Lineup changes lead to inconsistency
Tre Ostergard makes Top 10.
Senior Melons coach Mark Bartels used every lineup card in his book this summer and then some.
In almost all of Gothenburg’s 21 games, Bartels pulled a switch-a-roo on players.
Injuries, vacations and camps for other sports took boys off the field at various times throughout the season.
Bartels was often forced to bring Junior players up to the Senior level just to fill positions.
That inconsistency may have been what led to the team’s ups and downs.
Gothenburg started the year with a four-game winning streak and put together another four-game burst midway through.
There wasn’t enough momentum, though, to send the Seniors deep into the Area 6 tournament and they finished with an 11-10 overall record.
Initial thoughts may turn to disappointment but not for long considering the hardships the team faced week after week.
The Melons got one player into Gothenburg’s all-time Top 10 baseball stats this year and had others who came close.
Tre Ostergard, who led the team in most stat categories, ties for No. 7 all-time in number of home runs hit in a season.
Ostergard put balls out of the park against Kearney, Lexington, Ogallala, Holdrege, Kearney County, Broken Bow and Aurora.
The pitcher and third baseman had 25 hits total, scored 22 runs and recorded 39 RBIs in 69 at-bats to lead all those categories.
Ostergard finished with a batting average of .362 and an on-base percentage of .436.
On the pitching mound, Ostergard had the team’s best record at 3-3 facing 207 batters in eight games. He struck out 46 batters and allowed 48 runs to end his first year on the Seniors with a 5.49 ERA.
Korey Ahlenstorf, who played catcher and pitcher, finished with a batting average of .422 and an on-base percentage of .640.
Ahlenstorf hit eight doubles and one home run to gather 19 hits and 19 runs.
Behind the plate, the catcher had a .944 fielding average and topped the Melons with 128 put-outs.
Tanner Schwanz, who played most often at center field, earned 19 hits with one double, two triples and a home run.
He also scored 21 runs and stole a team-high 12 bases playing in 16 of the 21 games.
Bartels knows kids’ schedules aren’t likely to get any easier to deal with as the years go by.
And if one silver lining can come from the dark cloud of this year’s inconsistency, it’s that a variety of players have gained on-field experience.
That will only make the Melons better in the long run, the coach said.