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Bertram provided the pop in the Sabers’ lineup this year

Franklin catcher makes All-Suburban Team

Franklin senior catcher Collin Bertram is in full extension in hitting a solo home run in a game earlier this season.

Franklin senior catcher Collin Bertram is in full extension in hitting a solo home run in a game earlier this season. Photo By Peter Zuzga

Aug. 7, 2012

Franklin - After losing most of the players who helped win two straight WIAA state championships, Franklin head baseball coach Jim Hughes knew others needed to step forward this season.

Fortunately for the Sabers, a number of players did just that in 2012.

One of those was senior Collin Bertram, who sparked the offense with a .402 batting average, seven home runs and 25 runs batted in, all team highs, and supplied solid defense behind the plate all season.

"He was our one power guy," said Hughes, whose rebuilding team still finished with 19 victories. "He did a good job and was consistent with his hitting. Defensively, he also did a nice job at a tough position to play. He was dinged up a couple of times with wrist and shoulder injuries, but he worked around that."

For his accomplishments in helping the Sabers remain a strong team this season, Bertram is on the 2012 NOW Newspapers All-Suburban Team.

"I feel my season went very well," he said. "Obviously, it's a huge honor to make the all-Greater Metro Conference first team and the All-Suburban team.

"I feel I had a great season and helped the team as best I could."

Bertram had seen some action in the 2011 state championship season with 40 at-bats and several games behind the plate.

"He had some big hits, and he hit over .300 for us," Hughes recalled.

This year, though, he enjoyed a breakout season, as did other players.

"We knew coming in that we had our base players, the seniors and returning juniors such as Ty (Tyler Gentz) and Evan (Kruczynski) for pitching and Jake (Penegor), Kyle (Hoffmann) and myself to supply offense for the team," Bertram said. "We didn't need any superstars but we needed people to come up and fill in, playing solid baseball, and that's what everyone did."

Bertram went on to attribute the Sabers' winning tradition in baseball to the Franklin Little League.

"Franklin is always so deep in its roster," he said. "Franklin baseball is blessed to have a program like the Little League to act as a 'farm system' every year.

"The classes of students that flow into the program are so deep in talent that there are always 20 to 50 freshmen every year that try out for the program."

Because of the reshaping of the roster, the 2012 season contained plenty of ups and downs for Franklin.

"We only had four seniors on the team this year," he said. "We had the talent to go on a hot streak and beat teams like Oak Creek and Menomonee Falls, but I feel we overlooked the less-than-great teams. We lost focus and we would slip in our game."

The Sabers lose just those four seniors, and although Bertram will not be a part of next season's squad, he sees plenty of success for the group.

"We had a very young team this year, leaving us set up to play well yet again next year," he concluded.

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