Baseball: Wausaukee routs Niagara

Niagara's Josh Weber is hit by a pitch against Wausaukee on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Niagara, Wis. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

NIAGARA, Wis. — Niagara’s bats remained flat in a 15-2 thumping by M&O Conference foe Wausaukee on Tuesday.

The Badgers (0-3) struck out 11 times in 22 at-bats, an even 50 percent strikeout rate. Niagara has now struck out in 52 percent of at-bats this season (45 strikeouts in 86 at-bats).

The Badgers are slashing .163/.258/.174 (batting average/on-base/slugging percentage) so far this season with one extra-base hit, a double by Ethan Sweig from Monday’s loss to Crivitz.

“Bats are struggling. Kids are overswinging,” Niagara head coach Dean Neveau said. “They think they gotta swing as hard as they can to hit the ball. Make contact. Hit it in the sweet spot of the bat and it’s gonna go.”

Pitching has kept Niagara in contention in two of its games so far. Badgers pitchers have a 2.16 ERA and a 12.97 strikeouts per nine innings average. Most telling is the team’s 1.80 WHIP (walks plus hitters per inning pitched). In the Majors, a 1.30 WHIP is considered average, but in high school baseball, in northern Wisconsin and Michigan — in April — a 1.80 WHIP is pretty good.

“Pitchers did good. The errors were at the wrong time. It’s an out that gets you out of the inning and they score four, five runs after that,” Neveau said. “They put the ball in play. Like I tell my kids — hit the ball, put the ball in play. We had 11 strikeouts. That’s too much — in six innings.”

A nine-run sixth boosted Wausuakee to a 15-1 lead. The Badgers managed a run in the bottom of the inning.

Niagara hosts Gillett on Thursday.

Wausaukee 230 109 0 — 15 13 1

Niagara 100 001 0 — 2 3 3

LOB — Wausaukee 8, Niagara 4. ERR —

Stumbrris, Oslund, DeJardin, Hansen. 2B — Renikow, Schroeder, Gruszynski. HBP — Struve, Weber. SB — Renikow (2),

Caylor (3), Struve, Gottbehevt, DeJardin,

Josh Weber.

PB — Renikow (2). WP — Kaldor, DeJardin, Weber. SO — Stumbrris, Versaskas, Struve, Gruszynski, Sweig (2), Lincoln (2), Carlson (2), Oslund (2), Hansen (2), Peterson. BB — Parr, Stumbrris, Versaskas, Renikow, Caylor, Struve, Schroeder, Gruszynski, DeJardin.

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