WBCA All-Star Weekend a success for handful of local athletes
By Jacob Heid
OSHKOSH – Mother Nature didn’t dampen the spirits of the athletes that competed at the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Star Classic in Oshkosh.
Locally, five athletes had the honor of playing over two days. Seniors Ben Lee (Amherst), Jake Hoffman (Amherst), Drew Kedrowicz (Pacelli), Kaden Thauer (SPASH), and Cole Ladick (Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln) all participated in some way during the six games that were played on June 24-25. All the athletes enjoyed the experience of playing with the best of the best in the state.
South- 11 North- 2
The Central Wisconsin Conference was well represented on the North team when Lee, Hoffman, and Kedrowicz played in the weekend’s first game on a heat-filled Friday evening. The South team got off to a great start, scoring two runs in the first inning. In the fourth, Hoffman got his second at-bat, putting the ball in play to get on base. The North team never got momentum offensively to keep up in the game. Hoffman later put into perspective what the weekend meant.
“ You know, you get to play with some of the best,” he said. Everything is competitive, but at the same time, it’s fun.”
Kedrowicz also touched on what the season meant to be selected for the weekend festivities.
“All of our hard work and dedication all pays off because we are selected as the top high school baseball players in the state of Wisconsin,” he said.
Hoffman went 1-2 at the plate, and Lee went 1-1, also pitching a couple of innings starting in the fourth. Kedrowicz went 0-2.
East- 9 West- 3
SPASH and Wisconsin Rapids were two schools that were a part of the West All-Star team. Thauer and Ladwick were the two athletes representing the schools. The nightcap was tight through two innings, with the East All-Stars leading 3-2. The East pulled away in the fourth, scoring four runs in the frame. Kaden Thauer went 0-1 in the shortened game. A steal attempt at second caused a collision which resulted in an injury, which led to calling the game early. Thauer explained his emotions about finding out he was selected to play that weekend.
“I was just in disbelief. We have a lot of good guys on our (SPASH) team. For me to be selected is a huge honor,” he said. It’s amazing to play with these guys who work so hard and are super talented.
West- 12 North- 1
All of the local athletes played with each other in this game. SPASH and Rapids got the better of Amherst and Pacelli. Cole Ladick (Wisconsin Rapids) went 2-2 for the West All-Stars, adding to the already large amount of hits. He wanted to do more than just have fun throughout the weekend.
“I wanted to represent my town,” Ladick stated
Lee (Amherst) thought it was cool to see three kids from the same conference battle together on the same team.
“There are only 72 kids that make it every year. It’s nice to know that all three (Lee, Hoffman, Kedrowicz) of us from smaller schools are some of the best players in the state,” he said.
Lastly, Thauer and Ladick played in the second to last game in the event. The last two games were only five innings each due to the rain delay after the fourth game. The game went to the bottom of the fifth, where Milton’s Gavin Kilen hit a walk-off double to win 2-1 for the South.
Everyone had a great two days of baseball, and it was a wonderful way for the athletes to complete their high school careers.
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