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Falcons flying high in early baseball season

Serio dominant on mound so far

Whitnall first baseman Jake Brunette reaches out for the ball to tag Wauwatosa West’s Mickey Morgan out at first during the Falcons’ 2-0 loss at Whitnall High School on Friday.

Whitnall first baseman Jake Brunette reaches out for the ball to tag Wauwatosa West’s Mickey Morgan out at first during the Falcons’ 2-0 loss at Whitnall High School on Friday. Photo By Peter Zuzga

June 11, 2013

The dominant pitching of Josh Serio and an often-potent hitting attack have sparked the Whitnall baseball team to a good start this season.

Serio has already thrown two no-hitters and a one-hitter for the Falcons, and he pitched well in another outing but was outdueled by Wauwatosa West's Austin Jones in a 2-0 defeat Friday night.

He also collected a total of 53 strikeouts and just four walks in his four starts so far this season.

"We feel if we can come out there and give him any kind of offense, we can compete with anybody," said head coach Ben Krey, whose team came into this week at 5-2 in the Woodland Conference and 6-3 overall.

Serio is a true power pitcher with a strong fastball and curveball, and he has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside next season.

On Friday, he engaged Tosa West ace Jones in a classic pitcher's duel. Serio allowed just five hits while striking out 12 and walking one, but Jones held Whitnall to three hits, a double by Zach Sutton and singles from Sam Mentkowski and Serio.

"It was a nice pitching matchup," Krey said. "They are two of the better pitchers in the (Woodland) Conference, so we knew runs would be at a premium. We just made some mistakes and West capitalized. There were some hits that just fell in between our fielders."

Whitnall rolled past St. Francis in a pair of victories last week, 33-0 June 4 and 14-0 June 3.

In the first game, the Falcons racked up 16 runs in the first inning and 10 more in the second.

"We weren't even sending runners (aggressively)," Krey said, "but we were just hitting the ball so well."

The Falcons tallied 23 hits, led by Sutton at 5-for-6 with a home run and seven runs batted in and Brent Sluka at 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.

Tyler Regeth went 3-for-5 and Mentkowski 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.

Pitcher Nick Cimler tossed a one-hitter while striking out six and walking none in five innings.

In the 14-0 game, Serio hurled his second no-hitter of the young season, fanning 11 and walking one in five innings.

Serio leads a strong pitching staff which, in the words of Krey, "likes to pound the strike zone."

The Falcons' offense has also been in high gear most of this season, as the team has tallied in double digits five times: twice against Greenfield, twice against St. Francis and once against Waukesha West (15-8 June 1).

"Mentkowski hits the ball hard, Sutton can make good contact and Serio is a good hitter," Krey said. "In the ninth spot, Regeth has been consistent as well."

Whitnall welcomes Cudahy for a makeup game at 5 p.m. Friday, then takes on Brown Deer twice next week, on the road at 7 p.m. Monday and at home at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

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