Langreder no-hits De Pere
By Rich Palzewic
DE PERE – On a near-perfect day for baseball, West De Pere pitcher Connor Langreder was almost near-perfect, too.
The senior lefty fired a five-inning no-hitter and struck out 11 in the Phantoms’ 11-0 non-conference victory over De Pere at Westwood Elementary School May 4.
Langreder walked two Redbirds in facing only 17 batters, two over the minimum.
“I had a real good day on the mound,” said Langreder, who will attend Northern Illinois University this fall. “I was aware De Pere didn’t have any hits, but I really didn’t think about it out on the mound. I just had to focus on getting it done.”
Langreder, who averages between 86-88 mph with his fastball, also used an effective breaking ball to keep the De Pere batters off balance.
“Everything starts with your starting pitcher,” said West De Pere head coach Joe Rukamp. “Connor came out and attacked. When our pitchers throw like that, our guys are lively. I’m really proud of him and the rest of the team.”
De Pere didn’t help itself with five errors.
“You have to tip your hat to Connor,” said De Pere head coach Bob VanRens. “He pitched well and it wasn’t our day. We were running out of pitchers late in the week and we are saving our pitching for our [Fox River Classic Conference] games. I know West De Pere brings their top pitchers every game because they can. It’s a tough call – we want to beat West De Pere, but we are in a battle for a conference championship and need to save our guys.”
The De Pere and West De Pere high schools are separated by less than three miles, so the rivalry is intense.
“From our perspective, playing De Pere in a non-conference game is very good for us,” added Rukamp. “We’ve kept it going over the years – we don’t look at conference and non-conference games any differently.”
The Phantoms tallied a single run in the first inning, and then added five runs each in the third and fourth innings.
West De Pere (13-2) sent nine and 10 batters to the plate, respectively, in the third and fourth innings.
During those two innings, De Pere committed three errors, walked four batters and hit two more Phantoms with pitches.
The big blow in the third came from West De Pere’s No. 7 hitter, Jake Kocken, with the bases loaded and the Redbirds infield playing up.
Kocken looped a soft liner over the shortstop’s head to plate two runs, with another run scoring via an error on the play.
Zach Ziesmer had a two-RBI double in the fourth to put the Phantoms up 11-0.
Kocken, Cameron DuPont and Bennett Olson each had two hits for West De Pere, while Ben Hampton added one.
DuPont had three RBI total.
Bennett Spaeth and Derek Weber each saw action on the mound for De Pere (10-4).
De Pere: 000 00 – 0 0 5
West De Pere: 105 5x – 11 8 1