Malcolm makes return trip to state baseball


The approach was different this time. After needing a wildcard to get into last year’s state tournament, top-ranked Malcolm was determined to win its way in this time.

The Clippers’ ticket was punched with two shutout wins in the C-1 district.

“Our number one goal was to get the wins,” Malcolm Coach Zach Wehner said. “Last year was a huge learning experience. We can’t take any team lightly.”

Malcolm opened the district on May 2 with a 12-0 win over Maxwell-St. Pat’s before returning to its home diamond the following day to put away Guardian Angels Central Catholic-West Point-Beemer, 15-0 in the tournament final.

“We didn’t expect to shut out both opponents,” Wehner said. “Our pitchers did a great job of throwing strikes and letting the defense do their job.”

Carson Frank handled the first three innings against MSP, allowing no hits, while striking out eight of the 10 batters he faced. Luke Schmidt and Owin Little each tossed an inning in the mercy rule shortened game. Schmidt fanned three of four batters.

Maddox Meyer went the distance in the final, improving his record to 7-0 by tossing a complete game three-hitter.

The Malcolm bats were hot throughout the tournament. In eight innings of offense, the Clippers scored 27 runs on 21 hits.

“It was great to see our bats come alive,” Wehner exclaimed. “It seemed like everyone in our lineup was putting the ball in gaps and getting on base. I’m especially pleased by how the bottom part of the lineup put runs on the board. We scored a lot of runs with two outs.”

Mason Wisnieski homered in each game while Schmidt tripled against MSP and added four RBIs to his team-high total of 31 for the season.

“Luke really came on this year,” Wehner said. “We knew what he was capable of. He just needed to trust himself. It’s great to see him leading the team in a couple of categories, especially considering the competition he has in our lineup.”

Schmidt enters the state tournament with seven home runs this season and a .475 batting average. Wisnieski has 30 RBIs while leading the team with a .559 average and 14 extra base hits. 

Malcolm opened its week with a 10-4 win over Wayne in the April 29 regular season finale. Noah Gonyea earned his second win of the season while Cole Tiedeman went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and three runs batted in. Schmidt was 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.

Malcolm (19-3) enters the state tournament as the defending state champions and the No. 1 seed. The Clippers face No. 8 Wayne (14-7) Saturday, May 11, at Elkhorn’s Frerichs Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

“The first game is huge,” Wehner said. “If we can get by that first day, we have more options for how we can set up our pitching rotation.”

The State Championships conclude Friday, May 17, at Werner Park.