July 12, 2007 at 7:42 a.m.
The Wildcats were knocked out of the section tournament in the second round as Forest Lake pitcher and University of Minnesota recruit Trip Schultz pitched what may have been the best game of his career, shutting out the Wildcats 8-0.
A strong senior class led the way for the Wildcats. Each of the Wildcat seniors earned All-Conference, All-Conference Honorable Mention or Academic All-Conference honors. In observing the Wildcats play this season and talking with the coaches we've collected a few words about each Wildcat senior's contributions to the success of the team:
•Tommy Fitzer - Fitzer used his speed and bunting ability to get on base a lot this season and has a beautiful swing. He also provided the Wildcats with excellent defense in right field.
•Adam Gemuenden - Gemuenden enjoyed another excellent offensive season and provided solid defense at first base. Adam will play baseball at Division 2 Winona State next season.
•Jeff Hollister - The Wildcats' most dangerous hitter and a naturally enthusiastic player. Jeff loves the game of baseball and always worked to keep his teammates fired up.
•Ross Jones - Ross did well when he filled in as a defensive specialist at first base. He also showed a sometimes uncanny ability to reach base when called upon to pinch-hit.
•Dan Kaiser - The ace of the pitching staff. Kaiser also showed some power at the plate, hitting two home runs late in the season.
•Bob LeVasseur - The Wildcats' most versatile player this season, Bob pitched regularly in the starting rotation, winning most or all of his starts, hit well and played nearly every position in the field at one time or another.
•Mike Welle - Welle's wide assortment of pitches kept opponents off-balance and he contributed key hits throughout the season.
•Chris Wille - Chris was the Wildcats' pinch-hitting specialist and provided a lot of enthusiasm and his own special brand of humor.
•David Willhite - Those who have been watching Dave play for years know that he's probably the best center fielder they've ever seen, and he had another great season in center in 2007.
All-conference catcher Eric Reed and shortstop Andy Slagle will return as seniors next season to lead the team. Reed blocks the ball well and picked off a number of runners this season. He also has some pop in his bat. Slagle is an excellent defensive shortstop and started to drive the ball into the gaps late in the season. He provides the team with an edge and what head coach Pat Collins referred to as "baseball moxie."
Twin brothers Ryan and Aaron Rivard will both pitch and play in the outfield next season. Ryan pitched quite a few innings for the Wildcats this season. Aaron is becoming a more versatile fielder as he's played some third base in summer baseball. Rounding out the juniors who will return are speedy outfielder Andrew Verhey and outfielder Tim Johnson, who has a very good eye at the plate. Several other underclassmen will also be expected to step up and contribute next season.
ALL-CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION
ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE Tommy Fitzer