Trojans land three on baseball all-conference team

Chad Smith

There’s no doubt with the number of freshmen (8) and sophomores (2) on the roster that the Rushford-Peterson baseball team was a young squad. However, that doesn’t mean they didn’t play some good baseball. Three Trojans were recently awarded all-conference honors. Nolan Mueller and Carter Weidemann were selected to the First Team while Tim Highum is on this year’s Honorable Mention squad.

First team – Weidemann

The Trojan senior has been the starting catcher for four straight years and made a strong impression, both behind the dish and in the batter’s box. Weidemann hit the ball safely in almost exactly half his at-bats, finishing the season with a .491 batting average.

R-P coach Jordan Aug says Weidemann will be hard to replace next spring. “I could trust everything he was doing behind the plate, which was great,” Aug said. “It was especially helpful to have a veteran back there who could help our handful of freshman pitchers along. He helped them out with things like pitch selection and where to throw the ball to get people out. Carter didn’t always show up in the defensive statistics, but he was very solid behind the plate.

“Offensively, he was our most consistent hitter throughout the year,” he added. “Carter could hit for power, leading the team in home runs, doubles, and RBIs. He was a great senior leader this season.

First team – Mueller

 Mueller swung a good bat for the Trojans this spring (.312 average) but his biggest contribution came on the mound as this year’s ace. Aug said in every big game they had this spring, if Mueller was available, he was going to be the one to toe the rubber.

“It’s so much fun to watch him pitch,” Aug said. “He won’t necessarily blow the ball by most guys, but he’s very smart and knows where and when to throw certain pitches to get guys out. Nolan uses the guys behind him to get both flyball and groundball outs.

“One telling statistic is the fact that he averaged roughly 15 pitches to get through most of the innings he threw,” he added. “That’s important with the new pitch-count rule for high school players. He just didn’t waste a lot of time out there on the mound and got the guys back into the dugout to swing the bats.”

One thing that Trojans fans may have noticed through the season is just how many different positions that Mueller played from game-to-game. Aug said Mueller was the team’s best utility player.

“If we needed someone at third, shortstop, second, or first base, he could fill any of the positions across the infield,” Aug said. “That’s another thing that made him so valuable. If he wasn’t pitching, he was filling a hole somewhere we needed him to.”

Honorable Mention – Highum

Aug said Highum (.265 average) was probably the team’s most consistent offensive performer after Weidemann, especially in the first half of the season. He was also the second-in-line pitcher after Mueller this season. With Mueller and Weidemann graduating, Aug said he’s expecting big things from Highum next spring.

Between being our No. 2 most consistent hitter and the second-in-line pitcher, he really contributed a lot this season,” Aug said. “Highum played here-and-there as a freshman and sophomore, but really stepped up his game and took advantage of the opportunities he had this spring.”