For a team that has had limited time to practice, Millard West is off to a fine start.
The Wildcats are 7-0 and sit atop the Nebraska Top 10. Millard West, like many other schools, has had limited availability to its field because of harsh weather.
But West coach Steve Frey said he can’t complain about what he has seen from his team so far.
“I’m happy with the way things are going,” he said. “We’ve won seven games and the key has been our pitching.”
The Wildcats, who have outscored their opponents 42-14, have a team ERA below 1.00.
“Our pitchers have worked around some mistakes,” Frey said. “But the main thing is that they’ve all been throwing strikes.”
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Millard West has had early success despite playing two home games. The Wildcats swept a doubleheader from visiting Grand Island on Thursday, games that were originally scheduled on the road.
“They’ve had issues with their field, too,” Frey said. “I think it’s taken some time for our hitters to adjust after hitting inside the gym for so long.”
Those hitters have been doing something right — Millard West already has faced some of the top pitchers in the state. That includes Cole Evans of Grand Island, Logan Van Treeck of Lincoln Southeast and Alex Wize of Omaha Burke.
“To win games while facing No. 1 pitchers like that is a big confidence booster,” Frey said. “We’ve got some guys that can swing it.”
It also didn’t hurt morale when the Wildcats won their season opener 5-4 over host Omaha Creighton Prep, the three-time defending Class A champion.
“We made one less mistake than them that day,” Frey said. “But it was a good way to start things off.”
Only time will tell if the Wildcats will cap this season with their first state title. They’ve made 21 trips to state and finished as runners-up seven times, but the championship has proved to be elusive.
“We try not to think about it,” Frey said. “It gets brought up a lot but we’re just going to go out and play hard and hope good things happen.”
While Millard West remains the top team in Class A, a new squad takes over the No. 1 position in Class B.
Waverly defeated Elkhorn last week and grabs the top spot from the Antlers. The Vikings are 3-2, with both losses coming against Class A teams.
Coach Kyle Parker’s squad also has posted a win over Prep.
Gretna, which is off to a 4-0 start, cracks the overall ratings at No. 10. The Dragons are competing in Class A this season.
Newcomers to the Class B ratings are Hastings (4-0) at No. 5 and Nebraska City (2-1) at No. 8.
Kearney’s first win
Congratulations to Kearney, which picked up its first victory last week after adding baseball as a varsity sport this season.
The 3-1 Bearcats, who lost their season opener March 22 against Lincoln Pius X, swept a doubleheader Thursday against visiting Papillion-La Vista South. Kearney won the first game 6-4 and the second 5-1.
Class A — Monday: Millard West at Millard South; Elkhorn South at Millard North. Tuesday: Papillion-La Vista at Omaha Creighton Prep; Millard South at Elkhorn South. Wednesday: Kearney at Omaha Burke. Thursday-Saturday: Millard West Invitational.
Class B — Monday: Elkhorn at Norris; Ralston at Lincoln Pius X (Den Hartog). Tuesday: Nebraska City at Omaha Skutt; Norris at Ralston; Omaha Roncalli at Wahoo. Wednesday: Norris at Omaha Westside. Thursday: Wahoo at Hastings; Waverly at Nebraska City. Friday: Omaha Roncalli at Omaha Skutt.
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Left to right, sitting: Tony Martin, Omaha Burke; Tyler Goodro, Omaha Creighton Prep; Scott Kaskie, Papillion-La Vista; Sam Merrill, Millard North; Connor O'Neill, Omaha Westside; Kevin Dooley, Papillion-La Vista; Matt Bowers, Omaha Roncalli; Dustin Koca, Omaha Westside. Kneeling: Jared Erspamer, Millard South; Tim Huber, Omaha Creighton Prep; Ryan Wehrle, Papillion-La Vista. Standing: Drew Schwab, Omaha Westside; Steve Winkelmann, Omaha Gross.
Clockwise from upper left: Omaha Westside's Tyler Knust, Omaha Burke's Tony Martin, Omaha Burke's Erik Bird, Millard South's Derrick Kendrick, Millard North's Robbie Knight, Millard North's Conor Gillaspie, Omaha Central's David Cleveland, Millard North's Jason Jewell, Millard West's Jon Reed, Omaha Westside's Darin Ruf, Millard North's Sam Merrill, Omaha Westside's Sam Murphy, Bellevue East's Tyler Cloyd and Omaha Skutt's Zach Herr.
Front row (from left), Bobby Lackovic, Omaha Skutt; Bryant Cotton, Omaha Central; Shaun Hoover, Millard West; Sam Murphy, Omaha Westside; Marcus Palimenio, Omaha Westside; Mark Waldron, Omaha Creighton Prep. Back row, Charlie Shaver, Elkhorn; Ian Dike, Lincoln Southwest; Kent Urban, Lincoln Northeast; Danny Hunter, Papillion-La Vista; Casey Hauptman, Millard South; Wyatt Kirwan, Omaha Westside; Pat Krebs, Omaha Creighton Prep. Not pictured, Brandon Kirsch, Papillion-La Vista South.
Standing (left to right, clockwise), John Reiss, Papillion-La Vista; Mark Waldron, Omaha Creighton Prep; Casey Hauptman, Millard South; David Hulsebus, Millard West; Ben Kline, Omaha Central; Kent Urban, Lincoln Northeast; Ty Kildow, Millard South; Kash Kalkowski, Grand Island; Jonas Dufek, Millard West; and Matt Freeman, Elkhorn. Sitting (left to right, clockwise) are Zach Willand, Papillion-La Vista South; Travis Parker, Lincoln Northeast; Drew Daubman, Omaha Westside; and Taylor Weisbeck, Papillion-La Vista.
First row, from left: Millard West's Steve Jensen, Omaha Gross' Brandon Winkelmann, Millard South's Ty Kildow, Grand Island's Kash Kalkowski, Millard North's Brett Koehn, Millard North's Blake Brisson and Lincoln North Star's Jake Benne. Second Row, from left: Ralston's Derek Landis, Omaha Creighton Prep's Derek Nelson, Omaha Creighton Prep's Joe Holtmeyer, Omaha Creighton Prep's Zane Hinkel, Papillion-La Vista South's Kendall Wehrle, Lincoln Southeast's Jake Kuebler and Lincoln Southeast's Josh Scheffert.
Back row from left, are Millard West's Brandon Bass, Millard West's Tyler Niederklein, Omaha Westside's Chris Williams, Columbus' Kurt Farmer, Lincoln Southeast's Josh Scheffert, Lincoln Southwest's Adam Peters, and Omaha Bryan's Aaron Beil. Front row from left are Creighton Prep's Mike Pritchard, Omaha Creighton Prep's Ryan Briggs, Nebraska City's Logan Ehlers, Omaha Westside's Jory Goldstrom, Millard South's Ty Kildow, Omaha Northwest's Kyle Kinman, and Papillion-La Vista South's Brian Donohoe.
Kneeling, left to right: Reed Svoboda, Lincoln Northeast; Kyle Kruger, Millard West; Mike Siwa, Om. Burke; Albert Johnson, Papillion-La Vista South; Cody Kottich, Om. Bryan; Brett Bass, Millard West. Standing left to right: Logan Ehlers, Nebraska City; Mike Pritchard, Om. Creighton Prep; A.J. Ladwig, Millard West; Caleb Palensky, Papillion-La Vista South; John Sorensen, Papillion-La Vista; Brad McKewon, Millard South; Joey Jones, Papillion-La Vista; Paul Rosales, Om. Gross.
From left top row: Justin Paul, Papillion-La Vista South, Albert Johnson, Papillion-La Vista South, Kyle Kubat, Om. Creighton Prep, Nate Griep, Millard West, Tanner Lubach, Lincoln Southwest, A.J. Ladwig, Millard West, Tyler Lane, Papillion-La Vista South, Casey Gillaspie, Millard North, Adam Morey, Millard West. Bottom row from left: Blake Headley, Millard South, Taylor Doggett, Lincoln Southeast and Quentin Urban, Millard South.
Back row, left to right: Jordan Schroer, Lincoln Northeast; Taylor Elman, Omaha Creighton Prep; Nate Griep, Millard West; Casey Sayles, Omaha North. Second row: Matt Warren, Omaha Skutt; Brayden Young, Lincoln Southwest; Marcus Ethen, Millard West. Third row: Danny Regan, Millard South; Kevin Connolly, Omaha Creighton Prep; Jack Wilson, Millard North; Jake Placzek, Papillion-La Vista. Front row: Austin Groth, South Sioux City; Danny Suiter, Lincoln Southwest; Colby McPike, Lincoln Northeast.
Front row, from left: Papillion-La Vista South's Josh Kiger; Millard West's Ryan Merrill; Millard South's Jake Huscroft; Lincoln North Star's Tyler Coufal; Wahoo's Quinn McGill; Omaha North's Brendan Jensen; Omaha Creighton Prep's Jeff Albrecht. Back row, from left: Omaha Westside's Mike Waldron; Norris' Jakson Reetz; Lincoln East's Jake Hohensee; Waverly's Sam Tewes; Lincoln Southwest's Brayden Young; Norris' Byron Hood; Omaha Westside's Jake Meyers.
Clockwise from left: Omaha Skutt's Jake Barton, Papillion-La Vista South's Grant Suponchick, Norris' Byron Hood, Omaha Creighton Prep's Dillon O'Doherty, Omaha Westside's Mike Waldron, Omaha Roncalli's Alec Bohm, Lincoln Pius X's Michael Helman, Omaha Westside's Devin Stueck, Bellevue West's Cole Patterson, Lincoln North Star's Brook Bolles, Norris' Jakson Reetz, Millard West's Logan Jacik, Omaha Westside's Jake Meyers and Omaha Westside's Drew Fitzmorris.
From left, Seward’s Ben Klenke, Papillion-La Vista’s Jack Kalina, Papillion-La Vista South’s Grant Suponchick, Papillion-La Vista’s Grant Van Scoy, Lincoln Pius X’s Michael Helman, Omaha Westside’s Matt Waldron, Southwest’s Logan Foster, Omaha Westside’s Mike Waldron, Millard West’s Cole Stobbe, Omaha Westside’s Alex Nielsen, Millard North’s Bryce Rogokos, Elkhorn’s Drew Smith and Millard South’s Nate Mallott.
Back row (left to right): Brett Vosik, Creighton Prep; Cole Stobbe, Millard West; Brandon Bena, Creighton Prep; Spencer Lear, Millard West; Zach Argo, Norris; Joey Machado, Creighton Prep; Nick Nelsen, Blair. Front row: Calvin Rudolph, Millard South; Wyatt Divis, Lincoln Northeast; Jacob Uhing, Elkhorn; Logan Foster, Lincoln Southwest; Jonah Ulane, Millard South; Mojo Hagge, Omaha Skutt; Drew Smith, Elkhorn.
Front row, from left: Austin Schultz, Norris; Shay Schanaman, Grand Island; Dylan Phillips, Creighton Prep; Drew Gilin, Millard South; Josh Culliver, Creighton Prep; and Isaiah Peterson, Lincoln Southwest. Back row, from left: Perry, Millard South; Max McGuire, Lincoln Southwest; Joe Roecker, Elkhorn; Cam Taylor, Bellevue West; Colby Gomes, Millard West; Noah Sacco, Millard North; Nick Henrichs, Omaha Westside; Garrett Kocis, Millard West.
From left: Lincoln Southeast's Logan Van Treeck, Roncalli's Alex Rodgers, Omaha Burke's Hunter Waugh, Creighton Prep's Dylan Phillips, Millard West's Colby Gomes, Creighton Prep's Owen Richter, Millard South's Kyle Perry, Creighton Prep's Evan Laney, Elkhorn South's Will Reetz, Norris' Zach Argo, Grand Island's Shay Schanaman, Norris' Austin Schultz, Grand Island Cole Evans and Millard South's Drew Gilin.
From left: Max Anderson of Millard West, Austin Callahan of Fremont Bergan, Cole Evans of Grand Island, Caleb Riedel of Millard West, Alex Wize of Omaha Burke, Cooper Prososki of Bennington, Sam Wibbels of Hastings, Tyson Gerdes of Millard South, Drew Wessel of Millard South, Sayer Diederich of Elkhorn South, Noah Greise of Millard South, Cam Frederick of Lincoln Southwest, Connor Barnett of Papillion-La Vista, and Noah Olson of Omaha Burke.