EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Schaller name has been synonymous to Eau Claire Immanuel baseball for over a quarter century, and the latest ball player in the family has helped lead the Lancers to a 13-3 record this season. Chance Dickman shares the story of Levi Schaller in our Osseo Automotive Athlete of the Week.
It's said that big things come in small packages. At 5'10" 140 lbs. soaking wet, Levi Schaller is no exception.
"I suppose when people see me they don't think much of it," Schaller said. "I don't have the best stuff or the fastest pitches. I just try to mix stuff up, that's kind of my game."
"I think of a small predator, like a badger or something like that, just mean but small," senior Jon Gamble explained.
His presence on the field isn't overpowering, but that hasn't stopped Levi from finding his niche 60 ft. six inches from home plate.
"When I was younger, I'd watch MLB games and fell in love with pitching," Schaller said. "I love playing baseball, and I like to be in the game."
"When you throw a lot from a young age, you build up that arm strength over time," head coach Joe Lau added. "His frame might not be that big, but he can bring it."
Levi is a strikeout machine, and he's tallied a over 80 this season to go along with not one, but two no-hitters.
"He just exudes confidence," Gamble said. "He's thinking two or three pitches ahead every time. He knows what he's done. If you get down 0-2, it's just over."
"There's just something about pitchers, they want to strike people out," Schaller added. "At least my goal as a pitcher is to send everyone back down without letting them hit it."
Baseball runs deep in the Schaller bloodline. Older brothers Tim and Mattias were also standouts for the Lancers, so Levi is carrying on the family tradition.
"Playing with Tim and watching Mattias play, I learned a lot playing with them and watching them play," Schaller explained. "My dad teaching me everything I know about pitching."
Levi is only a junior and is only getting better each year, which provides promise for his final season in a Lancers uniform.
"Take care of his arm, remain consistent, do the little things in the offseason to keep healthy, and I think the sky is the limit for him," Lau said.
Reporting in Eau Claire, Chance Dickman for SportScene 13.