Two Janesville Craig players named to All-Big Eight first team
There wasn’t a hotter hitter in the second half of the Big Eight Conference baseball season than Zach Bayreuther.
The Janesville Craig High School senior has batted over .600 the last 10 games, including a three-game stretch where the smooth-swinging left-hander went 10-for-11 with eight RBIs.
Because of his torrid finish and another solid defensive season at shortstop, Bayreuther is one of two Cougars on the All-Big Eight first team. Senior pitcher Brett Fredricks, who finished 8-1 in the regular season and will start Craig’s WIAA Division 1 state quarterfinal game against Middleton on Tuesday, also has earned first-team recognition.
Middleton’s Shane Adler is the unanimous choice as Player of the Year. The senior went 5-0 on the mound in the Big Eight and batted nearly .400.
Madison West’s Tim Goldsworthy, who retired after 26 years in the head position, is the Coach of the Year after guiding the Regents into the sectional title game.
Bayreuther finished the regular season with a .409 average and was the catalyst behind Craig’s drive to the state tournament. He led the team with 38 hits, 31 runs scored, nine doubles and 12 stolen bases.
Craig coach Vic Herbst said the team’s success often starts with Bayreuther.
“Zach is what I would call a baseball warrior,” Herbst said. “He does all the little things you need to do to be successful, and when he steps between the lines, he’s as fierce a competitor as you will find.
“With Zach leading off, he makes us go. When he gets on base, he usually finds a way to score.
“He’s an outstanding three-sport athlete who has been a pleasure to coach.”
Fredricks entered the 2009 season as the team’s No. 1 pitcher and didn’t disappoint. He logged a team-high 58 innings, averaged nearly a strikout an inning and enters the state tournament with a 3.24 ERA.
Herbst credits Fredricks’ array of pitches for making him successful.
“Brett’s a four-pitch pitcher, and you don’t see that very often at the high school level,” Herbst said. “He’s got a splitter that he throws on occasion that can really buckle a hitter. And when he’s getting his off-speed pitch over for a strike, he’s very tough.
“It seems like every time we needed a big outing out of him, he gave us exactly that.”
Adler set the pace on the mound during the conference season and will be the Cougars’ opponent on Tuesday. He defeated Craig, 10-1, in the regular season.
“Adler’s the real deal,” Herbst said. “And you better get to him early because he’s only seems to get stronger as the game goes on.”
Craig senior Zach Whalen, whom Herbst called the team’s most improved player, is on the All-Big Eight second team.
Janesville Parker’s Tyler Teubert and Kelly Silha have received honorable mention, along with Craig’s Austin Geller.
P—Shane Adler, Middleton, jr.; Brett Fredricks, Janesville Craig, sr.
C—Jake Page, Madison East, sr.
IF—Josh Minkoff, Madison West, sr.; Garrett Novinski, Middleton, sr.; Josh Rowles, Sun Prairie, sr.; Zach Bayreuther, Janesville Craig, sr.; Brooks Braga, Middleton, sr.
OF—Jake Zadra, Madison La Follette, sr.; Derek Layton, Middleton, sr.; Pete Strommen, Madison East, soph.; Karl Huemmer, Sun Prairie, sr.
DH—Matt Zeier, Madison La Follette, sr.
Utility—Travis Martin, Middleton, sr.
P—Matt Meekma, Sun Prairie, jr.; Drew Larson, Beloit, sr.
C—Pat Ritchie, Madison Memorial, sr.
IF—Tyler Flood, Madison La Follette, jr.; Chet Lubarsky, Madison West, sr.; Eric Lutz, Madison Memorial, sr.; Jon Dybevik, Madison La Follette, jr.; Zach Whalen, Janesville Craig, sr.
OF—Romie Ripp, Middleton, sr.; Nick Anderson, Madison La Follette, soph.; Eric Fruhling, Madison Memorial, jr.
DH—Brian Larson, Madison East, sr.
Utility—Eric Kamp, Madison West, sr.
Player of the Year—Shane Adler, Middleton.
Coach of the Year—Tim Goldsworthy, Madison West.
Beloit Memorial—Tyler Little, sr. Janesville Craig—Austin Geller, jr. Janesville Parker—Kelly Silha, sr.; Tyler Teubert, jr. Madison East—Max Strommen, sr.; Keenan Stoker, sr.; Walt Hetzel, sr. Madison La Follette—Nate Ricci, fr.; Tony Ales, sr. Madison Memorial—David Schneider, sr.; Ryan Curtin, sr.; Brett Wise, soph.; Jess Eichorst, jr. Madison West—Sam Daly, sr.; Graham King, sr. Middleton—Kevin Drunansky, sr.; Ben Mathias, sr. Sun Prairie—Bill Thiel, jr.; Ryan Tanner, jr.; Tyler Patterson, soph. Verona—Nick Olson, jr.; Cole Kronke, jr.; Detric McCain, sr.