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Young PC squad could surprise D-SC foes

Plum City's Ben Funk puts out a Mondovi base runner during Thursday's contest at Mondovi. Photo by Jenny Funk.

PLUM CITY - New Plum City High School head baseball coach Brent Blegen can't quite say what the impact of having 10 returning letter winners back will be for the Blue Devils this season.

But there are two numbers he is certain about when it comes to his team's outlook for 2014.

"We have six freshman on our team and two of them are going to start for us," Blegen said. "And they're going have be ready to step up to play varsity to provide the kind of depth we need to be a successful team."

If not that, at least do better than the winless 0-9 squad (0-8 in the Dunn-St. Croix Small Division) the Blue Devils were last season. 

Although PC's losing streak continued after their season opener at Mondovi Thursday, there were plenty of reasons to be optimistic after an 8-7 outcome. The Devils rallied from a 6-2 deficit to take a 7-6 lead by scoring five runs in the fifth inning. Mondovi needed a pair of runs in their last at bats to win the ballgame. Plum City was able to get nine hits and stay close despite 12 strikeouts.

The two freshman starters Blegen speaks of are second baseman Anthony Ebensperger and third baseman Connor Hinrichs.

"Anthony is a good all-round athlete and Connor is very smart, very mature enough to handle the demands of third base," Blegen said. "They both have put in extra time in the offseason and since the start of practice. They've worked very hard to earn those spots."

To go with Ebensperger and Hinrichs in the infield are returning lettermen junior Austin Coss at shortstop, junior Ben Funk at first base, sophomore Chance Borst at catcher, junior Wyatt Schultz in leftfield, junior Dylan Hovland and center and senior Kasey Krueger in right. Senior Jake Ingli will pitch along with Schultz. 

"Jake and Wyatt will be two solid starters for us and Austin will come on in relief," Blegen said. "We don't have a lot of overall depth but it's enough for our overall size as a team."

Hovland led PC with three hits and four RBIs, 

Other returning lettermen for the Blue Devils are juniors Tyler Fox and Adam Girdeen.

Blegen says he likes the overall attitude of the clubs despite its youth and lack of recent success and hope it will carry them until experience comes their way.

"There's been good turnouts for captain's practices and batting practice. They're excited to be playing baseball," Blegen said. "And there's talent there too. Some of the kids have gone to camps or have played Legion ball over the summer. I can't help but think all of this will lead to better outcomes for us ahead."

PC is at home for their outing Monday vs. Colfax.