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TMP settles for split -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Shields strikes out 12 as Royals complete sweep -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Indian swimmers seventh in Salina -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS softball splits with Salina South -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

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Final home games for Tigers -4/18/2014, 10:14 AM

Tiger softball No. 8 in first region rankings -4/18/2014, 10:13 AM

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Hayes is KSU's next big 'Cat -4/17/2014, 10:44 AM

New group for Plainville track -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Otis track team deals with injuries, illness -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Jets land former Titan Chris Johnson -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

HDN Area Track & Field honor roll, April 17 -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Freeman winds up with N.Y. Giants -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Tigers win on grand slam -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Weber gets extension at K-State -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

HHS' Weigel becomes a Cowboy -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

Humburg jumping well for Ness City -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Doubles team rolls at HHS Invitational -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

HHS soccer improves to 6-2, beats Great Bend -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Prep golf results, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger tennis ends MIAA season in loss -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger golfers ninth in St. Charles, Mo. -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Track results, Redmen Relays, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys win at Ellsworth -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP softball sweeps Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP soccer suffers loss at Garden City -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys' golf third at Goodland -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP baseball rolls past Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

HHS baseball splits with Junction City -4/15/2014, 9:53 AM

TMP softball swept at Colby -4/15/2014, 10:10 AM

TMP golf begins season today -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

HHS soccer rallies for victory -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Rare time off for Tiger softball -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

KSU, WSU Barnstormers coming to Hays -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Watson wins Masters -4/14/2014, 10:08 AM

Royals swept by Twins -4/14/2014, 10:07 AM

Harvick wins at Darlington -4/13/2014, 6:51 AM

Royals ace James Shields struggles in loss to Twins -4/13/2014, 6:42 AM

K-State's Deante Burton feels ready to take his game up a notch -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

Former Jayhawks address football team about facing struggles -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

HHS basketball camp May 27 to 29 -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

Tigers’ Wolf second at K.T. Woodman -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

FHSU tennis drops pair of MIAA outings -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

FHSU softball 3-1 in weekend -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger offense shines in Spring Game -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger baseball 1-3 in series -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

Mattheyer jumps onto scene at Ellis -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

HHS golf finishes second in Garden City -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

HHS pitcher, catcher share chemistry -4/13/2014, 7:56 AM

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Gottschalk playing well in new position

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Gottschalk playing well in new position

Published on -4/24/2013, 9:52 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

It's not easy playing catcher.

Baseball catchers are involved in every play, more so than any other player on the field. One passed ball out of 150 pitches could lead to a loss.

Many catchers have practiced the position since childhood, but not Thomas More Prep-Marian junior Jordan Gottschalk. He just recently stepped into the position.

As a sophomore, Gottschalk watched then-senior Taylor Pfeifer handle the catching duties on varsity, but realized there would be a void once he graduated. The junior varsity had only one player with catching experience, classmate Cameron Brin, and he also was one of the JV's top pitchers and infielders.

Gottschalk, who played first base most of his life, thought he could handle the catching duties and began learning the position last summer with a local team, the Hays Drive.

"I told Coach I want (Brin) to pitch, so I'll catch," Gottschalk said, recalling his conversation with his summer league coach. "I know I've never done it before but I'll try, and I loved it."

This spring, it's difficult to tell Gottschalk has less than a year of catching experience. On Friday against Goodland, Gottschalk had just one passed ball, and this season, he has no errors.

"A lot of people take that for granted when he blocks pitches in the dirt, but really, when we look at what's happened, there's hardly been any passed balls," TMP coach Brian Schumacher said.

Gottschalk said it was tricky at first, especially blocking fastballs. The only area he said he's still struggling with is his throw to second.

"I can be a little wild," Gottschalk said.

Still, Schumacher said it is an impressive transition to make.

"It takes a special breed to catch," Schumacher said.

"That's the thing. A lot of guys aren't comfortable behind the plate.

"Kids are swinging. There's foul balls coming off the bat and hitting you. He's just relaxed back there and does a really nice job."

The position switch isn't new at TMP, though. Pfeifer also had switched positions to behind the plate heading into his sophomore year when he saw an upcoming void.

"There's a lot of similarities to what Jordan's doing," Schumacher said.

Gottschalk not only has played well on defense, but he's also the team's top power hitter.

Gottschalk is hitting .278 with a .417 slugging percentage, the best on the team for the 4-4 Monarchs. He leads his squad with five doubles and is tied for a team-high six RBIs. However, he's had his struggles as well. He leads the squad in strikeouts with 11 in 36 at bats.

"I try too hard sometimes," said Gottschalk, who is in uncharted territory. He's never been a regular varsity player, and he's never played a full spring as catcher, either.

"He's picked up the little quirks of the game," said second baseman Grant Romme, Gottschalk's classmate, "and he's gotten quite a bit better at it since the first time he started catching."

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