New Berlin - The lineup of the New Berlin West baseball team this summer often functioned like an offensive machine, and Andy Knoll, Zach Scholz and Adrian Peil were among the major cogs.
Scholz, the leadoff hitter, batted .428, compiled an on-base percentage of .557 and tallied 41 runs; Peil, batting second, was at .414 and scored 37 runs and Knoll, the cleanup hitter, batted .449 with 37 runs batted in for the Vikings.
With Scholz and Peil setting the table and Knoll driving them in, the Vikings put together an explosive offense, which helped them claim their sixth straight Woodland Conference Blue Division championship and post a sparkling 22-5 overall record.
For their accomplishments this season, Scholz, Peil and Knoll are all members of the 2012 NOW Newspapers All-Suburban Team.
Those three selections were the most for any school, tying the Vikings with North Shore Conference champion and WIAA state runnerup Germantown and Greater Metro Conference champ Menomonee Falls.
The one-two punch
Scholz, a senior and a four-year starter, was the sparkplug for the West attack.
"As the leadoff hitter, he was able to get on base for us," West head coach Tom Farina said. "He was the catalyst; he got things going for us. The team went as did Zach."
Scholz said, "When I went up (to bat), I sometimes tried to hit the first pitch, but if not, I waited for my pitch. I knew if I got going, the rest of the team would get going. Our offense really pulled together."
Scholz was also valuable to the Vikings in centerfield, where he had no errors and contributed four assists this season.
Peil, also a senior and a three-year varsity starter, followed Scholz in the lineup.
"He was a good offensive player and a heady player," Farina said. "He would drop a bunt if he saw the third baseman playing back, that sort of thing."
Peil said the one-two punch of himself and Scholz has developed over some time.
"He (Scholz) has been hitting first and me second for three years now," Peil said. "We know each other as hitters, and we have played together for a long time and gone through winter workouts together."
Peil was also a stalwart on defense at shortstop, fielding at a .992 clip.
"He was a leader in the infield and made the defensive calls," Farina said. "He had a great defensive year. You want to be strong up the middle, and we were with Scholz in center and Peil at short."
Farina also said both players showed plenty of leadership.
"They were two of our big team leaders," the coach said. "They led by example and by words. They were always the first at practice and the last to leave practice. Both were also responsible for helping get us to state in their sophomore year."
While Scholz and Peil came into this season as veterans, Knoll burst onto the scene as a sophomore.
"He understands the strike zone," Farina said. "He could take the pitch to the opposite field or turn on it. He uses the whole field and drives the ball into the gaps. He had some big hits and drove in some big runs, and he is a clutch hitter. He is also solid at first base (with a .996 fielding percentage)."
Knoll credited the team's seniors with helping both his personal development and the Vikings' progress as a team.
"Before the year, we had open gyms," he said, "and the seniors took the initiative to make sure that we all used the open gyms. They were outstanding leaders during the season, and we knew how much (winning the division) meant to them.
"We knew we would have a good team, and we gave it our all. We had good chemistry, and Zach, Adrian and others like Allen Peil and Darrin Sowinski helped our lineup."
Now Scholz and Adrian Peil are set to move on, while Knoll will be back next season to help the Vikings try to maintain their proud tradition.
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