In a post-game conversation with local media, New Prague Manager Tom Wetschka said “we’re getting closer.” Closer being where he knew, before the season started, where the team could be. Unfortunately, it just hasn’t panned out that way so far.
A 5-2 win Wednesday night over conference opponent Holy Angels helps though.
Sophomore starting pitcher Daniel Feneis (2-1) was spectacular on the mound going all 7 innings, striking out 6 for his second win of the season. Only one of the runs he surrendered was earned. Wetschka called it a great performance.
“He’s done a fantastic job this year with his three starts. (He) goes a complete game and picks up a huge win for us.”
Feneis made his first varsity start back on April 10th. He walked six batter in five innings of work, but only gave up three runs on three hits in a losing effort to Chaska. In that game, New Prague was only able to muster up four hits to help their young starter.
When the season opened up the coaching squad had a feeling the bats might be an issue.
It may only be momentarily, but for what it was New Prague broke out of their funk Wednesday. Getting timely hitting from senior Joe Morris (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, R) and junior Brok Schwartzkopf (3-for-4, 3 1B, RBI, R, SB).
The Trojans (2-5, 5-6) scored a run in each of the first five innings racking up a season high nine hits.
Through Wednesday night the Trojans, as a team, are hitting .211. With that type of production, or lack thereof, New Prague has relied solely on their pitching to keep them in games. And while the pitching has progressively improved, the hitting has not.
“It comes with time,” explains Morris, “I finally was able to get on the ball and hit it square and put it in play. That’s what happens I guess.”
Not the superstitious type either. Joe says it had nothing to do with any kind of ritual, just hard work and a change in the swing. That’s exactly what the team will be working on.
With an off day Thursday, the team is still going to consider getting the guys together for some batting practice.
New Prague has played their final “home” game at Union Hill. They’ll be moving back to Memorial Park Friday when they host Chaska after infield renovations have been finished.
The Trojans have four home games left on the season.
“Everyone’s got a little something to work on,” says Wetschka.
The team is still very much a work in progress, but they’re making strides.
They’re getting closer.