Baseball preview: NLS Wildcats have high hopes for the season

New London-Spicer returns seven starters from a 10-11 squad

Baseball roundup
NLS junior second baseman Bennett Schultz makes a throw to first for an out during a non-conference game against Minnewaska on Monday, May 9, 2022 at Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

SPICER — After a fifth-place finish in the Wright County Conference West Division with a 10-11 overall record in 2022, New London-Spicer has higher hopes for 2023.

“We hope to compete this spring. We hope that our experience and having seven of our nine starters returning helps us this year,” said Kyle Lieser, who returns as NLS co-head coach with Eric Terres for a fourth year. “With the spring looking like it might be condensed with the weather, we are looking forward to getting outside and playing ball.”

NLS will be led by its seniors, which includes a core of six starters.

051022.S.WCT.NLS base Gavin Degner Jacob Blair.JPG
NLS junior third baseman Gavin Degner, left, chases down Minnewaska's Jacob Blair in a pickle to get an out during a non-conference game on Monday, May 9, 2022 at Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Bennett Schultz, a second baseman/outfielder, returns as the Wildcats’ most efficient hitter in 2022. He hit .327 with a .457 on-base percentage. Gavin Degner returns at third base/pitcher, where he hit .304 at the plate and struck out 12 batters in 15 innings. Aedan Andresen recorded a .290 average with 11 steals.

Joining forces on the mound with Degner are Konnor Rohloff and Reid Holmquist. Rohloff recorded a 0.98 earned-run average and had 15 strikeouts in 22 innings. Holmquist had a 2.33 ERA in 24 innings.


Cole Dolezal will be behind the plate. He caught every inning as a sophomore and junior for the Wildcats.

051022.S.WCT.NLS base Reid Holmquist.JPG
NLS junior pitcher Reid Holmquist makes a throw during a non-conference game against Minnewaska on Monday, May 9, 2022 at Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Additional players to watch noted by Lieser are juniors Luke Knudsen (shortstop/second base), Grant Paffrath (pitcher/first-third base) and Carson McCain (pitcher/designated hitter).

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The Wildcats were 7-7 in the Wright County West last season. Annandale (11-3 conference, 14-9 overall) won the Wright County West. Watertown-Mayer (10-4, 20-7) took second, followed by Glencoe-Silver Lake (8-6, 18-9) and Rockford (8-6, 13-10). Just behind NLS were Litchfield (5-9, 9-13), Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (4-10, 5-14) and Dassel-Cokato (3-11, 3-17).

NLS Wildcats

April 10 vs. Paynesville, 4:30 p.m.

April 11 vs. ACGC, 4:30 p.m.

April 13 at Dassel-Cokato, 4:30 p.m.

April 17 vs. Litchfield, 4:30 p.m. 

April 20 vs. Rockford (DH), 4 p.m.


April 21 vs. Montevideo, 4:30 p.m.

April 27 at Watertown-Mayer (DH), 4:30 p.m.

April 28 at Minnewaska, 4:30 p.m.

May 1  vs. Dassel-Cokato, 4:30 p.m.

May 4  vs. Glencoe-Silver Lake (DH), 4 p.m.

May 8 at Litchfield, 4 p.m.

May 11 at HLWW (DH), 4 p.m.

May 19  vs. Morris/CA, 5 p.m.


May 22 at Annandale, 4:30 p.m.

Michael Lyne joined the West Central Tribune as a sports reporter in May 2022, following his graduation from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in journalism and a minor degree in Spanish studies.

You may reach Michael at, or by calling (320) 214-4345.
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