The baseball teams at King’s Way Christian and Seton Catholic could not wait to play.
The two teams were scheduled to play their Trico League doubleheader on April 9. Instead, the Knights and Cougars met in the first of two games this week on Monday, the first day of competition in Season 2 of the WIAA’s revised calendar.
“The league gave us some flexibility to move games around on our schedule,” King’s Way coach Todd Pisarczyk said. “So I called their coach and said ‘let’s go.’ Otherwise, we’d have to sit around another week before playing.”
There has been enough sitting around since spring sports were shut down a year ago on March 13. It was even harder on Seton players, who were supposed to launch the first season in program history last spring.
“Last year was tough because we had two weeks of practice, and then right before our first game, we got shut down,” Seton junior Dax Clifton said. “It was disappointing to not have a season, but we’re happy now get something, some season now.”
After Monday’s game at Harmony Sports Complex, the two teams will meet against Thursday at Luke Jensen Park.
“It’s great to be out here playing,” Clifton added. “We’ve got a young team, so it was awesome that we could show up and play.”
Seton coach Ted Wierczorek said the Cougars are using nine eighth graders – future Seton students — to help fill out the roster this spring.
“We desperately needed them,” Wierczorek said. “Overall, I thought they did a nice job. It’s a really big moment for the school, and we’ll go from there.”
The more experienced Knights won 17-0 with senior Bryce Dodge throwing a five-inning no-hitter. He struck 15 and walked one. The Cougars recorded one out with a ball put in play as they also had a batter reach on a dropped third strike.
“I was excited,” Dodge said. “It’s been over a year and half (without baseball). It felt like a grind this whole time, so coming out here (I was) super excited. A little bit of nerves, but just mostly excited.”
Dodge also delivered an inside-the-park home run. Max Mitchell went 2 for 3 with two doubles, and Andrew Peru was 2 for 4 with four RBI.
But Monday’s game was less about the results and more about the experience.
“It was a good foundation for us today,” Wierczorek said. “We set the bar for our kids to get better in practice tomorrow and Wednesday, and we’ll play again on Thursday and see what happens.”
Dodge was just excited to be playing baseball again.
“We’ve been pumped,” Dodge said. “We’ve been practicing for months now, so we were really revved up to get going.”