Janesville teams eye title runs
Tom Davey knows what type of baseball team it takes to win a state championship.
According to Davey’s simple theory, you need two quality pitchers, a steady defense and a consistent offense.
After watching his Janesville 13-year-old team steamroll its way to the District 2 regional title, Davey believes the pieces are in place for another state title run.
“After our first couple practices, I know (assistant coach) Jim Kauss and I looked at each other early on with this group and thought, ‘What did we buy into,’” coach Davey said. “But we’ve played pretty good baseball for the last month or so, and I really like how the team has come together.
“Our pitching has been solid from day one, and our defense has been ultra steady. Let’s hope that continues at state.”
Brandon Hughes is the Janesville 13s’ top pitcher and will get the ball in today’s opener against Stevens Point at 3 p.m. in Sauk City in the double-elimination tournament. Hughes was nearly unhittable at the regional tournament. He and Korey Quade give Janesville a solid one-two punch on the mound.
Davey also will likely use Jacob Becher, Darin Brewster and Troy Malmanger.
“We really worked on mechanics with the pitchers in the bullpen and also getting them to realize that there is a definite strategy that comes with each and every pitch,” Davey said. “And they’ve really bought into that.
“The key for the pitching staff, and it starts with Brandon in the (state tournament) opener, is that the competition is going to get a lot tougher.”
The Janesville 13s are hitting nearly .325 in tournament play, and Davey said the bats really came alive at the regional tournament.
Although Davey said the team is not built for speed, he hopes to stay aggressive on the bases and take advantage of a lineup that has found a way to put the ball in play.
“You have to stay away from the big inning and take advantage of any opportunities your opponent gives you,” said Davey, who is looking for his third straight state title.
Other members of the team are infielders Mike MacDougall, Adam Catacutan, Greydon Pelkey and Colin Powers and outfielders Ryne McKee, Nate Hoag, James Dahl, Will Theisen, Cullen Osmond and Brent Hughes.