Ellinwood baseball showed promise
BY JIM MISUNAS
ELLINWOOD — Ellinwood’s baseball team swept Skyline for the school’s first doubleheader win in a 3-14 season during 2019 that ended in an 18-3 loss to Little River. Ellinwood’s baseball team won one game in 2017 and 2018.
Ellinwood’s fourth season of baseball under coach Trevor Bieberle offered promise with nine seniors and six juniors headlining a team with solid experience. Six seniors would’ve been four-year starters. Team leaders would’ve been David Hammeke, Tyler Knop, Luke Wondra, Kyler Doll, Gage Hosman, Tyler Stuhlsatz and Parker Scheck.
But Kansas Governor Laura Kelly canceled the spring season due to fear about the coronavirus.
“This was the year we had marked to compete and set the tone for our program. I feel the worst for our seniors who worked so hard to build a culture in our program,” Bieberle said. “They didn’t get the chance to experience success on the baseball field like they deserved. We’ll forever be indebted for what they started. We are going to make sure we keep them involved in the future with some plans to honor them when all this settles down.”
After getting run ruled for two seasons, Ellinwood extended most games to seven innings last year and beat Skyline for a historic sweep.
“They were thrown into the fire and went through growing pains,” Bieberle said. “Last year, they took big steps. We improved in every statistical category and had a great summer. Unfortunately we didn’t get that opportunity. We had a solid group of varsity pitchers with seven guys we would trust to take the mound.”
Ninth-graders Parker Scheck and standout athlete Tyler Stuhlsatz headlined a young group of promising players.
“We would’ve mixed in some great young talent,” Bieberle said. “Three freshman had the opportunity to push for varsity playing time.”
The lost opportunity feels especially painful for Ellinwood, which expected to surprise a lot of teams.
“Anytime you lose game reps for guys it sets you back,” he said. “We had junior varsity games to give our younger guys a chance to be ready when we lose our senior group. We’ll get to play some summer baseball. We’ll work together with baseball specific workouts and intra-squad scrimmages. We have a group that will put the work to be ready for next year. Now, I’m counting down the days for next year.”
ELLINWOOD BASEBALL 2020
SENIORS—Woodson Corbett, Kyler Doll, David Hammeke, Tyler Knop, Cole Kubick, Adam Mannie, Chris Nielsen, Ryan Niles, Luke Wondra
JUNIORS—Dalton Gowdy, Gage Hosman, Lane Klepper, Alex Ortiz, Brad Shumate, Wyatt Standlee
SOPHOMORES—Preston McCord, Tony Ortiz, Cole Petz, Trey Schofield
NINTH-GRADERS—Cale Batchman, Koy Behnke, Britton Dutton, Eli Miller, Parker Scheck, Tyler Stuhlsatz