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Honors pile up for Wildcats baseball champs

Sophomore Jaden Schwantz followed up his All-Big Rivers Conference season with a spot on the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Honorable Mention All-State team. File photo 1 / 2
Junior Joe Stoffel earned Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-State honorable mention honors after being named the Big Rivers Conference Co-Pitcher of the Year. File photo 2 / 2

The honors keep coming to the Big Rivers Conference champion Wildcat baseball team.

Junior pitcher Joe Stoffel and sophomore outfielder Jaden Schwantz were both named to the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-District First Team and received honorable mention to the WBCA All-State Team. Senior shortstop Adam Feyeresien and senior pitcher Braden Mork each earned WBCA All-District Second Team honors while senior utility player Jake Bergamanis received honorable mention. Schwantz was also named to the WBCA Academic All-District Team.

All five players were previously honored by the BRC with Stoffel, Schwantz, Feyereisen and Bergmanis garnering spots on the All-BRC First Team and Mork receiving honorable mention.

"Like this year's all-conference awards, it's great to see our guys represented so well," Wildcat head coach Ryan Bishop said. "They have all worked very hard to not only be the best baseball player they can be, but the best complete athlete as well both on and off the field. Surrounded by all-state teammates, these guys played a big role in bringing a Big Rivers Conference championship to River Falls this spring."

Stoffel shared the BRC Pitcher of the Year award with Menomonie's Jace Kressin after posting a 6-0 record and a 0.83 ERA this season, while Schwantz led the Wildcats in hitting with a .418 average with five doubles, two triples, two home runs and a team-high 20 RBI while playing every inning of every game in centerfield without an error.

Feyereisen started all 20 games at shortstop for the Cats and committed just three errors in 137 total innings for a .949 fielding percentage while batting .317 at the plate. Bergmanis rotated between corner infield and catcher this season while batting .310 overall and .378 against BRC foes, while Mork, who will head to Bradley University on a baseball scholarship next season, was 4-2 with a 1.37 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched.

The Wildcats finished 15-1 overall this season, 11-1 in BRC play to win just the second conference championship in program history. Their season included a doubleheader sweep over Eau Claire North, who went on to win 22 of their next 23 games, culminating with a 5-4 victory over Sun Prairie in the Division 1 state championship game Thursday, June 13. Two of Eau Claire North's four total losses came at the hands of the Wildcats, a fact not lost on BIshop.

"When I said our 2019 team was a strong contender to win the state title I wasn't blowing smoke," he said. "Although that didn't happen, our guys had a great season and can hang their hat knowing their hard work led to being one of the best teams in the state of Wisconsin this year."

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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