Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran was one of the high school baseball teams that was able to squeeze in a game this past Thursday.
The defending Dairyland champion Lancers won their conference opener at Whitehall, 10-0. That's the only game Immanuel's played, but it showed why the team should be in the mix for another conference title. Senior pitcher Levi Schaller tossed a five-inning two-hit shutout while striking out eleven, while the Lancers offense produced fourteen hits.
"We kind of started the season off well, and I think we can keep doing that," Schaller says, "With the weather being bad, I hope we can get out there and play more games, but I'm optimistic about the season."
"I thought we played pretty well in the field and Levi pitched well," head coach Joe Lau explains, "We haven't been able to do a lot of situational things that we usually do this time of year out in practice, so trying to duplicate those types of things in the gym is sometimes challenging, but that's what we're trying to do right now. I think if we can get some solid pitching performances from our 2 and 3 this year, I think we have a chance to compete with most teams in the area."
With his 11 strikeouts, Schaller became the all-time strikeout record holder for the city of Eau Claire, passing Eau Claire Memorial's Hud Gelein for the honor with a running total of 391. And he has a full season left to add to that resume.
"It's pretty humbling that I was able to be put into a position here at Immanuel to play all four years," says Schaller, "That's definitely a lot of it, just having the exposure and the opportunity to play."
"It's kind of easy to take him for granted now because you put him on the mound, and you know you're going to get a good outing from him, but we try not to do that," Lau says, "We try to value every time he's out on the mound because we know that it's something special."
The Lancers are next scheduled to take the diamond against Independence/Gilmanton this Thursday, weather permitting.