Spartans look to build around four returning starters
ELK HORN -- The Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton baseball team will feature some new faces in 2020 as just four full-time starters return from last year’s 10-12 campaign.
The Spartans, who placed sixth in the Rolling Valley Conference at 4-9, graduated five seniors off the 2019 squad, including a trio of all-conference selections in first-teamers Cole Burmeister (.420, 43 stolen bases) and Trey Nelson (.377, 16 RBI) and second-teamer Josh Pettepier (.365, 23 RBI, 3-3, 3.23 ERA).
This year’s varsity roster showcases just one senior in Ethan Andersen and a new head coach in Tom Petersen, who takes over the reins from Trevor Miller.
Exira-EHK will be led by juniors Tyler Petersen and Hunter Andersen, sophomore Dane Paulsen and freshman Trey Petersen, who started every game in which they played last summer.
Tyler Petersen and Hunter Andersen will bring back the most experienced arms on the pitching staff after combining to work 58 innings in 2019.
Petersen went 2-6 with a solid 2.44 earned run average, striking out 36 batters in 37.3 innings. He appeared in nine games, making five starts. Andersen finished 2-1 with a team-best 2.37 ERA in 20.7 innings (7 appearances, 3 starts), striking out 26 and walking eight.
At the plate, Tyler Petersen hit .367 with six doubles and drove in 16 runs. His on-base percentage was .459. Paulsen also had a nice year offensively as a frosh, hitting .321 with 12 runs scored and an OBP of .455.
Exira-EHK Baseball Profile
10-12 Overall, 4-9 Rolling Valley Conference (6th Place).
Postseason Run - Lost to CAM, 7-2.
All-Rolling Valley Conference Honors - Cole Burmeister, sr. (First Team Inf.); Trey Nelson, sr. (First Team OF); Josh Pettepier, sr. (Second Team Pitcher).
Varsity Roster - Senior: 23-Ethan Andersen. Juniors: 3-Wyatt Fahn, 7-Tyler Petersen, 10-Hunter Andersen, 30-Christian Poldberg. Sophomores: 2-Jackson Shores, 12-Dane Paulsen, 15-Aiden Potts, 25-Tyler Kingery. Freshmen: 4-Gavin Bengard, 13-Trey Petersen, 20-Derrek Kommes.
Returning Varsity Stat Leaders
Batting Average: Tyler Petersen .367, Dane Paulsen .321.
Total Hits: Tyler Petersen 22, D. Paulsen 17, Trey Petersen 14, Hunter Andersen 10.
Runs Scored: D. Paulsen 12, Trey Petersen 11, Tyler Petersen 11, H. Andersen 11.
Runs-Batted-In: Tyler Petersen 16, Trey Petersen 9, D. Paulsen 6.
Doubles: Tyler Petersen 6, D. Paulsen 3.
Walks: Tyler Petersen 12, H. Andersen 12, D. Paulsen 11.
Stolen Bases: H. Andersen 6/6, D. Paulsen 6/6.
On-Base Percentage: Tyler Petersen .459, D. Paulsen .455.
Pitching W-L Record: H. Andersen 2-1, Tyler Petersen 2-6.
Innings Pitched: Tyler Petersen 37.3, H. Andersen 20.7.
Earned Run Average: H. Andersen 2.37, Tyler Petersen 2.44.
WHIP: Tyler Petersen 1.37, H. Andersen 1.50.
Strikeouts: Tyler Petersen 36, H. Andersen 26.
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