All the hits

MCHS’s varsity baseball team has had a successful and hopeful season so far, and hopes to keep the momentum going



Richard Powell closes a varsity boys baseball game against Jacobs on April 14 at Peterson Park. The Warriors won 10-1.

Mackenzie Sroka, Sports Editor

It’s the bottom of the eighth inning. The Warriors are up to bat and down by one run. They gain one run and then, with 2 outs and 2 strikes, hit a home run, winning the game. As the season continues on the team collects more and more wins, eventually pulling them up to one of the top teams in the state. 

The varsity baseball team has worked together to recover from an unlucky start to the season, which has greatly benefited the team in many ways.

“We started the season 2-4,” explained Cody Freund assistant coach, “and our record now is 21-5 because our hitters really take pride in their at bats and the approaches we preach to them and then the work Coach Badgley and our pitching staff has done is incredible. All our pitchers are having great seasons, really making it easy on our hitters to just go out there and do their thing.”

“This team really believes in each other and in their abilities,” Fruend continues. “They know they can compete with every team we play. The biggest part for us is it takes every single player and we have a group of players, from top to bottom, who genuinely root for each other’s success and all they want is to win.”

Along with the team making progres throughout the season, many players have accomplished or are beginning to accomplish their personal goals set for themselves. 

“The season has been going very well for me personally,” said senior Kyle Kaempf. “I’m coming up on the school record of stolen bases and have been pitching very well as well as hitting lead off.”

Due to this recovery in games and streak of success, the team has drawn attention to themselves.

“The season has been great so far,” explained senior Chase Witt. “We’re being recognized as one of the hottest teams in the state and are looking to win the conference.” 

The ranking of the team has been a large accomplishment for the team and the program. 

“Being ranked in the top 25 in Illinois is huge for us as a program,” stated junior Cooper Cohn. 

While the team was making a recovery from a difficult start to the season, they were also making a comeback from last season. 

“Something I am most proud of this season would be the way our team has made a huge comeback from last season,” explained Kaempf. “Last season was very disappointing and we never wanted to have that feeling again. We finished 18-18 and just passed our wins from last year and we are now 20-5 so a very big difference.” 

In order to have greater success, it takes a whole team working together not just the starters or a couple individual players.

“I am most proud of how all of our guys, starter or not, have been involved for all 21 outs,” described senior Edward Synek. “It takes all of us to win these games and I have not once been disappointed with the amount of energy we as a team bring to each and every game.”

Their team and individual work this season is hopefully going to pay off going forward in the season and post season. 

“I am expecting us to win a Regional and win a Sectional for the first time in the last 15 years. I’m not sure if it’s been done before, but I know for Coach Rock it hasn’t so we want to get this done for ourselves and him,” explained Kaempf.

As a team, they are working towards having the opportunity to play in the IHSA State Championship. 

“I am expecting us to be in Joliet competing for a state title, there’s nothing more I want than to hold that trophy,” described Synek. 

Wining a championship has started becoming an achievable goal recently, even though it has been a goal from day one. To get to this position they had to improve the team as they went through the season. 

“As a team our goal is to win the FVC Championship,” explained junior Jacob Wagner “we have almost reached our goal but I feel like we haven’t failed in any aspects of our game this year and one of our more valued goals was to limit strike out and be more aggressive at the plate and I think so far we have done a good job of doing that. There is still more things we can improve on going forward since we still have games left to play but I know we will reach our goal.” 

Along with the players having the vision and goal of winning the championship, the coaches also are viewing it as obtainable.

“Every year we have goals of winning 20 games, winning the conference, winning Regionals, etc,” stated head baseball coach Brain Rockweiler. “This season we have currently achieved our goal of 20 wins. We are currently the #1 seed in our Regional and a Regional Championship is definitely attainable. We have talked about as a team that no team that we play is better than us. We all believe that. Our ultimate goal is to end up in Joliet and play for a State Championship.”

While the focus is on next season, the coaches have begun looking into how next season will be, who will be filling the spots for seniors, and who is looked to to step into leadership roles. 

“Fortunately for us,” explained Freund,. “we’re going to bring back a couple players who now have multiple years of varsity experience, such as Cooper Cohn (Will be a 4th year varsity player next year) and Lleyton Grubich (3rd year varsity player next year). We also have some talented juniors this year who are gaining varsity experience as we speak and a couple of sophomores on varsity, Owen Micklinghoff and Ryan Nagel who will have a year of experience under their belt. The key for us is the leadership that the seniors have shown and brought to our team this year is rubbing off on these sophomores/juniors so they know what it takes to get this team ready to go next year.” 

Along with players stepping up into leadership roles, there will be JV players stepping up to join and fill the varsity spots. 

“There’s some really good baseball players on our JV and Freshman teams, so to go along with our returners next year, I expect those guys to be filling roles next year and beyond,” described Freund. 

Going forward and into the postseason, the varsity baseball team has a possibility of hitting the success they have worked towards all season. They have also begun looking into next season and how they plan on creating another successful season.