SOLID CORE RETURNS TO LEAD INMAN

By William

INMAN – In 2019, the Inman Teuton baseball program played with six sophomores and freshmen in their starting lineup but still managed to pull out a winning, 10-8 record.

Coach Matt Mikulecky noted that the lowlight of the youth movement was losing in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs in the regional semi-finals to Sedgwick.

While it hurt to lose the 2020 season to the pandemic, only one senior graduated and that was All-State leader Connor Brown.

Looking to pitching and defense as a team strength for 2021, Coach Mikulecky will have one of the deepest pitching staffs in Class 2A and has confidence they will all get people out.

Here is a full look into the hopes and dreams of the 2021 season for the Inman Teuton baseball program:

A BIT ABOUT THE TEUTONS SEASONS & COACH:

In 2019 the Inman Teutons baseball program had a huge turn around for a young team that included six sophomore and freshman starters. They were young but competitive enough to finish 10-8 and third (3rd) in their league.

A low point of the 2019 season was losing in the final inning with two outs to Sedgwick in the state regional semi-finals.

As for the coach – Matt Mikulecky is beginning his fifth (5th) season leading the Teutons with the help of junior varsity coach Tony Mark.

Mikulecky has an overall mark of 22-39 in his first four seasons.

TEUTONS KEY LOSSES TO GRADUATION/TRANSFERS:

Unfortunately, the shutdown of the 2020 season cost the Teuton fans to watch one more time one of the programs elite players in Connor Brown.

Brown graduated, but before he earned first (1st) team All-State in 2019 and first (1st) team All-League as well as a pitcher and outfielder.

TEUTONS KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:

Coach Mikulecky has six (6) strong core players to build his team around for the 2021 season, these six include:

  • Carter Brown = a senior infielder/pitcher who hit .450, had 2 home runs, 10 doubles, 25 runs scored, and 25 runs batted in in the 2019 season while earning his second All-HOA league honor and gaining a 2nd team All-State honor in Class 2-1A. Brown is signed to play football at Dodge City Community College after graduating.
  • Carson Munoz = a senior pitcher/infielder who hit .235, had a .391 on base %, hit four doubles, scored 13 runs, and had 13 runs batted in the 2019 season. Munoz is signed to play baseball (as a pitcher) at Hesston College after graduating.
  • Jayden Leonhardt = a senior catcher/pitcher who hit .333, had four doubles, scored 13 runs, and had 15 runs batted in during the 2019 season. Leonhardt has already earned two All-HOA honors and has signed to play baseball with Central Christian College of Kansas after graduating.
  • Landon Snyder = a senior pitcher/third basebam who threw 35 innings, had a record of 5-3 with a 3.00 ERA in the 2019 season. Another two-time All-HOA honoree, Snyder is signed to play baseball (as a pitcher) at Hutchinson Community College after graduating.
  • Derick Johnson = a senior outfielder/pitcher who hit .313 with a .500 on base % plus scoring 26 runs and having 25 stolen bases in 2019. Johnson is a two-time All-HOA honoree and is signed to play after graduating at Hutchinson Community College.
  • Kyler Konrade = a junior shortstop/pitcher who threw 24 innings and had a record of 4-1 with a 3.12 ERA and 33 strikeouts as a freshman in 2019. Konrade also scored 16 runs and earned All-HOA honors as a freshman.

TEUTON NEWCOMERS WORTH WATCHING:

Among the players for which Mikulecky is counting on this season as newcomers are Sammy Shober, Brant Mikulecky, Noah Pollock, and Josiah Buller. All these players have shown they can make all the routine plays on defense while offensively, they are going to get better with more at-bats according to Mikulecky.

TETUON SEASON OUTLOOK:

Coach Mikulecky has many expectations for the 2021 Teuton team, including:

  • “We expect to have a strong season as this will be the deepest pitching staff and most experienced team I have had here in Inman.”
  • “I believe we will be able to compete with anyone in our class and we have set our goals high and are going to give it our best shot to achieve them.”
  • “Experience and leadership will be huge for us and our top six players have all played varsity baseball in each of their high school seasons.”
  • “If we have a strength or weakness, it could be our offense as we will just have to see because it takes a full lineup to have a strong offense in my mind. But we have the potential to be a good offensive team and score runs, but there is a lot of things we need to work on, and I am anxious to see how our lineup fills out and see if we can be productive from top to bottom.”
  • “We do have some younger and inexperienced guys that will be learning on the job so to speak and they are going to get a lot of playing time and at-bats. It is going to be an adjustment for them to play varsity baseball, but I like their potential.”

????? REFLECTION REVIEW:

The Teutons, on paper, do have the potential of having an extraordinarily strong pitching staff – even one that could be among the top in the state.

But missing the 2020 season leaves some questions to be answered both offensively and defensively, many of which should be answered by the core six players and the talent laying within the youth and newcomers.

First 5 Scheduled Games:

Friday, March 26 = Teutons host Pratt

Tuesday, March 30 = Teutons host Little River

Tuesday, April 6 = Teutons at Ell-Saline

Friday, April 9 = Teutons host Marion

Tuesday, April 13 = Teutons at Sedgwick

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