Challenging but successful.
That is how Sheboygan A’s manager Tim Moyer described the season that started later than expected because of the Coronavirus and ended with a second-place finish.
“I think we had a very good team,” he said. “It was a combination of things. We had three or four guys offensively that had a great year for us. … We got really good pitching … and the only thing we struggled with this year is we had some lapses on defense which actually cost us games because we lost a lot of one-run games that offensively and pitching-wise we played well enough to win.”
Sheboygan went 16-7 in the Wisconsin State League (24-18 overall) after beginning the year without any practice. The season began June 13, about two weeks later than the original opening day.
“I was kind of thinking we probably wouldn’t be able to play this summer,” A’s Ross Krist said. “Then we were and it was great to finally play again. … It started off slow but then pretty much everything was normal like it used to be.”
The utility player, a senior on the UW-Platteville team who graduated from Falls in 2017, wrapped up his third season with the A’s by leading the squad in six offensive categories.
He was tops in batting average (.510), hits (53), doubles (10), stolen bases (9), runs (31) and at-bats (126).
Only one teammate appeared in more games, and he ranked second in walks (22) and third in runs batted in (21).
“I was pretty fortunate enough to be able to do baseball stuff throughout April and May, and I think I was just happy to play again so I never really worried about messing up or anything,” Krist said. “I just played and had fun.”
That must be what Eric Schmitz and Brad Rindfleisch did, too, as the pitchers combined for an 11-0 record on the season.
Schmitz, the oldest player on the team, finished his eighth season by recording his 400th strikeout and now ranks sixth all-time among A’s pitchers.
He tossed four complete games in seven appearances and compiled a 6-0 record to go with a 1.47 earned run average.
Rindfleisch, 5-0, had an ERA of 1.43 after striking out a team-high 81 batters in just 50.3 innings.
“It was a good summer,” Moyer said. “We lost (six) games by one run and I think we lost three games where we didn’t even give up an earned run, so our pitching was really good this year.”