Memorable might be the best way to describe Reece Samuel’s final season on the McFarland High School baseball team. The tall, strong senior batted .444 and made some remarkable plays at shortstop. He also helped guide the Spartans to their first trip to the WIAA Division 2 state tournament in school history. To cap it all off, Samuel has been named to the All-Rock Valley Conference first team, the only Spartan to attain the honor.
Samuel led the team with three home runs, and he was second on the team with 23 RBIs. His hits also included seven doubles and three triples. Samuel recorded a .544 on-base percentage in 91 plate appearances and had a slugging percentage of .722.
He made some outstanding plays on defense to help defeat Elkhorn and Madison Edgewood in the sectional round. After the 2018 football season, Samuel was selected all-conference first team on offense as a wide receiver and defense as an outside linebacker.
Two Spartan baseball players earned recognition on the all-conference second team.
Austin Miller led McFarland with 27 RBIs and tied for the team lead with 34 hits. His batting average was .391 and on-base percentage stood at .460. As a pitcher, Miller saved three games, allowed 10 hits, struck out 12 and walked four in 14.1 innings. Miller threw four scoreless innings in relief of JT Pimental in the sectional final victory over Edgewood.
Second baseman Carson Wienke was also named to the second team by hitting .343 with a .441 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot.
Wienke matched Miller with 34 hits, led the team with 18 walks and scored 30 runs, including the game winner in McFarland’s 3-2 win over Madison Edgewood in the sectional final.
Honorable mention went to catcher Adam Hoveland, who batted .247 with 18 RBIs, and Carson Werwinski, who made some game saving catches in right field during the postseason.
While McFarland’s quintet of baseball players was worthy of all-conference consideration, there were many other Spartans that made significant contributions.
Left fielder Xavier Schreiber hit .441 and an on-base percentage mark of .547. He hit two homers, nine doubles and a triple, and knocked in 18 runs to finish the year with a slugging percentage of .729.
Starting pitcher Jeremiah Price-Johnson had a 5-1 record with three saves and an ERA of 2.05. He earned a complete game victory in McFarland’s 7-4 win over Elkhorn in the sectional semifinal game in Baraboo. He also did well at the plate with 10 hits in 31 plate appearances, a batting average of .400 and an on-base percentage of .467.
Starting pitcher Pimental had a win-loss record of 5-1 with 40 hits allowed in 50.1 innings. He had a strong outing in the sectional final game against Edgewood with two hits and no earned runs allowed in five innings. Center fielder Cam Schaaf had a productive season with a .291 batting average, 15 RBIs and 28 runs scored. He also started five games on the mound and had a 3-0 record with 13 hits allowed in 18.2 innings.
Third baseman Gabe Roderick batted .266 and performed well on the mound with a 1.52 ERA over 23 innings.