch, Louis Warolin, Will Stein and Andrew Fish are juniors who are trying to crack the lineup. All of the players are practicing at multiple positions to see where they can get playing time.
The new pitch count rules will have an effect on how players will be used in both levels of baseball. Fewer varsity reserve games were scheduled to allow players to be eligible for pitching. It will be a learning year for all schools the size of MWHS in the state. Stein, Witzcek and junior Andrew Fish will all see action on the mound.
Next week on Monday, April 10, the White Hawks host Dassel-Cokato in their Wright County Conference opener. On Wednesday, April 12, the varsity will play its first road game at Minneapolis South. Then on Friday, April 14, the White Hawks will host Hibbing at 4:30 p.m.
On April 17, the White Hawks will play a game in U.S. Bank Stadium against Rockford. Game time is 4 p.m.
Mound Westonka will put a talented team on the field this year. The boys have worked hard, and there’s so much competition for playing time that it’s bringing out the best in the players. The White Hawks hope to battle with the top teams in the Wright County Conference this spring. Come join them at the ballpark!