Gardner, Schwarz, Rhude Return in 2012
Posted: March 30, 2012
The Sheboygan A’s announce that they have added six players to their 2012 roster – three return from last year and three are new to the club.
Returning players are pitcher Mitch Gardner and infielders Greg Rhude and Taylor Schwarz. First year players are catcher Nick Guttowski, infielder Sam Mattheis and outfielder Josh Gruenke.
Gardner is coming off a great season, going 6-3 last year with a 2.86 earned run average. One of those victories in 2011 was a no-hitter over Thiensville-Mequon. Entering his fifth season with the club, Gardner has a 13-7 career record with a 3.22 ERA. A senior this year, Gardner is in the starting rotation at Marion University. He was a standout pitcher-infielder for Sheboygan North and the Sheboygan Legion team.
Rhude appeared in 43 games as a middle infielder for the A’s last year, hitting .243 for the season. A Plymouth High School grad, Rhude transferred to Madison College from Wisconsin Concordia and is a redshirt there.
2012 will mark Schwarz’s fifth season with the A’s. Despite an off-season last year (.231), Schwarz is a career .270 hitter in 174 games. He appeared in only four games on the mound last year, but may see more pitching duty this year. He has a 7-2 career record with a 2.80 earned run average as an A’s pitcher. Schwarz is a UW-Parkside graduate where he finished his college career last season at UW-Parkside.
Two of the new players are up from the Legion team – outfielder Josh Gruenke and catcher Nick Guttowski.
Gruenke cracked the starting line-up at Marian University this spring and was hitting .360 through Marian’s first eight games. He led the Legion team with a .422 batting average last year that included 18 extra base hits. He also saw some mound duty last year. A Legion all-star last year, Gruenke was all conference and all district twice during his career at South and was honorable mention all-state.
Guttowski is a North grad, who hit .287 as the Legion’s catcher last year. Guttowski was picked to play in the Legion All-Star Game last season.
Matthies is at Wisconsin Lutheran where he is currently hitting .269 and has also made several mound appearances. Matthies was an all-state selection as a pitcher and shortstop after reigning as his conference’s player of the year at Laconia High School.
The Sheboygan A’s still have not settled on a manager for the 2012 season. Persons interested should send a resume with references to the club at P.O. Box 32. Sheboygan, WI 53082-0032.
The club has sold $8,250 in bonds during their off-season fund drive to help pay down the ball park improvement loan.
The team is taking orders for season ticket renewal and first-time orders. Season ticket costs are $30 for general admission, $40 for grandstand and $50 for box seats. Tickets are currently being printed.
The Diamonds Youth Baseball organization is putting together a fundraiser on Friday night, April 27, at Range Line Inn. Tickets sell for $40 per person or $75 per couple and include dinner, beverages (beer, wine, soft drinks) and a show by popular entertainer Pat McCurdy.
The club’s first two weekends will be big for music lovers. The opening day tailgate party will feature the Buffalo Joe Band on May 26, and the June 2 Langsdorf League opener will feature McCurdy, who will perform in the afternoon prior to the Legend Larry’s Chicken Wing Eating Contest.
The Sheboygan A's are members of the Wisconsin State League and Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League. The A's have helped develop more than 43 players that have reached professional baseball, including 2002 World Series Champion Jarrod Washburn (Anaheim Angels). All Sheboygan A's home games are played at Wildwood Baseball Park in Sheboygan. Connect with the A's on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.