When Nick Carpenter hit a walk-off against Lakeside Lutheran, he was building his case.
When Carpenter struck out seven batters in seven innings against Lodi, he furthered his case.
When the Lake Mills L-Cats swept the entire Capitol North with a perfect 10-0 record in the league, it was clear that the team’s top pitcher would win the Player of the Year award and that was confirmed in the end-of-the-year conference meeting.
“He was a horse for us,” Lake Mills coach Justin Annen said. “He took the mound and gave us a good chance every time he had the ball.”
Carpenter, who committed to play baseball for the UW-Stevens Point, was joined by three seniors earning accolades as well as first-team junior Riley Zirbel and second-team junior outfielder Hunter Buechel. Senior Spencer Hans earned first-team honors for his play at shortstop, senior Harley Jones earned first-team honors as a designated hitter and senior catcher Adam Mitchell earned second-team honors as a catcher.
“The five seniors we had, we all pushed each other and fed off of each other,” Carpenter said. “Harley was the energy in the dugout. Chili (Mitchell) helped hold down the fort behind the plate as a catcher. Spencer was really reliable defensively and we knew if they hit it near him he would make the play. J.T. did anything we needed — he would run down fly balls or come in and get a bunt down. …“We all had our spots that we shined and certain things we were better at.”
Junior Alex Ryan was the lone Lakeside Lutheran player to earn first-team honors. Ryan helped carry the Warriors to a WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinal berth picking up two wins in regionals. His path to next year’s player of the year seems to be between him and Zirbel, the unanimous selection.
“I was really proud of Riley getting unanimous outfield after he got first-team in the infield last year,” Annen said. “That was impressive to see. I thought he turned into a really good outfielder and coaches obviously agreed.”
Lakeside Lutheran had a pair of underclassmen selected to the second-team as well. Sophomore Gabe Uttech secured a spot as an infielder and junior Carter Schneider earned a spot as a utility player. Five Warriors earned honorable mention recognition: sophomore pitcher Nathan Chesterman, senior catcher Carter Buchta, sophomore infielder Ian Olszewski, senior infielder Michael Freson and junior designated hitter Logan Pampel.
At the top of the ticket, though, it was the unanimously selected lefty, who gave the whole conference fits.
“I would say going out there each pitch and tried to beat every single person individually was a big key for me,” Carpenter said. “Whether it was pitching or at the plate, I just tried to win everything and be better than everybody.”
LPS has eight honorees
The Luther Prep baseball team had four first team all-conference selections and four other players receive conference accolades.
Kyle Schupmann, Joel Schewe, Malachi Roeseler and Micah Larsen made the first team.
Schupmann, a freshman third baseman, was a first team selection after hitting .400, driving in a team-high 14 runs and homering twice in conference play.
“His defense is especially highlighted by the great arm he has from third base,” Luther Prep baseball coach Pete Kiecker said. “He is the first ever freshman first team all-conference player LPS has had in my 21 years as head coach.”
Schewe hit .387, scored 11 times and was an eraser in center field en route to be named to the first team as a senior.
“Joel’s ability to track down balls and cover ground was especially noted among a crop of very good center fielders in the Capitol North,” Kiecker said. “His quickness on the basepaths (10 stolen bases) and his on-base average also stand out. He batted leadoff or cleanup all year long and struck out only once.”
Roeseler effectively moved from the outfield to catcher before his senior campaign and garnered first team honors.
“Malachi made the switch from outfield to catcher and caught 58 innings this year,” Kiecker said. “He hit leadoff or second all year. He had 33 stolen bases on the year and 12 in conference games. He called all the pitches himself.”
Rounding out the first team for the Phoenix was Larsen, a junior pitcher, who was 3-2 with an ERA of 2.49 over 25 1/3 innings.
“He had a good strikeout-to-walk ratio and a solid era of 2.49 while facing all of the top teams in the conference,” said Kiecker of the right-hander.
Luther Prep’s Jackson Lindemann, Nate de Galley and Caleb Heckendorf made the second team.
Lindemann, a junior, worked 23 1/3 innings, striking out nine and giving up eight earned. He had an ERA of 2.40 and only threw 14 pitches per frame in league games.
Nate de Galley had 29 putouts at shortstop and an OPS of .930. The junior hit .385 with an on-base clip of .469, driving in 11 runs.
Heckendorf did not commit an error at second base, totaling 28 putouts. The junior batted .393 with an on-base mark of .500.
Senior outfielder and designated hitter Zach Scheuerlein was named to the honorable mention team. He hit .385 in 26 plate appearances, recording 10 hits.
Lake Mills won the league with a 10-0 record followed by Luther Prep at 7-3, Lodi and Columbus at 5-5, Lakeside Lutheran at 2-8 and Poynette at 1-9.
CAPITOL CONFERENCE NORTH DIVISION
2019 ALL-CONFERENCE BASEBALL
2019 Capitol North Baseball Player of the Year — *Nick Carpenter, Lake Mills
*Nick Carpenter, Lake Mills, senior
Micah Larsen, Watertown Luther Prep, junior
Carson Possehl, Lodi, sophomore
Malachi Roeseler, Watertown Luther Prep, senior
Spencer Hans, Lake Mills, senior
Trent Casper, Columbus, senior
Kyle Schupmann, Watertown Luther Prep, freshman
Gavin Burke, Lodi, senior
Kevin Gorman, Poynette, senior
*Riley Zirbel, Lake Mills, junior
Joel Schewe, Watertown Luther Prep, senior
Alex Ryan, Lakeside Lutheran, junior
Noah Stark, Poynette, junior
Harley Jones, Lake Mills, senior
Trace Kirchberg, Columbus, junior
Jackson Lindemann, Watertown Luther Prep, junior
Joe Morris, Columbus, junior
Adam Mitchell, Lake Mills, senior
Gabe Uttech, Lakeside Lutheran, sophomore
Caleb Heckendorf, Watertown Luther Prep, junior
Nate de Galley, Watertown Luther Prep, junior
Logan Richards, Lodi, junior
Austin Gray, Poynette, junior
Hunter Buechel, Lake Mills, junior
Slater Fitzgerald, Lodi, senior
Kendall Minick, Columbus, junior
Carter Schneider, Lakeside Lutheran, junior
Nolan Gutgesell, Columbus, junior
Nathan Chesterman, Lakeside Lutheran, sophomore
Carson Richter, Lodi, sophomore
Carter Buchta, Lakeside Lutheran, senior
Ian Olszewski, Lakeside Lutheran, sophomore
Sam Giombetti, Lake Mills, sophomore
Michael Freson, Lakeside Lutheran, senior
Brady Ziegler, Lodi, sophomore
Sam Kahl, Columbus, senior
Zach Scheuerlein, Watertown Luther Prep, senior
Logan Pampel, Lakeside Lutheran, junior