West Allis - The 2012 baseball season got off to a great start for West Allis Hale, with first-week victories over Waukesha West, New Berlin West and Oak Creek.
The Huskies then stumbled through a 1-5-1 stretch but showed some signs of rallying with triumphs last week over Wauwatosa East and Sussex Hamilton.
This all adds up to a 6-5-1 record entering this week, with a 3-5 mark in the Greater Metro Conference.
"We had that great first week," head coach Paul Dooley said, "but then we lost one-run games to Brookfield East (9-8), Marquette (3-2) and West Allis Central (3-2, as the Bulldogs tallied three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning). The Greater Metro is so tough."
Dooley said he feels that Hale's 5-3 victory over Hamilton on Friday could be a turning point. The Huskies tallied four runs in the top of the sixth to take a 5-1 lead, then held off a furious rally by the Chargers in the seventh, with junior rightfielder Zach Smith making a nice running catch to end the game.
Senior Garet Morgenroth, junior Marcel Mundt and senior Alex Elenteny each drove in runs, while junior Nick Sotiros worked five innings to get the victory and senior Ben Allan two innings for the save.
"That was a real big win for us," Dooley said.
In the previous contest, Hale downed Wauwatosa East, 7-5, on June 6 behind two hits, including a double, and three runs batted in from Elenteny; three hits from Morgenroth and single runs batted in from junior Brian Kimpel, senior Dan Sotiros, Mundt and Nick Sotiros. Kimpel pitched six innings and notched the victory with relief help from senior Stephen Metzdorf.
On June 5, the Huskies dropped a 6-3 game in eight innings to GMC leader Menomonee Falls. Nick Sotiros, senior Sam Versnik and Kimpel each had a double and RBI for Hale. Elenteny allowed just one earned run in seven innings and struck out five.
The Huskies opened last week with a 10-4 loss to Franklin on June 4. Elenteny and Nick Sotiros both doubled and drove in runs, while Kimpel brought home two runs.
Dooley said his main pitchers are Nick Sotiros, who is coming back after arm surgery; Elenteny, senior Zach Minch and Kimpel.
"Elenteny is the only returning player with any experience," the coach said. "We're piecing things together."
Hale does have plenty of experience overall, with 10 seniors on the roster and six position players back from last season.
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