It was a long season for the Wellington Crusader baseball team, even shortened by the weather.
WHS' final record was 4-15, a season that ended in the opening round of the regional tournament against Mulvane, who handed the Crusaders their first loss of the season.
"The first six to eight games we had a pretty good stretch where we played pretty great defense that kept us in a lot of games and gave us good chances to win," said WHS Head Coach, Jesse Dale. "Our Achilles heel most of the year was we were pretty anemic offensively." One game this season was canceled, several more were post-poned due to wet weather.
"Dealing with the weather, it definitely wasn't ideal," Dale said. "...it seemed like the days we were supposed to play, it rained. It's one of those things that happens every few years." In spite of mother nature, a few Crusaders had notable performances this year.
Alex Weiss, senior, accounted for 18 hits this season, the most on the team. His batting average was second best for the Crusaders (with a minimum of 20 At-Bats) at .295, behind Austin Dunn who notched a .327 with 18 hits.
Weiss and Dunn also each scored seven runs, Weiss lead the team in Runs Batted In with eight. Those two players were also at the top of the On-Base Percentage category for WHS.
Loren Farley, senior, accounted for the most runs scored with 11.
Only two players hit the ball out of the park in 2013, seniors, Noah Wolff and Blaine Anderson. As a team, the Diamond Dukes batted .220.
The Crusaders did have some crafty base runners in 2013. Four of them were a perfect 100 percent when it came to stealing bases. Weiss stole 12, Parker Daugherty, junior, was four for four, Ethan Carroll, senior, stole three bases, along with Farley. All together, WHS was 29 out of 31 for stealing bases in 2013.
On the mound, WHS had some sure-arms. Of the players who pitched at least 14 innings, Jarrod Huck, junior, lead the team with the lowest Earned Run Average, at .75. Huck was 1-2 on the season. Trevor Nance's ERA was 2.06, the sophomore had a record of 2-1. Each of his wins were shut-out performances, allowing a combined five hits between the two.
"We really, really pitched it pretty well," Dale said. "It's tough to do when you're trying to figure out your rotation with all the make-up games." The team lost six players to graduation this year, the coaching staff is challenged with filling those voids for next year.
"If you're going to be good in high school baseball, you've got to be good through the middle of the field," Dale said. "You look at the seniors we lost, we lost two on the mound, a senior who'd been at short-stop since he was a sophomore and a catcher who's been behind the plate since he was a sophomore." One plus for the Diamond Dukes is that youth is on their side.
Page 2 of 2 - "The first line-up I wrote for our opening game against Mulvane had seven guys that had never played a varsity inning," Dale said. There were a few games the Crusaders let slip away in the later innings, along with a couple extra-inning L's. A couple of those games were against state-bound opponents.
"We were capable of playing at [a high level]," Dale said. "But the consistency was the trouble."