A year removed from competing in the Section 3A title game, the Wabasso baseball team should once again be poised to make a run at a state tournament berth.
The Rabbits racked up 17 wins a season ago, reaching the Section 3A title game where they would lose a close 5-2 battle with rival RRC/WWG.
Despite the loss of key contributors Devan Liebl, CJ Theis, Tyson Doubler and Nick Ludwig to graduation, Coach Chad Olson returns a strong overall line-up.
Leading the way for the Rabbits will be senior Nick Altermatt who as a junior was second on the team with 54 innings pitched. He finished with a 5-4 mark with three saves but had a remarkable 0.94 ERA with 90 strikeouts and just 19 walks.
Offensively, he led the team in batting average (.443), hits (39), runs scored (33), triples (7) and stolen bases (24). He also had seven doubles, a home run and 14 RBI.
Senior Jacob Plaetz is also back after finishing second on the team a season ago with a .372 batting average. He was second in hits (29), first in doubles (9), second in RBI (18) and had a home run and drew 13 walks. He pitched seven innings with six strikeouts a season ago and could see more action on the hill this spring.
Senior Ty Kemp returns after batting .282 as a junior with 24 hits and a team-high 19 RBI. On the hill he went 1-2 in 18 1/3 innings pitched, striking out 20.
Seniors Jayden Eis, Kyle Jacobson and Tony Franta also return. Eis batted .231 with 12 hits (three doubles) and seven RBI, Jacobson had six hits and Franta had eight runs scored and four RBI. Franta and Jacobson both saw action on the hill a season ago and could see some innings this spring.
Seniors Colton and Cooper Taylor will also be available at times as two-way athletes (also competing for the Wabasso track team).
Juniors Devon Heiling, Ryan Liebl, Sam Rabenberg, Brock Rohlik and Michael Turbes will all step into bigger roles this season after seeing minimal varsity action a year ago.
Sophomores vying for playing time include: Cole Frericks, Justen Lanoue, Dylan Maras, Tim Nelson, Tayler Thompson, Ti Trost and Lance Wagner and Maverick Wagner.
Freshmen on the roster include: Ty Altermatt, Carter Benz, Will Carlson, Matthew Evink, Nick Irlbeck, Brady Jenniges, Dominic Jenniges, Hunter Taylor and Colby Wall.
The winter-like continues to delay the start of the Rabbits season.