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Injuries slowing Huskies' progress

Engle leads way with strong bat, arm

June 21, 2011

West Allis - Injuries are hurting the chances of the West Allis Hale baseball team in the rugged Greater Metro Conference this season.

Hale is already without Zach Minch, who is out with a shoulder problem, as well as Joe Nowak with a back injury and Garet Morgenroth with a bad ankle.

The Huskies are also losing sophomore pitcher/outfielder Nick Sotiros, who underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this week. Sotiros had not been able to pitch this year but had been playing as a designated hitter.

As a result, a team that came within one game of a WIAA state berth last year entered this week at 4-6 in the GMC and 4-8 overall after splitting four games last week.

They topped West Allis Central, 8-3, on June 13 and shaded Brookfield East, 3-2, on June 16. On the other side, they fell to Marquette, 11-4, on June 14 and to Wauwatosa East, 5-4, on Friday night.

"We're battling injuries and that's tough in the GMC, which is so good from top to bottom," said coach Paul Dooley. "You have Franklin up there with one loss and Oak Creek with two, but then you have a big group at 6-4, 5-5, 4-6, and those teams are all competitive."

Despite the team's injuries, senior Dillion Engle has been a sparkplug at the plate and on the mound this season. Engle was 2-1 with a 2.15 earned-run average and 32 strikeouts in 26 innings and was hitting a team-high .438 with six runs batted in so far.

"He is everything you could want in a player," Dooley said of Engle, who signed a national letter of intent to attend and play at Dakota State University, an NCAA Division II school. "He is our No. 1 starter, and the team is so confident behind him. He is a legitimate stud on the mound."

Hale 3, Brookfield East 2: The Huskies tallied two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on run-scoring singles by Sotiros and senior Joe Fujinaka. Engle picked up the victory, giving up four hits, striking out seven and walking none. Junior Dan Sotiros had two hits, including a double, for the Huskies.

Hale 8, W.A. Central 3: Junior Alex Elenteny had two hits and drove in four runs, while Engle and senior Troy Williamson each tripled and Dan Sotiros doubled.

Marquette 11, Hale 4: Dan Sotiros belted a home run and Elenteny, Engle, Morgenroth and senior Casey Riley each had a pair of hits.

Tosa East 5, Hale 4: The Red Raiders tallied two in the seventh to pull out the victory. Nick Sotiros went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs, while Elenteny and junior Eric Seefeldt each had two hits.

Up next: The Huskies will co-host the annual Harvey Kuenn Tournament on Saturday at Belich Field.

West Allis Central, Brookfield East and Wisconsin Lutheran Post 18 are also in the field.

Hale will then visit Sussex Hamilton next Monday and Menomonee Falls on Tuesday. Both games are at 5:30 p.m.

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