Elk Mound baseball says goodbye to 10 seniors

ELK MOUND — To say the Elk Mound baseball team was heavy on upperclassmen this year would be quite an exaggeration as 10 seniors ended their playing days for the team this season. One was a four time letter winner while several of them were three year varsity players. In the past four years, the team compiled a record of 68-18 and won three conference and regional titles with a sectional title and a trip to state in 2010.

Four year letter winner Garett Phillips left his mark at the school by winning 28 games and losing just three as the leader of the pitching staff. He struck out 320 batters in four seasons while walking just 80 in three years. His sophomore year he compiled a 13-0 record and whiffed 120 batters while walking 26 and allowing 18 runs with a 1.22 Earned Run Average. (More about Phillips possibly setting some school records in this department will appear in a future Messenger).And on the other side of the plate he was no slouch either as he led the team his senior year  in hits with 25, RBIs with 18 and runs scored with 18 while batting .472, which was second on the team. As a sophomore, he led the Mounders in runs scored with 42, in stolen bases with 19 and tied for the lead in doubles with 7. He also crossed the plate for a team leading 24 times as a junior. Overall, he rapped 83 hits with 16 doubles, one triple and five round trippers (four as a senior), scored 85 times and knocked in 51 runs while stealing 43 bases.  He was a four time All Conference player, starting as honorable mention his freshman year and moving up to first team for the next three seasons. He was a second team All District player as an outfielder this year and was chosen to play in the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All Star game June 28-29 in Oshkosh. Phillips will continue his baseball career at Century College in White Bear Lake, MN next year.

Hunter Dicus played three years of varsity ball and led the team this year with a .476 batting average and in drawing walks with 14. He was second on the team in both hits with 20 and in RBIs with 17 and showed his power by slugging three homeruns with three doubles. He had a very productive sophomore season, leading the team with 29 RBIs and ending the year with a .418 batting average with 33 hits including five doubles, a triple and a homerun. His totals for three years are 54 runs scored, 75 hits with 11 doubles, one triple and four round trippers, 57 RBIs and seven stolen bases. He also pitched some valuable innings in those years, compiling an 8-8 record in 78 2/3 innings with 82 total strikeouts and 62 walks. As a senior he threw 11 innings, struck out 18 opposing batters and walked just 2 with a 0.64 ERA. When he wasn’t pitching, he played first base then moved to the outfield this year. He was a first team All Conference selection his sophomore and senior years, and is a first team All District player and All Academic selection this year by the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association. Dicus plans on attending Century College with Phillips and hopes to continue with his baseball career there.

Dan Bachman also saw varsity action for three seasons as an infielder. In the hitting department, he totaled 50 runs scored, 51 hits with 12 doubles, 44 RBIs and eight base steals. As a junior he tied for the team lead in RBIs with 19 and was second in average at .364. Bachman was a first team All Conference pick as a junior and second team senior year.

Nick Heit played in six games as a sophomore and was a two year letter winner for the team. During his junior year, Heit led the Mounders with 27 hits and 11 doubles, and tied for the lead in RBIs with 19. He scored 14 times and batted .355 with one stolen base, His totals are 40 hits with 12 doubles and one homerun,  19 runs scored, 31 RBIs and three base steals. Defensively, he took a beating and controlled the pitching staff as the catcher. He was a first team All Conference pick as a junior and second team his senior year. He was also named to the All District  Academic team.

Hunter Hermes also played a bit his sophomore year and lettered two years. As a junior, he smacked 15 hits and brought in 13 runners while scoring 16 times himself. In his three seasons he picked up 27 hits with four doubles, crossed the plate 24 times and had 17 RBIs. He finished with a batting average of .264 in two years of full time playing and was the starting right fielder. He was named first team All Conference this year and All District and All State Academic.

Second baseman Alec Winter was a two year letter winner and had his most productive season as a senior, batting .341 which was third on the team. He rapped 15 hits including a double and a homerun, knocked in nine runs, scored 17 times and stole two bases. In two years he collected 26 hits with 21 RBIs while crossing the plate 28 times. He was also a first team All Conference selection as a senior and was named to the All District and All State Academic team.

Nate Spehle really came onto his own from the pitching mound in his two years of varsity play. He was second behind Phillips in innings pitched both years and compiled a 10-1 record including 6-0 as a senior with a 0.62 ERA. In 34 innings this year he allowed just four runs and 12 hits while whiffing 36 batters and walking nine. His totals in 81 2/3 innings were 83 strikeouts, 29 walks, 43 hits and 27 runs with only 18 earned. Hitting wise, he collected 11 hits with a pair of doubles and a homerun with eight RBIs and 17 runs scored. He was second on the team in drawing walks this year with 10 and batted .333. He was chosen second team All Conference both years and his pitching ability earned him a second team All District award.

Patrolling center field this year, Seth Kruger saw action in two seasons for the Mounders, picking up four hits in 16 games with a double while bringing in three runs and scoring six times. He also swiped a pair of bases as a senior.

Outfielder Nick Woodley played in nine games his junior year and seven this season, coming up with three hits with one RBI and scoring two runs.

David Henningfeld, also an outfielder, played in five games as a senior and knocked out one hit in five at bats.

“This was a special group who will be greatly missed next year,” coach Paul Andrea said.  “They loved the game of baseball and did great things in their careers. For so many to be named All District is quite an honor  because our district includes all of the area conferences including the Big Rivers and Middle Border which all have big schools,” he added.