Schimenz's injury grounded Falcons
Brown Deer finished season on nine-game losing streak
Brown Deer - One key player can mean everything to a team and that's what junior shortstop/pitcher Jake Schimenz meant to the Brown Deer baseball team this season.
So when a knee injury took him out for the last third of the season, the Falcons went on a tailspin, losing nine straight and finished with a 10-20 record.
"Yes, Jake was pretty much indispensable," said Falcons coach Mike Donahue. "With him, we're probably a .500 team. Without him, everybody saw what happened."
Aside from Schimenz's loss, the Falcons battled youth most of the season, as only three seniors Alan Haney, Nicky Bersch and pitcher/first baseman Kyle Okray saw substantial time this summer.
"We just didn't have much in the way of experience at all," said Donahue, "and that was hard to overcome."
Despite his injuries, Schimenz had an outstanding season, including a .447 average in 21 games. That included 34 hits, nine doubles, one home run, 16 RBI and 29 runs scores out of his lead-off position. He had a .505 on-base percentage. Donahue considers him to be the best fielding infielder that he has seen.
Also helping out was junior centerfielder Pietro D'Amato, who hit .384 for the summer including 38 hits in 99 at-bats with six doubles, four triples a home run, 20 RBIs and 26 runs scored.
"Early on, he was an athlete trying to play baseball, but he really became a baseball player by the end of the summer," Donahue said. "A lot of improvement."
Utility player Ryan Hudson also shows a lot of promise for next year, Donahue said.
Donahue said that both the freshmen and junior varsity teams were around .500. He's looking forward to better things next year.
"We had so many young guys this year," he said, "so we'll have a lot of guys coming back and that will help everyone push everyone else into being better.
"We'll be old again," he said with a laugh.
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