Beyer adjusts, much to pitchers’ disgust
As a freshman out of Janesville Parker High School, the Warhawk outfielder hit an even .300 in 39 games, with eight homers, 26 RBIs and 11 stolen bases for a team that finished 30-19.
So, this season, opponents began to dissect the 6-foot-2, 195-pound right-handed hitter.
“He had to make some adjustments,” Warhawk coach John Vodenlich said. “He made those adjustments, and he’s a huge part of the success we’ve had.”
The Warhawks have had much success. The team gained its third straight Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) championship. That earned the Warhawks the No. 1 seed and the right to host the WIAC tournament that is scheduled to start Friday.
The Warhawks play the winner of Friday’s opening game that matches second-place UW-Stevens Point and third-place UW-Platteville at 1 p.m.
The conference title is the seventh in the last eight seasons and 13th in program history.
Beyer has contributed a .364 average, starting 31 of the 37 games in left field for a 35-4 team. He has scored 32 runs, driven in 41, and has 39 hits, including five doubles, three triples and six homers.
The Warhawks are a dynamic team. Beyer’s average is just a bit more than the team average of .360.
Rob Coe, the starting catcher, leads the team with a .403 average with 52 hits.
The overall offensive leader is first baseman/pitcher Jeff Donovan. Donovan is hitting .369 with 55 hits, including 13 doubles, and a team-high 12 homers and 58 RBIs.
Second baseman Ben Kuhlmann also has been a power source, with a team-high 15 doubles.
The team also has stolen 99 bases, led by center fielder Jordan Stine’s 16 and right fielder Daniel Putnam’s 14.
“We’ve had a great year,” Vodenlich said. “The really, really great thing about the team is its camaraderie. They’ve really done a great job.”
Vodenlich sees many comparisons to the 2005 Warhawk team that finished 45-7 and won the NCAA Division III national title.
“We’re very athletic, run the bases well, hit for power and play good defense,” Vodenlich said. “Our record at this point is exactly the same as it was in 2005. Hopefully, we can finish the same way as the 2005 team did.”
The Warhawks also feature a deep pitching staff, led by starters Riley Tincher (11-0, 3.71 ERA), Jason Hooper (5-2, 4.39) and Aaron Leitner (6-1, 4.26).
Vodenlich said Tincher has not had a poor start all season.
“He has been really impressive,” Vodenlich said. “He reminds me of another player from Janesville, Ryan Callahan. Not in body makeup, but just knowing how to keep the team in position to win, and being consistent day in and day out.”
Callahan, a Parker High graduate who played for the Warhawks from 2000-2004, is the pitching coach for the Warhawks.
The winner of the conference tournament earns the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Championship.
Tickets are available at James B. Miller Stadium the day of the event. Adult tickets are $6 a day. Students and seniors are $3 a day.