Janesville Craig dominated the all-Big Eight Conference baseball selections.
Led by player of the year Mitchell Woelfle, the Cougars landed five players on the first team.
Victor Herbst of Craig was also named coach of the year after leading his team to the conference title and the state’s No. 1 ranking in Division 1 to end the regular season.
Joining Woelfle, a right-handed pitcher, on the first team for Craig are infielder Dan Blomgren, outfielder Eric Hughes, utility player Micah Overley and at-large selection Clark Schmaling, the team’s catcher.
Woelfle was an easy choice for player of the year after a dominating season. The senior and Air Force Academy recruit finished the season with a 10-1 record and an ERA of 1.00.
He struck out 65 batters in 63 innings and held opponents to a .212 batting average.
“He’s an unbelievably hard worker,” Herbst said. “He earned everything he has gotten this season, and gave us a great chance to win every time he took the mound for us.”
Blomgren was a nightmare on the base paths for opponents.
The senior and University of Michigan recruit hit .419 with 27 runs scored, a conference-high 45 total bases and 12 stolen bases. He had a on-base percentage of .558.
“Dan was probably the best all-around player in the Big Eight this season,” Herbst said. “He led our team in so many offensive categories and was a big reason for team’s success this year.”
Overley played the utility role to perfection. He batted .317 with a team-high 22 RBI and was 4-0 as a pitcher with a 1.83 ERA.
“Micah was an outstanding two-way player for us,” Herbst said. “He was one of our team captains and led by example with his hard work each and every day.”
Herbst called Hughes the team’s most-improved player. The junior hit .356, stole 14 bases and tied Blomgren for the team-lead in hits with 26. He homered in his first at-bat of the season.
“Eric really developed as a player in the offseason,” Herbst said. “With his speed and size, he’s going to be one of the best players in our conference next year.”
Schmaling made the first team as an at-large selection. The senior had a .982 fielding percentage at catcher and did not allow a passed ball.
At the plate, Schmaling hit .328 and scored a team-high 29 runs. He also led the team with 21 walks.
“Clark did a tremendous job stepping in as our starting catcher and performed well above our expectations,” Herbst said. “Defensively, he was solid all season, and at the plate his patience was great.”
Herbst earned coach of the year honors after leading the Cougars to a 17-1 Big Eight record and the conference title.
“Vic is extremely organized and cares a great deal about the kids,” Craig assistant coach Pat Campbell said.
“What most people don’t realize is the amount of time Vic puts in behind the scenes, whether it’s with our open gyms or spending extra time before and after practice to make sure everything is taken care of.”
Craig also had three players on second team. Seniors Ryan Herbst (designated hitter) and Tressin Kussmaul (outfielder) are joined by freshman infielder Gavin Kilen.
Janesville Parker junior Jared Emerson was a second-team infielder.
Parker seniors Casey Stone and Peyton Meyer were honorable mention, along with juniors Cullen Peterson and Carter Schneider.
Craig senior Tegan Christiansen was also honorable mention.
P—Mitchell Woelfle, sr., Craig Corbin Ovist, sr., Beloit; Reagan Klawiter, sr., Verona
C—Drake Baldwin, sr., West
INF—Dan Blomgren, sr., Craig Carson Shepard, soph., Sun Prairie; Ryan Taylor, soph., Verona; Robbie Knorr, Sun Prairie
OF—Spencer Bartel, jr., Sun Prairie; Jack Krumbach, sr., Memorial; Eric Hughes, jr., Craig Brett Kiger, Beloit
DH—John Caron, soph., Sun Prairie
UT—Micah Overley, sr., Craig
AL—Kyle Jungers, sr., Memorial; Clark Schmaling, sr., Craig
P—Noah Wendler, jr., Sun Prairie; Matt Ballweg, sr., Middleton
C—Kyle Murphy, jr., Memorial
INF—Gavin Kilen, fr., Craig Otto Treichel, sr., West; Jared Emerson, jr., Parker Kyle Yu, soph., Memorial
OF—Andrew Rajkovich, jr., La Follette; Ben Collier, jr., Middleton; Tressin Kussmaul, sr., Craig
DH—Ryan Herbst, sr., Craig
UT—Liam Moreno, soph., Sun Prairie
AL—Adrian Montilva, sr., East; Brooks Brazeau, sr., Verona
Player of the Year—Mitchell Woelfle, Craig
Coach of the Year—Victor Herbst, Craig
Craig—Tegan Christensen, sr.; Parker—Carter Schneider, jr.; Casey Stone, sr.; Cullen Peterson, jr.; Peyton Meyer, sr.