Sheboygan A’s Season Preview
May 25, 2009
The Sheboygan Press gives us a season preview of the 2009 Sheboygan A's. The A's finished with a 46-20 overall record in 2008, with second place finishes in both the Wisconsin State League and the Nor
Chad Gehr is only 27 years old, but the Sheboygan A’s manager still calls his players “kids.”
But that’s part of the appeal of both playing for, and keeping abreast of, the city’s semipro baseball team during the summer months. It’s a way to stay into the game, on a local level.
Of course, it even more fun when there’s winning involved. The A’s won a bunch last year, and expect to win just as many in 2009.
“I love managing this team. I get to be a kid again for the summer,” said Gehr, in his second year as A’s manager. “It’s fun. It keeps me young and around the game I love.”
The A’s season begins Wednesday with a game at the Howards Grove Riverdogs, starting at 8 p.m. Their first game at Wildwood Park is Monday, June 8 against Menasha.
The A’s finished second in the Wisconsin State League to the Lombard Orioles, and were second in the Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League, one game behind the champion Manitowoc Bandits.
“It was a very good year,” said Gehr. “The kids played hard, and if you get the effort you want, they’ll produce.”
The A’s finished with a stellar 46-20 overall record, and Gehr believes this season can be just as successful, if not more so.
“We’ll be pretty good again this year,” said Gehr. “We’re real young, very young, but we’ve got a good group of guys coming in.”
Tim Patzman has been tearing the cover off the ball at UW-Milwaukee and bat in the middle of the A’s lineup. The A’s also await word on Shawn Wozniak, last year’s Wisconsin State League rookie of the year. Wozniak, a UW-Milwaukee standout, may get drafted in the Major League Baseball draft or sign to play in the Northwoods League, one of the nation’s premier college summer leagues. If he doesn’t, he will anchor the A’s order.
The pitching rotation will be especially young, and will be led by a pair of locals. Lucas Wilsing, a North grad now at Northern Iowa, returns. As does Ryan Schmitz, also of North, and of Beloit College. So does South’s Taylor Schwarz, of MATC.
Wilsing also batted .424 in NWL play last season. Schmitz and outfielder Kreston Albright were second-team NWL standouts that are back.
“We’ve got a good group of core guys coming back,” said Gehr.
Speedster Matt Schilter returns and will lead off and play second base. The A’s expect to score a good amount of runs.
“We’ll still have a solid hitting lineup. We’ll still run, I love to hit and run and steal some bags,” said Gehr.
Lombard, which was the class of the WSL last season posting a 26-2 record, is again the favorite. Sheboygan hopes to be in the mix to overtake the Orioles.
“They’re obviously the team to beat,” said Gehr. “Hopefully our young kids step up and give Lombard a little run for their money.”
The A’s will be missing many key players going into Wednesday’s season opener, because they’re still playing for their college teams. Gehr said he expected the squad to be at full strength in time for the home opener.
Fans can also now follow the A’s online, at www.sheboyganbaseball.org, as well as on Facebook and Twitter (twitter.com/shebbaseball).
The Wisconsin State League is one of the premier semi-professional/amateur baseball leagues in the mid-west. In operation since 1970, the Wisconsin State League is a highly competitive league that features many of the midwest's top current and former collegiate athletes, as well as many former professional baseball players. Keep up to date on everything happening in the Wisconsin State League by following the league online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
WisconsinStateLeague.com | #WSL