Brookfield East first-year baseball coach Nicholas Wycklendt didn't have a lot of experienced players coming back and had only two seniors on the squad.
But the Spartans managed to win nine games and were in plenty more, finishing 9-19 with a 5-15 record in the Greater Metro Conference, including a 3-0 record in the GMC Tournament's consolation round.
"I thought it went really well," Wycklendt said. "I knew with six sophomores and seven juniors it would be tough to be really successful. But it was really good for the guys to go 3-0 in the GMC Tournament and play some tight games against some of the best teams in the state."
It was an up-and-down season, which could be expected from a young, inexperienced team. Here's a closer look:
They began with a two-game winning streak, then lost four in a row. Then they won three in a row, giving them a 5-4 record.
Then they lost nine of 11 games to fall to 7-13. And they followed that up with a five-game losing streak before beating Wauwatosa East, West Allis Hale and Oak Creek in the consolation round.
They lost a tight decision, 4-2, to Catholic Memorial in the first round of the WIAA Regional to end their season.
Their losses included 2-1 and 4-0 decisions to State Champion Brookfield Central and lost close games to co-champs Oak Creek (5-1) and Marquette (2-1).
"Even though we were inexperienced, we played the good teams well. Nobody 10-runned us," Wycklendt said.
The Spartans had three players earn All-GMC honors — one senior and two juniors.
Alex McGuire earned a second-team spot in the outfield and Andrew Holmes and senior Brad Carstens earned honorable mention honors in the infield and at pitcher, respectively.
As for the team awards, Carstens and McGuire shared the Team MVP honors. The Sliver Slugger Award went to Holmes and the Cy Young Award went to Carstens.
The Coaches Award went to sophomore Travis Styer, who injured his knee and had to miss the season. But he came to every practice and did anything he could to help out Wycklendt and the coaching staff.
Carstens and Dustin Brah were the Spartans' only two seniors, and they were their top two pitchers.
So Wycklendt will be loaded next season with 13 returnees.
Returning juniors will be McGuire, Holmes, Dan Magyar, Brandon Werry, Joe Morris and Jake Pagel. Returning sophomores are Zach Breider, Nick Davies, Quinn Hyndiuk, Jake Smith, Noah Streich, Styer and T.C. Swittel.
"We continued to improve," Wycklendt said. "We have 13 kids coming back and they are all experienced. Our hitting and fielding should be improved.
"Brad (Carstens) and Dustin (Brah) were our two top starters, so we will have to replace them."
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