New Prague baseball opened the 2012 season Monday hoping to reverse the trend that closed out the 2011 season. Instead, what they found was more of the same in a 9-0 loss to Shakopee in the season opener.
The Trojans closed out last year losing eight of their final nine, including a section playoff game against Chanhassen. Coach Tom Wetschka attributed the shortcomings to an inability to complete fundamental baseball plays.
New Prague committed three errors Monday night in the loss and didn’t get their first hit of the game until the fourth inning.
Shakopee sophomore pitcher Sheldon Miks tabbed five strikeouts through three innings of work. In the same time, the Sabers offense put up six runs on five hits. The bulk of which coming in the third as the Sabers would hit through the order and score five times.
Trojans senior pitcher Garret Palmstein started on the mound lasting only three innings. Coach Wetschka thought that Palmstein pitched well enough, but didn’t get the help in the field he needed.
“We just got to make the defensive plays in those situations so that we don’t give up those runs. We talk about making the routine plays.”
While the Trojans defense lacked so did the offense. Their first hit didn’t come until the fourth when Junior Mike Gillen got a one out hit. That gave New Prague two runners on base after Ben Doerr drew a walk. Derrick Isaacson would fly out to right while Cullen Smith drew a walk. However with the bases loaded and two outs Andy Kes grounded out to short.
That would prove to be the Trojans only threatening opportunity to put runs on the board against a tough Shakopee defense. Through two games this season the Sabers have yet to surrender a run.
Nick Simpson relieved Palmstein in the fourth, giving up three runs through the final three innings. The runs coming off of three hits and two errors.
“It’s a young team. First varsity experience for a lot of these players. We’re hoping we can build off of the positive things we did today.”
Simpson says that in order to be successful Tuesday against Chaska they’ll have to get the bats started early.
“The wind played a big factor. I don’t know. They’re good at the plate and they hit balls good so, nothing we could really do.”
Notes: New Prague will play their first two weeks of home games at Union Hill due to renovations at Memorial Park…Shakopee’s Austen Leadstrom went 1-for-2 with 3 runs on 2 BB, 1 HBP and 3 SB…NP pitchers hit or walked a batter 8 times, 4 came in the 7th…New Prague will play five games this week including a double header on Saturday.