No doubt the Verona Wildcats were confident coming into Tuesday night’s match up, having defeated West Madison in their last contest.
But the Regents have been on a tear, plowing through their last four Big 8 Conference opponents.
And Tuesday night’s game against Verona was no different.
Regent starter Jake Fleischman fired up the team by pitching a 1-2-3 first inning and then belting a double to bring in the Regents’ first run. Matt Ohm followed with an RBI single to right that put West up 2-0 at the end of one.
The first two outs of the second inning came on running catches by Will Marcus in left and Alex Brown in shallow center; the last was a strikeout swinging.
Kicking off the bottom of the second, Rock Cates, Kai Westring and Will drew walks to load the bases; Alex singled to left, knocking in two; and then Jake singled, scoring two more — while picking up his third RBI on the night.
Up 6-0 going into the top of the third, the Regents saw their lead cut to one, as the Wildcats rallied to score five runs before the inning was ended by a running grab and throw to first by Kai, and a John James snag at third to get the batter at first.
In the bottom of the third, the Regents tacked on another run when Kai hit a sacrifice fly to right.
With one out and one on in the top of the fourth, sophomore left-hander Joe Trier stepped to the mound and retired the next two batters on fly balls to left and center. The Regents then picked up another run in the bottom of the inning when Alex walked and stole second, Jake singled, and then Joe drove in the Regents’ eighth run on a sacrifice squeeze bunt.
Joe opened the top of the fifth by striking out Verona’s cleanup hitter. The next batter flew out to Alex in center, followed by a single and then a force to Rock at second.
In the bottom of the inning, Verona brought in their big closer, who retired the side — the Regents answered by retiring the side in the top of the sixth: Joe struck out their first batter on three pitches; Jake caught a high pop fly; and Rock scooped a a ball hit to second, throwing the runner out at first.
The Regents broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth when Alex singled; Joe reached on a fielder’s choice; Simon reached on an error, knocking in Alex; and a hard-hit ball by Nick Byers was thrown away by a Verona fielder, allowing two more runs to score.
Verona threatened in the bottom of the seventh when their lead-off batter took first on the only error committed by an otherwise flawless Regent defense. The next two batters flew out to Alex in center before Verona scored a run on the only hit of the inning — and then committed their final out on a pop up to Jake at first.
This win caps off the final home game of the regular season and is the Regents’ fifth straight victory over Big 8 opponents.
Great job, guys!
West pitchers — (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Fleischman (3.1-5-5-3-1), Trier (W; 3.2-2-0-2-2)
Next up: the Regents head to Sun Prairie tonight for their final game of the regular season.