2012 Wisconsin State League season wrap-up

August 30, 2012

Kenosha's Tyler Eickmeyer, Sheboygan's Ben Stanczyk and Kenosha's John Hasser win the batting, pitching and fielding titles in 2012.

Wisconsin State League

The Lombard Orioles led the Wisconsin State Baseball League in pitching and hitting, but it was the depth of skipper Jeff Vukovich’s club as much as anything else that was responsible for the Orioles winning their ninth straight championship.

The Orioles finished with a 20-2 record to beat out the Kenosha Kings by three games. Lombard’s .909 winning percentage was the third best in league history. Only Green Bay (.950 in 1980) and Lombard’s .929 season in 2008 were better.

The Orioles hit .331 as a team, beating out Kenosha’s .319 and posted a torrid 1.85 team earned run average, a mark that goes down as tied for fourth in league history. Green Bay was 1.29 in 1970, Lombard 1.62 in 2009, Green Bay 1.77 in 1973 and Janesville 1.85 in 2004. Kenosha also had the No. 2 pitching staff this year, 2.70.

While most didn’t meet minimum requirements for league honors because they split up playing time, no less than 14 Orioles hit .300 or better and 14 Oriole pitchers had earned run averages of 3.45 or better.

Third baseman Ryan Tutland led those Orioles with enough appearances to qualify with a .365 average. Zach Morton was the top pitcher with a 4-0 record that included three shutouts and a 0.93 earned run average.

In addition to their string of nine straight, the Orioles have won or shared the league title in 15 of the 21 seasons that they have competed. The Orioles joined the league for the 1992 season.

Kenosha’s Tyler Eickmeyer won the 2012 league batting title with a .407 average. Teammate Kyle Frye was second .397, Eau Claire’s Nolan Fadness third .393, Tutland fourth and his Lombard teammate Dan Dispenza rounded out the top five at .344.

Sheboygan’s Ben Stanczyk beat out Morton to win the pitching title. Stanczyk, 3-2 for the season, had a 0.87 ERA. Third was Kenosha’s Randy Johnson (6-1, 1.24), followed by Manitowoc’s Jason McMurray (2-2, 1.29) and Kenosha’s Jon Olson (1-2, 1.50).

Kenosha’s John Hasser handled 116 chances without an error to win the fielding title.

In addition to average, Kenosha’s Eickmeyer led the league in hits, 33, doubles, 8, and total bases, .407.

Manitowoc’s Anthony Pitsch led in appearances, 91; Eau Claire’s Nolan Fadness in runs scored, 26, and on base percentage, .500; Eau Claire’s Brian Burman in runs batted in, 23; Oshkosh’s Luke Gajewski in stolen bases, 17, Tutland in triples, 3, and slugging percentage, .651; and Addison’s Dave Ciaglia in home runs, 3.

Kenosha’s Randy Johnson completed all of his league-leading seven starts and also led the league in innings pitched, 51; strikeouts, 53; wins, 6; and shutouts, 3. Tyler Willman of Manitowoc led in appearances, 9; and Luke Westphal of Oshkosh and Craig Lipp of Lombard both had a league high 2 saves.

The league will begin planning for its 44th season with its October meeting. Teams in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois with an interest in joining the league should contact the league office at sac@excel.net.

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.

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