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Prescott baseball: Dolan caps career as an all-star

Zach Dolan (right) and coach Jeff Ryan after the WBCA all-star classic in Oshkosh on Saturday, June 24. Dolan, an outfielder, played on the west all-star team. Photo courtesy of Jeff Ryan1 / 2
Prescott senior Zach Dolan bats against Ellsworth Wednesday, May 31, in a WIAA Division 2 regional final. The Cardinals would win and advance to sectionals where they would lose to eventual-champion West Salem in the sectional final. Jalen Knuteson / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

OSHKOSH -- Zach Dolan recognizes a lot of the names of the previous Prescott players to be selected to the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Classic.

“I’ve seen a lot of the names in the record books, so I’m familiar with the names,” Dolan said.

Dolan found his name among the likes of Nick Johnson, Brad Matzek, Tom and Charlie Block, Billy and Mike Brookshaw.

Dolan and coach Jeff Ryan were members of the West team. The WBCA selected 72 players from around the state and divides them into four teams based on regions. The teams played a round robin, with each team playing one game on Friday, June 23 and two on Saturday, June 24 at EJ Schneider Field in Oshkosh.

The West defeated the East, 2-0, and the South, 15-10. The West lost to the North, 7-1.

“You can talk to the other 20 Prescott players that have played in the game and each of them will talk about how much fun they had during the three games,” Ryan said. “It’s a lot of fun to coach in the game. There isn’t a lot of coaching, you just let the kids play.”

Dolan was named honorable mention all state by the WBCA. He was also named first-team all-Middle Border Conference.

Dolan, who will attend UW-La Crosse where he will pursue a marketing degree, earned his spot in the event by being a main contributor on a Prescott team that lost in the WIAA DIvision 2 sectional finals to West Salem, the eventual state champion. Dolan batted leadoff and played center field for most of the season.

“All coaches in the conference spoke very highly of him,” Ryan said. “Unquestionably, having a strong defense up the middle was important for us and Zach was obviously crucial in the improvements that we made this year defensively.”

Before his senior season, Dolan pointed out that the Cardinals needed to clean up defensively if they wanted to make a run in the playoffs. Ryan arranged his defense so that it was in the middle with Luke Murphy and Peter Brookshaw as middle infielders and Joe Roosen behind the plate.

Anchoring that defense was Dolan in center field.

“He actually started as an infielder, but eventually we moved him to the outfield,” Ryan said. “He became one of the best center fielders in this part of the state.”

“It’s hard to make errors in the outfield,” Dolan said modestly.

At the plate his success came from a simple motivation.

“I told myself a lot that I had to get on base for Luke (Murphy), Pete (Brookshaw), and Bo (Smith),” Dolan said. “We had good hitters, so I really liked hitting leadoff (in front of Murphy, Brookshaw, et al).”

As a leadoff hitter, he was a capable catalyst.

Dolan had 40 hits and scored 41 runs for Prescott, which finished with a 23-6 record. He stole 24 bases on 25 attempts.

“He certainly has left his mark on Prescott baseball,” Ryan said. “To finish his prep career playing at the all-star classic is a great way to go out.

“He and his family should be very proud of his accomplishments.”

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