Germantown - Potential is both a great and terrible thing.
Take the senior-laden Germantown baseball team. The Warhawks, who finished a credible 16-12 last season but who are still waiting for their potential to bloom after scuffling out to a 2-1 North Shore mark and a 3-4 overall record.
"We need to find a way to support our pitchers, especially Brian (UW-Milwaukee recruit Keller)," coach Jeff Wolf said. "Brian is 2-0 (with a no-decision) and we've scored exactly two runs for him. We need to start to get a couple of key hits here and there. We've been humbled a bit. We have so many returning seniors and we started believing what everyone was telling us about how good we are."
Some of those seniors include Keller, catcher Danny Krause, first baseman Blake Fleischman, second baseman Zack Kumbier, shortstop Jordan Kuczynski, Tom Andrus at third base, leftfielder Louis Tuszynski and centerfielder Jimmy Doedens.
Rotating in right field are junior Taylor Klopatek, junior Joey Szopinski and Keller.
Wolf has been impressed by Kumbier, last seen as starting guard for the state champion boys basketball team. He took a season off from baseball but has returned his senior year to become a solid infielder.
Backing up Keller on the mound are senior Ryan Anderson (who took a no-hitter into the seventh against Slinger), Klopatek, senior Mike Knippen, Kumbier and Andrus.
Keller's major highlight so far has been a 1-0 decision over spring school University School in the season opener. The Wildcats at the time had only one loss and eventually made WIAA sectional finals before falling.
Other games on Germantown's challenging schedule include a 5-3 loss to Burlington, an 8-4 defeat at the hands of Kewaskum, a 4-3 loss to Cedarburg, a 7-2 win over Slinger, a 1-0 win over Homestead and a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Kettle Moraine.
In the win over Homestead, Keller outdueled the Highlanders Jake Erfourth, throwing a one-hitter with no walks. In the loss to Kettle Moraine, the Warhawks had the bases-loaded with two-out in the bottom of the seventh when a screaming line drive in the gap was snagged by a Laser outfielder for the final out.
"Another inch on that ball and it goes by him and we win the game," Wolf said.
The Warhawks are in the midst of a difficult week. They were at Nicolet (2-2, 3-4) on Monday, took on West Bend East (2-3, 8-4) on Tuesday, visit North Shore leading Whitefish Bay (5-1, 8-3) on Thursday and will be at the Waukesha South Wood Bat Tournament on Saturday.
"This'll be a big week," Wolf said. "Teams (in the North Shore) will start to separate themselves. We need to make a move."
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