Summer baseball: Soon-to-be W.F. West sophomore Smaciarz a ‘spark plug’


One of the key elements for W.F. West baseball is a stable leadoff hitter. Jesse Elam envisions a team that sets the tone early, gets on base at a premium and can use speed to stand in scoring position.

Deacon Meller was that for the Bearcats this spring and likely has the pole position lead for the 2025 season.

Yet there may be someone who showed glimpses of what the future could look like on Tuesday night.

Sophomore-to-be Hiroto Smaciarz notched three hits, including an inside-the-park home run, as AA Awesome Chevy’s leadoff hitter played his role in helping it breeze by Centralia 25-3 in five innings at Bob Peters Field on the campus of Centralia College.

“Baseball wise, it has been a really fun time here and I’m thankful for these guys,” Smaciarz said.

A transfer from Onalaska, Smaciarz has been around most of his new teammates through playing local little league growing up. AA Awesome Chevy is compiled of the incoming freshman and sophomores for W.F. West.

Coach Chris McCallum views himself and Elam as similar in terms of approaching baseball.

“My goal is to help make these guys better for the program,” McCallum said. “See them hopefully go win a state title at the 2A level.”

And throughout the summer months, it hasn’t taken McCallum long to predict what’s in store for Smaciarz once he plays prep ball in the spring.

“He is a spark plug; he makes you want to compete at the plate,” McCallum said. “He’s going to be the best leadoff hitter W.F. West has seen in a long time, in my opinion. That is a big statement, but that kid is that electric.”

Thirteen runs for the Trailblazers came in the bottom of the first inning, jump started by Smaciarz’s leadoff triple. Seventeen batters came to the plate and just five of them recorded hits.

They batted around in a nine-run third inning. Andrew McMillan, Kade Warner and Race Rockey all drove in three runs while Smaciarz, McMillan and Beckman Dvorak crossed home four times.

“Seeing the ball through, letting it travel. Stay consistent with our swing,” Smaciarz said.

Defensively, Awesome Chevy turned three double plays. Rockey pitched all five innings, allowing three hits and picking up two strikeouts.

There’s only a handful games left on the schedule for the Trailblazers and Tuesday was the 10th win of the summer season. McCallum admitted finding the balance between having fun and remaining intense is a challenge.

“Not every kid is built the same,” he said. “You have to learn what everyone’s ticks are and make sure I keep a finger on the guys that need a finger kept on them. When we’re out here, we are all business.”

Still, Smaciarz does want some boxes to be checked before the summer ends.

“Just improving in general in all aspects of our game,” Smaciarz said. “Really wanting to work on baserunning and hitting.”

Centralia avoided the shutout with three runs in the top of the second. Two runs came on a throwing error and a Jonah Lowe RBI single capped the frame.