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Willowbrook’s Rothmund closes high school career with best season

Published: Friday, June 13, 2014 9:00 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:40 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com)
Willowbrook's Mike Rothmund stretches and gets out York's Anthony Santos at first base during a regional semifinal game on May 29. Rothmund put together his best season as a senior this spring.

VILLA PARK – For the past three years, Mike Rothmund has been a staple of the Willowbrook baseball program.

He might have saved his best for last as he produced one of the best seasons in the area this spring as a senior.

The Warriors' first baseman hit .461 with 12 doubles, six triples and six home runs. In addition, he totaled 40 RBIs and 36 runs scored in 32 games.

"He's one of the best I've ever seen," coach Vic Wisner said. "He's unbelievable."

Rothmund's third year on varsity was his best yet and he claims a big part of the reason for the improvement was his ability to hit curveballs. His new found confidence to hit the breaking ball started from the first at-bat of the season.

A pitcher put Rothmund in an 0-2 count after two fastballs. Then he threw a curve and Rothmund took it to right field for a hit.

"I feel like I was hitting the breaking ball a lot better," Rothmund said. "I'm just trying to take the ball the other way."

One of Rothmund's favorite memories of high school baseball was joining the varsity team as a sophomore and helping the Warriors to win a regional title for the first time since 1973.

"Sophomore year I got pulled up and that was the year we won the regional," Rothmund said. "That was pretty exciting to be a part of that and win a regional."

While the Warriors came close to winning a regional again, they ultimately fell short in a regional final against top sectional seed Batavia.

Rothmund's summer will center around preparing for college, where he will head to Illinois-Springfield to play, and playing with the Illinois Indians travel team. Willowbrook classmate T.J. Case is also a part of travel the team, though he is still trying to recover from an arm injury suffered late in the spring season.

"It's nice to be done with the school aspect of high school, but I wish I was still playing high school baseball," Rothmund said. "It's hard to think that I'll never step on the same field as the kids I've played with for years. I grew up with these kids."

About Mike Rothmund

High school: Willowbrook

Sport: Baseball

Position: First base

Jersey: No. 10

College: University of Illinois Springfield

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