ALEXANDRIA-The Alexandria Angels have been scoring runs at will this season.
That's a scary thought for the rest of the Class B amateur baseball teams.
The Angels have reached the state championship game each of the past four seasons and their offense has never been this good.
Before the District 5B championship game, the Sunshine League regular season champions scored 236 runs in 22 games for an average of 10.7 runs per game. Alexandria won 19 of its 20 regular season games and 47 of its last 48 games, dating back to the start of the 2016 undefeated season (28-0).
With offensive stats trending higher than previous seasons, Alexandria manager/catcher Chris Marek is feeling good about his team's chances of potentially repeating as state champions.
"Offensively, we've been as good if not better than we've ever been," Marek said after his team clinched the Sunshine League regular season title. "That's been fun because we're scoring runs."
As a team, Alexandria is hitting .379 with a team on-base percentage of .482, and a slugging percentage of .532. Five Angels with more than 40 at-bats are hitting over .400. Jordan Gau leads the team with a .436 batting average, followed closely by Cole Wenande (.421). Marek (.415), John Greicar (.400) and Reid Smith (.400) follow. Marek leads the team with 31 RBIs and six home runs.
"Like last year, I think we have the best team in the state in all aspects," Marek said. "We have depth, we have pitching, we play quality defense and our team cohesion is there because we've played so many games together."
Setting the table for the Angel offensive has been Wenande, Peyton Smith, Tyson Gau and Jordan Gau, who each score more than 20 runs this season. Wenande leads the team with 39 runs scored, followed by Peyton Smith (32), Tyson Gau (29) and Jordan Gau (23). On the base paths, Wenande has a team-high 15 stolen bases, while Tyson Gau has 12 swiped bags and Jerrod Zens has 10.
Marek said each player's role on the Angels is well-defined and no one player is trying to do too much.
"Whether it's the balance in the lineup or where guys should hit in the lineup, we're playing really good baseball," Marek said.
And on the mound, behind stalwart Trever Vermeulen, Alexandria has a team earned-run average of 1.88. Vermeulen has tossed 65 innings, recorded 77 strikeouts, issued 11 walks and has a ERA of 1.52 with an 8-0 record. Behind Vermeulen, Tyson and Jordan Gau each have more than 40 innings pitched. Tyson Gau is 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA, 49 strikeouts and 16 walks, while Jordan Gau is 5-1 with a 0.89 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 16 walks.
Marek has thrown 11 innings, while Tyler Payer, Tyler Houwman, Kye Winter and Wenande have each throw at least two innings.
Heading into the postseason, Vermeulen said the Angels just need to continue to play consistent.
"We have to keep hitting the ball, playing defense and keep pitching well," Vermeulen said. "We're a good team and we know there's a lot of teams out there. We just have to play our game."