Sheboygan A’s preview: New-look team, park

May 27, 2011

The "new look" Sheboygan A's semi-pro baseball team will open up its 49th season tonight in the "new look" Wildwood Baseball Park.

Wisconsin State League

The “new look” Sheboygan A’s semi-pro baseball team will open up its 49th season tonight in the “new look” Wildwood Baseball Park.

The A’s host the Plymouth Flames of the Land o’ Lakes League Northern Division. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Fans who bring a donation of one or more food items to the box office will get $1 off the price of admission, which is $3 for adults and $1 for students 17 and under.

This year’s A’s will be led by first-year manager Shaun Wegner, a four-year player at UW-Milwaukee who served as a graduate assistant coach at Minnesota State University in Mankato.

Wegner is also on the roster as a player. He is a strong-armed catcher who had two .300-plus seasons and finished as a .286 career hitter in 180 games at UWM.

He will join the club on Sunday after completing his Minnesota State responsibilities.

The return of fellow UWM players Grant Berkovitz, Charlie Reschke, Tim Patzman and Ben Stanczyk bodes well for this season. Berkovitz and Reschke, both infielders, are Sheboygan North grads; Patzman, from Waukesha, was the club’s top hitter before suffering a broken elbow a year ago and Stanzcyk started his career here before playing with the La Crosse Loggers and then being signed by the Brewers.

Top returning players are infielder/pitcher and Sheboygan South grad Taylor Schwarz (UW-Parkside), who hit .328 last year; catcher Phil Kramsky (UW Stevens Point) .321; infielder-outfielder Kyle Edlhuber (Wisconsin Lutheran) .287; pitcher Eric Van Beck (UW-Stevens Point) 5-2, 1.31; pitcher and North grad Mitch Gardner (Marian) 2-2, 4.84; pitcher Connor Lenz (Edgewood), 2-0, 3.38, 3 saves; pitcher and South grad Will Madson (Carthage-Detroit Tigers minor league system) 2-0, 2.08; catcher Justin Hunt (Purdue North Central) .259; outfielder Joey Patzman (UW Whitewater Club) .222; pitcher Jake Ristow (UW Madison Club) 0-1, 5.58, 2 saves; Jack Larsen (UW-Whitewater) 4-3, 5.06, 1 save; and pitcher Bryan Dominick (Central Methodist) 1-1, 3.00.

Among the newcomers who are expected to make big contributions are North grads Colin Willis, an outfielder from Purdue North Central, and Ryan Hamm, a pitcher/infielder from Illinois Wesleyan. Others are UW-Milwaukee players outfielder Derek Peake and first baseman Ryan Solberg, Illinois-Chicago pitcher Collin Weyer, UW-Whitewater-bound first baseman Adam Wilson, infielders Greg Rhude and Harry Steldt from Concordia; and pitchers Mike Huckabay and Parker Schrage (New Holstein) from Madison College; Glenn Newell from Edgewood; Max Kramsky from Upper Iowa and Nicolet High School grad Carsten Haas.

While it will be the opener for the A’s, Rick Meyer’s Plymouth Club comes in with a 4-2 record. The Flames have beaten Cleveland, Grafton, the Manitowoc Heat and Two Rivers, while losing to Saukville and Thiensville Mequon.

New dugouts will greet players when they enter the park. A new protective net that enables much-improved viewing of the game, a new on-field seating section and a new picnic area will greet fans. The Sheboygan Athletic Club has carried out the $175,000 improvement project.

The grand opening celebration of the park is set for June 4 and will be marked by an afternoon brat fry and entertainment by Buffalo Joe prior to the 4 p.m. ribbon cutting and game against the Chicago Clout.

The A’s will host West Allis and Thiensville-Mequon on Wednesday and Thursday of next week before the Grand Opening.

Story by: The Sheboygan Press
Photo by: The Sheboygan Press

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 FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. | #WSL