REINBECK — Tyler Tscherter spent early-season batting practice sessions breaking Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s baseball budget.
A creek flowing beyond the school’s left field fence became such a popular landing zone that coach Scott Kiburis ended up stationing players past the fence to shag balls.
“It’s kind of funny for me,” said Tscherter, the first player in Kiburis’ decade-long tenure capable of producing regular splash landings. “It’s nice to see people enjoy batting practice because it’s not always the most fun thing. When they stand along and even behind the fence, I get to see how far I can hit it and if I can lose a few baseballs with the kids back there.
“Some kids will yell at me if I don’t hit it out. They’ll say I’m too weak and then I’ll hit another one out and they’ll run in the creek and coach gets mad.”
Power has been the most pronounced addition to the Gladbrook-Reinbeck junior’s baseball profile. Tscherter already has 10 home runs — five times as many as last season — in addition to 40 RBIs and 26 runs scored through 17 games. He owns a .593 batting average, and has reached base in two thirds of his plate appearances.
“I’ve been here 10 years and he’s probably the best hitter we’ve had,” Kiburis said. “His improvement as a hitter over the last couple years, it’s been fun to watch. He seems to find a new strength every year to add to some of the things he’s done well in the past.”
Tscherter’s arm was the first noticeable strength dating back to his eighth grade summer on the varsity team. He owns a 20-6 career record with 262 strikeouts, and holds a 0.19 ERA through 37 2/3 innings this season after allowing just three runs, one earned.
On Monday, Tscherter struck out 17 of the 21 batters he faced with one hit batter the only base runner allowed during a no-hitter in an 8-0 win over BCLUW.
“He’s gotten bigger, his velocity has gotten stronger, but he’s always had command of what’s going on, on the mound,” Kiburis said.
Family ties have helped support Tscherter on the diamond from a young age. The Colorado native who moved to Iowa in 2011 follows in the footsteps of his older brothers Alex and Jeff who were avid baseball players. Tyler’s uncle, Brian, ran Reinbeck’s Little League program.
“He taught me a lot with the mental side of it,” Tscherter said, addressing his uncle’s influence. “He told me to stay mentally strong. One bad thing will happen, just let it go.
You have free articles remaining.
“There’s been tough games I had pitching where I’ve had a tough loss and I just think about it the whole night. Now I just kind of put it away and forget about it for the rest of the night because that game is over with so it’s onto the next one.”
The memory Tscherter’s grandfather, Steve, who passed away prior to his sophomore season is also etched onto a recently renovated Gladbrook-Reinbeck diamond. A major supporter of the school’s baseball program, Steve Tscherter’s name is prominently displayed on a new scoreboard that sits atop the left field power alley.
Early this season, Tyler Tscherter initially thought he hit the fence only to discover that his home run bounced next to his grandfather’s name on the scoreboard.
“He’s always been a role-model for me and just to do that and hit it right by his name, it means he’s always watching,” Tscherter said. “To have a baseball field dedicated to him means a lot because he was a big baseball guy and he was always at the games yelling at the umpires or yelling that the players to do better. He was just one of those guys that was at everything and it means a lot to see his name is on that scoreboard.”
Following the graduation off six seniors from a 21-11 team, Tscherter joins current senior Jackson Kiburis and juniors Aiden Wyatt and Cullen Eiffler among the leaders of a more youthful Rebels squad that has shown growth. Tyler’s eighth-grade brother, Nick, has been called on in relief situations.
Coach Scott Kiburis notes that Tyler Tscherter sets a strong example, from his passion for taking infield at shortstop to his patient approach at the plate and aggressive approach on the mound.
“Playing with all the younger kids and seeing them grow mentally and physically is just great to watch,” Tscherter said.
Continued success into his junior season has drawn college recruiters to the ballpark.
“There’s a radar gun on him every time he pitches it seems like from some school or schools,” Kiburis said.
“I want to try and be a two-way guy and play a position and pitch and hit,” added Tscherter, who is receiving interest from schools at all levels. “I haven’t decided 100 percent which one I want to do if I leaned one direction.
“I feel like I might have a brighter future as a pitcher. But I’ve always liked hitting and playing a position in the field because I’m always involved in the game.”