As the Montgomery County baseball team was wrapping up its practice session on March 14 at the Montgomery County Middle School gymnasium, coach Vince Wolk reminded his players of what happened in …
As the Montgomery County baseball team was wrapping up its practice session on March 14 at the Montgomery County Middle School gymnasium, coach Vince Wolk reminded his players of what happened in last year’s Class 3, District 7 semifinal game against South Callaway.
The Wildcats were one strike away from going to the finals before losing to the Bulldogs 6-5, ending their season at 10-8.
“There were no words to describe how that ended,” Wolk said. “It was a perfect storm that went against us.”
With seven returning starters, including two all-state players, the Wildcats hope to clear that district semifinal hurdle in 2023.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” said Wolk, who returned for his fourth season as MCHS coach. “We told them that in every competition we have, all spots are available. So we have multiple kids competing in multiple spots and trying to make each other better. I told them this is probably the deepest team that I’ve ever coached.”
The Wildcats began their 2023 season on March 20 with an 11-4 win over Duchesne on the road.
MCHS participated in a jamboree on March 11 at Liberty High School in Wentzville, playing Liberty and Warrenton.
“We struggled a little bit,” Wolk said. “We made quite a few errors. We’re just trying to figure out who can play where. It was basically a tryout, trying to figure out who can push who. There was a lot of playing time for a lot of kids.”
Last spring, the Wildcats finished with their first winning season in four years despite having six of their games being canceled due to weather. The loss to South Callaway in the district semifinals denied MCHS its fourth straight trip to the district championship game.
The Wildcats lost two of their key players to graduation, pitcher Evan Abercrombie and catcher Ethan Rakers. Both were on the all-state team in 2022.
Wolk said a lot of players are fighting for pitching and catching spots.
“We have multiple kids who could catch,” Wolk said. “We have over 12 starting pitchers who can contribute. It’s going to be a full team effort.”
Travis Hill and Harrison Bishop make up the senior class. In 2022, Hill earned all-conference, all-district and all-state honors at infield, while Bishop was named to the all-district team.
“They bring fun to baseball,” Wolk said. “They like to have fun while getting their work done. They’ve been starting for three years now. They’ve been huge contributors and their leadership has been huge this year.”
The juniors are Dayton Simmons, Jace Ellis, Mason Leu, Bryson Hoffmann and Djordje Golubovic. Ellis earned second-team all-state outfielder honors last spring.
The sophomores are Brayden Harris, Burke King, Jonah Happe, Tatum Wessel, Zak Welker, Bryson Nichols, Landon Pottebaum and Jacob Hogue.
Rounding out the team are freshmen Cameron Knapp, Noah Beck, Mac Farrar, Colby Ellis, Edwin Garcia, Seth Walton, Adrian Combs and Chase Queathem.
“They come in with a lot of experience,” Wolk said. “They played a lot of ball and they are coming in wanting to earn spots. So they are doing their best to push our older kids.”
The Wildcats begin their EMO season on March 27 at Silex. They finished 8-2 in conference play last year. Wolk said Elsberry and Wright City will challenge his team for the league title this spring.
“Elsberry lost a few people, but they’re returning quite a few starters, as well as Wright City,” Wolk said.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here