Kiel looking forward to spring baseball

Kiel will moving from summer to spring baseball after this season. (WLUK)

KIEL (WLUK) -- Since 1965 summer baseball has existed in the WIAA but it's coming to a close this year.

Spring and summer baseball will combine teams starting in 2019 and Kiel is one of the teams looking forward to moving from summer to spring.

"I think it is a move that needed to happen," Kiel coach Brad Mey said. "As the teams in the summer started to diminish and the number got lower, at that point it's time to shrink it and combine it or take it and combine it all together."

This year, 50 teams comprised the summer league and they all compete in one division unlike spring baseball which has four divisions. Because of this teams like Kiel can get tough matchups, especially at state or in non-conference action.

Last year, Kiel advanced to the state tournament and faced Marquette University in a semifinal. Kiel's enrollment this past school year was 445, while Marquette's was more than 2,100.

Marquette won the game 11-1, but after the summer season concludes July 20 that imbalance will be gone.

"Playing teams in the division of enrollment that's your size is one of the perks to switching to spring baseball," Mey said

Kiel players like the idea of moving to spring but there are some negatives.

"Spring definitely would be a better change because there is a lot more competition," junior Mike Endries said. "We only have a certain amount of teams in summer ball but spring ball is also earlier in the year, it's colder, interferes with other sports."

Before turning its attention to spring baseball Kiel has business to take care of as it tries to keep its season alive in the postseason. Kiel beat Kohler/Sheboygan Christian on Tuesday and played at Howards Grove on Wednesday. One more trip to state is what the Raiders are hoping for before the switch to spring is made.

"We got a good group here," Endries said. "I'm pretty confident. Last year we had a couple big hitters and some good pitching. We regained it this year and hopefully we can get back."

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