—by Todd Thorson
The Roland-Story J.V. baseball team finished 16-8 this season. A 4-0 start led to a fine season, as they ended up winning five of their last six ball games to end the campaign on a positive note. The Norse defeated Nevada and South Hamilton twice, and won their final game against a good Martensdale St. Mary’s team.
Offensively, several players had multiple base hits, including 29 doubles as a team. A high point included two home runs on the east diamond during the J.V. tournament by Jerald Fritz and Logan Greiner. Logan was also the only Norseman to hit a home run at the varsity field this season.
"They are a solid bunch of hitters and will fill in the varsity lineup nicely over the next couple of years," said Coach Nick Steenhagen.
Defensively, as a team, the Norsemen averaged less than two errors per game, and over four strikeouts per game. "That’s huge because that’s part of our baseball philosophy - defense and pitching," commented Steenhagen. "Good pitching and defense are keys to getting wins."
Overall, Steenhagen praised his entire lineup of players, who appear like they will be very productive at the varsity level as they mature. "They worked hard and did everything that was asked of them to help the team be successful," he said. "Some of these things included laying down bunts to advance runners and getting caught in run-downs to score runs. We had a very productive and successful season and I look forward to seeing them grow into varsity baseball players."
Logan Greiner led the J.V. in batting with a .440 average. Ross Barclay also batted over .400 with a .410 average. The rest of the regular J.V. lineup included: Jerald Fritz (.346), Nick Moore (.326), Ryan Hadaway (.314), Landon Stalzer (.310), Thomas Wilgenbusch (.229), Tyler Rivers (.219), Jason Darland (.211) and Danny Dankel (.167). Trent Elliott and John Barclay also participated in limited J.V. action, appearing in 12 and 8 games, respectively, and batting .281 and .400.
Logan Greiner was the team leader in hits with 22, including seven doubles. Jerald Fritz was next with 18 hits. Logan also led in RBIs with 21, while Jerald knocked in 19 runs. Landon Stalzer and Ryan Hadaway managed 16 and 15 RBIs, respectively. Nick Moore and Tyler Rivers led the team in bases on balls with 11 and 10 walks, respectively. Logan was way ahead in the slugging percentage department, posting an impressive .740. Ross Barclay had the best on base percentage at .540.