Fall Creek (WQOW) — Early on in the season, and the Fall Creek baseball team has been clicking on all cylinders. The Crickets are 6-0 overall to start 2019, and ranked fourth in the latest division three coaches’ poll.
Fall Creek has outscored their opponents in the first six games, 66-18. They’re led by a veteran pitching staff, and a lineup that’s producing runs early on. They also have one of the best players in the conference in Marcus Cline, who was a first-team performer in 2018. The Crickets finished 5th in the Cloverbelt-West standings last year at 8-6, but bring back a lot key leadership and chemistry into this season.
“A lot of team chemistry,” says Cline, who is a senior infielder/pitcher. “Just every day it’s just fun with the guys, and having fun.”
“Our chemistry and having everybody back, all the seniors and our pitching staff,” says senior infielder/pitcher Brady Nicks. “I really think it’s the chemistry, just everybody gets along and good friends.”
Head coach Mike Johnson agrees that having a veteran pitching staff will be key to a successful season.
“We have some senior leadership here, a lot of our pitching is back from last year,” Johnson says. “I think everyone knows that baseball evolves around the pitching staff. It wasn’t perfect tonight, but Marcus came in and did a great job and that’s kind of the strength our our team is how our pitching staff does.”
Offensively, the Crickets are hitting anything and everything in the first six games. They put up 21 runs in a non-conference win against Blair-Taylor, 13 runs over Neillsville, and 12 Tuesday night at Osseo-Fairchild. From the top to the bottom of the batting order, Fall Creek is having quality at bats.
“We’re just getting good swings,” Cline says. “Getting good pitches, and driving them to the outfield.”
“Coach is just really drilling it in our heads to go up there and look for your pitch, and hit your pitch,” says Nicks. “And if it’s not there, don’t swing at it.”
“Great at bats by our guys putting up 12 runs here tonight (Tuesday), eight runs in our first conference game, and then we scored 13 last week,” Johnson says. “The offense has been doing well, and guys have been proud of their approaches at the plate. They don’t try to overdue it, we’ll take a walk or we’ll take a double. So they’ve had good approaches, and I’m happy with the beginning of the season.”
The Crickets return to action Thursday afternoon at home, hosting McDonell Central at 4 p.m.