The La Salle Prep summer team boasts a .367 team batting average

by: SUBMITTED - The La Salle Prep Wigwam Sox are pictured with their first-place hardware following a summer tournament in Estacada. The Sox have been impressive this summer, winning 11 of their first 14 games. Pictured are: (front row, from left) Gage Nellor, Connor Shride, Ian Basile, Keaton Kryger and Dane Maben; (second row) Austin Vaughn, Josh Kurtin, Chris Larson, Paul Krueger, Chris Dowhaniuk and Jacob Lyver; and (back row) coach Jake Maben, Jacob Casey, Kelly Krumm, Theo Peterson, Anthony Ciota and head coach Mike Reed.The La Salle Prep Wigwam Sox have been hitting up a storm, playing an independent schedule in Junior State Division I baseball this summer.

Through play June 25 they sported a 10-3 record and a .367 team batting average. They scored 97 runs in their first 13 games, for a 7.5 run-per-game average.

“The biggest surprise has been the way these kids attack the ball,” said La Salle coach Mike Reed. “They are not leaving guys on base like the high school team did in the spring. They have good at bats. They don’t strike out very much and they produce with guys in scoring position.”

Reed has 10 players batting better than .300, led by seniors Dane Maben (.553) and Sam Wade (.519), and junior Drew Conaway (1.000).

Maben, who bats leadoff, had 21 hits in 38 at bats through play June 25. The senior outfielder had a team-leading 16 runs scored and 11 RBI.

Wade, who was a backup second baseman during the past high school season, is proving himself this summer, with 14 hits in his first 27 at bats, and nine runs scored.

Reed says he expects big things from Conaway, who has spent most of June playing basketball, but will be with the baseball team through the remainder of the summer. With only two baseball games under his belt through June 25, he was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate. Conaway played jayvee ball last school year and Reed is still trying to determine where he’ll best fit in in the varsity lineup.

The Wigwam Sox have discovered another big stick in senior outfielder Kelly Krumm, who lettered but played sparingly on varsity in the spring. Krumm sports a .489 batting average, with 23 hits in 47 at bats, a team-leading 15 RBI and 11 runs scored.

“Every time we’ve had runners on base with Kelly at bat and needed a hit, Kelly’s hit them in,” said Reed. “He only has one strikeout....”

Others with batting averages over .300 this spring have included: sophomore pitcher Chris Larson (.444, but only nine at bats), senior catcher Connor Shridge (.385, 10 runs scored), junior first baseman Jacob Casey (.364, 9 RBI), senior shortstop Austin Vaughn (.353), junior outfielder Keaton Kryger (.318, 10 RBI) and senior third baseman Chris Dowhaniuk (.304). Larson, Shridge, Casey and Kryger are new to varsity level play.

Reed has had 12 different players pitch this summer.

“We don’t have the dominating pitcher like we did in the spring,” said Reed. “We’ll pitch by committee next year. If we have to throw three or four kids a night, that’s what we’ll do.”

La Salle’s team ERA through June 25 was 3.75, and the Falcons had given up an average of six runs a game.

“Our pitching has been so-so, but we’re getting better,” said Reed. “And we’ve had some games where our defense has been really terrible. But that’s why you play summer ball.”

Three La Salle pitchers sported 2-0 records through play June 25 — Vaughn, Dowhaniuk and junior Anthony Ciota.

Vaughn had a 0.65 ERA with 12 strikeouts, seven walks allowed and five hits allowed in 10-2/3 innings; Ciota had a 1.90 ERA with three strikeouts, four walks allowed and six hits allowed in 7-1/3 innings; Dowhaniuk had a 6.57 ERA, with 7 strikeouts, 8 walks allowed and 15 hits allowed in 10-2/3 inning.

Senior Theo Peterson (0-1, 8.57 ERA) has been busy, with 19 strikeouts, 15 walks allowed and 23 hits allowed in 16-1/3 inning.

Junior Ian Basile sported a 1-1 record and a 2.48 ERA. He had six strikeouts, while allowing seven walks and 17 hits in 13 innings.

La Salle has had a huge turnout for summer ball, with a 22-man roster for its Wigwam Sox varsity squad, and 25 players on a second summer ball club.

The Sox travel to Newport this coming weekend for a three-day tournament. They entertain Horizon Christian at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10.

The Sox put an 11th game in the win column on June 26, rattling their bats for 14 hits in a 12-4 win over Valley Catholic. Dowhaniuk (3-for-3, double, 2 RBI), Krumm (2-for-4, 3 RBI) and Shride (2-for-4, 2 doubles, 3 runs) were the big sticks.

La Salle won the game in the top of the seventh, scoring eight runs on singles by Jacob Casey, Paul Krueger, Jacob Lyver, Kryger, and Gage Nellor; and doubles by Maben and Krumm.

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