Tom "Sky" Skibosh covers the Wauwatosa, Brookfield and New Berlin prep scene for Community Newspapers. If something is going on in local sports, Sky has an opinion about it. If you agree or not with what Sky says, we want to see your comments.
The local high school baseball teams are starting to get an idea on what kind of season is on the horizon for them with June coming to a close and July just around the corner.
After a slow start - for them - the Brookfield Central Lancers are starting to come around. Central recently had an 11-game winning streak stopped and brought a 7-4 Greater Metro Conference record and a 14-7 overall mark into this week's action.
The Lancers are led by Mike Bogard (Shameless plug: see my feature on Bogie in Thursday's BrookfieldNOW), Lee Severson, Mike Mierow and newcomers junior Pete Ostergaard and freshman Ryan Hinz, the last two seeing their first varsity action this year. These fellows can hit, people.
But what sets Central apart is their pitching. Starters Bogard, Mierow, Cale Ross and Collin O'Gorman were joined Tuesday by Ricky Leach, who returns to the lineup after missing 20 games for breaking the athletic code rules. Leachy will also help the batting attack. And don't forget Severson, Central's cool-headed closer.
The Lancers are two games in the loss column behind Menomonee Falls and one behind Marquette and surprising Hamilton. They have their work cut out for them, but the talent is there.
Brookfield East is still looking for its first conference win, but coach Tim Granger has some talent to draw on. Mark Altenbach, Justin Wagner, Jake Janowski and Kyle Smith give him some mound talent, with consistency being the key word here. And nobody chases down a flyball like center fielder Alex Dati or works harder behind the plate than Zach Stewart. And the ball jumps off the bat of Demetri Tongas.
Wauwatosa East's team, under first-year coach Matt Dahlstrom, has seen tremendous progress last week, topping it off with an outstanding 2-1 win over Central, which snapped the Lancers' 11-game win streak on Monday. While key seniors like Matt Karger, Mike Gouvion and Mike Brown provide steady play and leadership and juniors Eric Woodard and Jake Pipping have been solid on the mound, perhaps the Red Raiders best players are sophomore catcher Tyler O'Brien and pitcher-1B Danny Sayles.
Dahlstrom believes in his team, but how quickly the Red Raiders believe in themselves will be the difference in an OK season and a surprise one.
Wauwatosa West coach Chad Mateske was asking for volunteers to pitch the other day after losing star Spencer Lameka with a pulled left hamstring while running out a double. With a healthy Lameka and Allan Rozanski, Mateske has a solid top two starters. Ben Falk, Chris Anger and little freshman junkballer Zach Podzaline have potential.
If senior catcher Zach Bertoni can provide more leadership behind the plate to go along with his big bat and Sean Akin continues his hitting, the Trojans could win their share of games, They just went through a five game stretch where they averaged eight runs a game.
Plenty of local baseball to watch as summer really begins (this is Wisconsin, remember). So grab your favorite outdoor chair, some sun tan lotion and your favorite (non-alcoholic) drink and go watch these guys play. It's worth your time.
And remember - always be a hit and have a ball.