Tucker Bender swings at a pitch Tuesday against Mayville. He finished 2 for 3 with two doubles and two RBIs.
Tucker Bender swings at a pitch Tuesday against Mayville. He finished 2 for 3 with two doubles and two RBIs.

   Entering the regional finals last year, no team in the East Central Conference was hotter than the Ripon High School baseball team.

   The Tigers had won eight-straight games, which was their longest winning streak since 2011, before falling to rival Waupun.

   They will seek to pick up where they left off this season with the majority of their team returning.

   “Right now, varsity consists of all juniors and seniors,” Ripon head coach Dan Jonas said. “They all have more than two years experience on varsity and, in the case of Hunter [Merrill], he started at catcher for us as a freshman. We need to put that experience to use and play smart, aggressive ball.”

   Another strength of the Tigers figures to be their pitching.

   They have an abundance of pitchers entering this year, most of whom have varsity experience.

   Among them are seniors Trey Auchtung, Cody Sandleback and Andrew Radloff, and juniors Jack Kinziger, Jake Henderson and Cody Merrill. All but Henderson pitched at least one varsity inning for Ripon last season.

   The depth should provide the Tigers with an advantage following new pitching limits instituted by the WIAA this past offseason.

Read the full story, which includes information on what those limits are, as well as the Tigers' goals for the season, in the March 30, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.