All-Big Eight: Four Janesville players named to first team
Most preseason predictions had Janesville Craig’s baseball team finishing somewhere in the middle of the Big Eight Conference.
Craig High coach Vic Herbst believed all along his team would fare better than that.
With the help of three first-team all-conference selections, Herbst was right. The Cougars were Big Eight runners-up.
As a reward for that effort, senior center fielder Christian DeCremer, junior pitcher Cody Steed and junior designated hitter Mitch Phillips have received All-Big Eight first-team recognition for the Cougars. They are joined by Janesville Parker senior shortstop Tyler Teubert.
Sun Prairie’s Michael Handel, a University of Minnesota recruit, is the Player of the Year. Rob Hamilton, who guided Sun Prairie to a co-championship, has been named Coach of the Year.
Middleton and Sun Prairie shared the title with 15-3 conference records.
Handel is a repeat selection on the first team, along with Middleton pitcher Shane Adler and Madison East outfielder Pete Strommen.
Steed, a right-hander, compiled a 5-3 record and added five saves to his stellar season.
“Cody was a dominating pitcher,” Herbst said. “We always felt like that if we had the lead in the fifth or sixth inning with Cody on the mound, we were in great shape to win the game.
“His confidence grew and grew each time out. Once he started throwing that hard slider for strikes, he was dominating, at times.”
DeCremer combined a smooth-hitting strike with excellent defensive skills to earn his first-team honors. The left-handed hitting DeCremer batted .451 with 11 extra-base hits.
“I really believe that Christian was the best all-around outfielder in our conference,” Herbst said.
“He was a threat every time he stepped to the plate, and defensively, his arm was as good as I’ve seen at this level. And he could track down anything hit to him.”
Phillips led the Cougars in home runs with four and had a huge second half of the season. The left-handed hitting Phillips’ home run against Janesville Parker late in the regular season helped the Cougars sweep the series between the city rivals.
“Mitch’s selection to the first team might come as somewhat of a surprise, but not to us. When you compare his numbers to the other designated hitters in our league, it wasn’t even close,” Herbst said.
“Like Cody, Mitch’s confidence grew each and every game. With Cody and Mitch back next year, along with some other starters, we have a nice nucleus coming back.”
Teubert capped off an impressive athletic career by earning first-team honors for the first time. The three-sport standout, who will play at UW-Whitewater, led the Vikings in almost every offensive category. He finished with a .398 batting average, with 12 doubles, four triples and three home runs. The right-hander also threw a no-hitter against Madison West and picked up the Vikings’ regional win over Beloit Memorial.
“Tyler was a three-year starter for us, and every time you put his name on the lineup card, you knew he was going to produce,” Parker coach Brian Martin said.
“He might’ve had a few more RBIs this year if I had batted him third or fourth, but he led off because I’ve always felt you should get your best hitter as many at-bats as you could.”
Adler, who will pitch at Indiana State University, repeated on the first team after being named Player of the Year in 2009.
Parker junior first baseman Kyle Johnson and Craig junior shortstop Jameson Henning have been named to the second team.
Craig junior outfielder Tom Yaucher, junior catcher Charlie Meyer and senior pitcher Mike Davis have received honorable mention, along with Parker sophomore third baseman Jake Welch.
All-Big Eight baseball
IF—Sam Abbott, Sun Prairie, jr.; Tony Butler, Sun Prairie, fr.; Kevin Peternell, Middleton, jr.; Michael Handel, Sun Prairie, sr; Ben Pearson, West, jr.; Tyler Teubert, Parker, sr.
OF—Eric Fruhling, Memorial, sr.; Christian DeCremer, Craig, sr.; Luke Meeteer, Middleton, jr.; Colin Grove, Beloit, sr..
P—Zach Ransom, Memorial, sr.; Cody Steed, Craig, jr.; Shane Adler, Middleton, sr.
C—Zach Fairchild, Sun Prairie, fr.
UP—Pete Strommen, East, jr.
DH—Mitch Phillips, Craig, jr.
IF—Kyle Johnson, Parker, jr.; Klayton Brandt, Verona, sr.; Taylor Carlson, La Follette, jr.; Aaron Gowan, Middleton, sr.; Jameson Henning, Craig, jr.
OF—Nate Ricci, La Follette, soph.; Ross Harmon, Sun Prairie, jr.; Andrew Zimmerman, Middleton, sr.
P—Ben Neumann, Verona, jr.; Jon Dybevik, La Follette, sr.
C—Tomas Cardon, Middleton, sr.
UP—Kyle Jenkins, Verona, jr.
DH—Nick Zweig, Verona, sr.
Player of the Year—Michael Handel, Sun Prairie.
Coach of the Year—Rob Hamilton, Sun Prairie.
Beloit—Cameron Roegner, jr.; Corey Brunton, soph.; Craig—Mike Davis, sr.; Charlie Meyer, jr.; Tom Yaucher, jr.; East—Jon Amundson, jr.; Greg Williams, sr.; La Follette—Tony Grannis, jr.; Tyler Flood, sr.; Memorial—Jess Eichorst, sr.; David Luciani, jr.; Mike Moss, sr.; Dan Ritchie; Middleton—Alex Larson, sr.; Nate Drunasky, sr.; Parker—Jake Welch, soph.; Sun Prairie—Tyler Patterson, jr.; Verona—Cole Kroncke, sr.; West—Sean Blythe, jr.
Middleton, 15-3; Sun Prairie, 15-3; Janesville Craig, 11-7; Madison La Follette, 10-7; Verona, 10-8; Madison Memorial, 10-8; Janesvlle Parker, 6-12; Beloit Memorial, 5-13; Madison West, 4-14; Madison East, 3-14.