Shorewood - The Shorewood baseball team was just a little too young (two seniors in the entire program) to be really competitive this summer, but first-year co-coaches Jason Calvert and Mike Rauwerdink still had reason to be encouraged after this season's 4-20 record.
"It was a tough year," said Calvert. "It was a learning process for a lot of young guys who were thrown into the varsity battle right away. Our athletic director (Bill Haury) was amazed that we had nine first-year letter winners this season.
"It just showed how young we were. We played hard for long stretches, but the lack of experience showed."
The highlight of the season for the Greyhounds was the 5-4 rally over 2011 state tournament qualifier and area rival Whitefish Bay in the regular season closer. First-team All-Woodland Conference Blue Division catcher Cooper Lang stepped out from behind the plate and went the distance in that one to earn the win.
Lang hit .408 in conference play with six doubles, 16 runs and 19 RBIs along with a team-high 13 walks.
"He just controls a game so well and our defense is so much better when he is out there," said Calvert.
Both Oscar Bjornstad (.391 BA, 15 RBIs and team-high 10 steals) and Elliott Kucharczyk (.327 BA, team-best 17 runs) earned honorable mention all-conference.
The Greyhounds had a combined junior varsity/freshmen team this season that also struggled to be competitive. Calvert said it had players who were trying baseball for the first time.
"It was essentially a freshmen team playing a junior varsity schedule," he said.
"Still," he added. "It was great to see the effort that we had this season. When it was going good, guys stepped up, made plays and did it confidently. That was exciting to see."
The only seniors were team ace Ian Roudebush and Alex McMurtry. The one major disappointment for the season was that Roudebush lost the last portion of his final campaign to a hip flexor problem.
"We do have some good hopes for next year," said Calvert. "If everyone remains committed to the program, we should see some great improvement. We saw that this year from beginning to end."
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