The 11-4 Madison West Regents visited Stampfl Field in Verona on Tuesday night, May 9th, to face off against the 9-5 Verona Wildcats. The Regents were 8-4 in the Big 8 Conference, currently thought of as the best D1 conference in the state, and the Wildcats 8-3, one notch above us. Not for long.
What I mean by a quick one, is that this game took only one hour and 46 minutes to complete. It was a mostly crisp game by both teams, we had no errors in the field, and Verona had two. The speed of this game can mean only one thing….the kids have plenty of time to get home and do their homework. Senior Gabe Hill, aka the Tenacious Tower, had another strong outing on the mound, going 5 innings and allowing only 4 hits before giving way to senior Austin Cotharn who shut the Wildcats down.
Speaking of down….here’s how it went…..down:
Verona had Jeff Bishop doing the pitching duties today. I was sitting behind the plate, behind a scout from Edgewood College who happened to have a radar gun. Bishop was throwing between 79 for his fastball and 64 for his curve. Our leadoff man Cotharn, who started at short, flew out to first baseman Largent, and Tommy Hill, right fielder, followed with a K. Catcher Drake Baldwin was next, and with a fine piece of hitting he went the opposite way between the shortstop and third baseman. Drake would prove to be a trend-setter tonight. Stay tuned. Designated Hitter Otto Treichel was next up, and he struck out to end the inning.
Verona was set down 1-2-3 on a groundout to Charlie Met at third base, who had a fantastic game in the field. Gabe got the pesky Tucker Tesky, playing in RF today to fly out foul to Met at third. Their SS McGowan then grounded out to Austin at short for the final out. Zilch-Zilch.
The Regents were salty in the second. Left fielder Donovan O’Flahrity started with a single. Centerfielder Eli Sorensen tried to sacrifice Dono to second, but had such a beautiful bunt that it rolled beyond the pitcher and had to be fielded by the second baseman. It was the perfect drag bunt that wasn’t. Base hit. Charlie Met then popped up to second base for out number one. First baseman Owen Christenson grounded out to short for out #2. Second baseman John Frehner then singled to drive in O’Flahrity and Sorensen. Austin came up next and lined a ball off the third baseman Frohm’s glove for an error, according to the person in the scorebooth. This brought up Tommy Hill. He learned from Drake about going oppo, and drove a single through the gap between the second baseman and first baseman as Austin stole second. Frehner trotted home. However, right fielder Tucker Tesky fielded the single cleanly and threw a strike to third to nail Cotharn. 3-0 Regents!
In the bottom of the second, Verona was set down 1-2-3 as well, with a groundout to short by Largent, a strikeout swinging by DH RJ Woppert, and a fly out to Eli hit by their centerfielder Slonim.
Our third inning was fast. Very fast. Drake grounded out to second 4-3. Otto singled with another easy swing, don’t-try-to-do-too much single to the opposite field. Donovan O’Flahrity stepped up, and they must have had his scouting report. He lined up the middle, ricocheting the ball off the pitchers glove, but the ball continued up the middle where there is usually no one playing. But lo and behold their shortstop was standing on the bag at second, scooped up the ball and completed an easy 1-6-3 double play.
The third inning for Verona was as fast as the other two. A ground out to short by catcher Jared Grassman, a fly out to Hill in RF by pitcher Bishop, and a groundout to Charlie Met by left fielder Noah Anderson.
The top of the fourth featured Eli Sorensen starting things off with a sinking liner that was missed by second baseman McClure for an error. Charlie Met followed with the hit type du jour, an opposite field single between the first and second basemen. Owen Christenson grounded out to short, and John Frehner walked. This brought up the top of the order for West, with Austin Cotharn. He hit into a fielders choice to the pitcher that retired Eli at the plate 1-2. Tommy Hill then lined out to Largent at first to end the threat.
In the bottom of the fourth the Wildcats took a page from West’s book, waiting until they had two outs to get a run. McClure started with a fly to Eli in center. Tesky was next with a liner to Eli in center. Sorenson laid out horizontally while running full speed forward and snared the ball off the top of the blades of freshly cut grass. The crowd went nuts. OK, most of the nuts goers were wearing royal blue, but nevertheless……McGowan followed with a base on balls, the only one Gabe Hill would allow during his entire outing. Largent then doubled to score him. Woppert was shown the way back to the bench on a called third strike by Gabe. 3-1 Regents.
In the Regents 5th, it was nearly an identical replay of our third inning. Drake led off with a groundout to the pitcher. Otto was walked. O’Flahrity grounded up the middle, and AGAIN the second baseman is standing on the base. What gives? I don’t know, but they had Dono’s number tonight. He again scooped it up and fired to first for another tailor-made double play, despite the speedy O’Flahrity hustling to first. He gets his speed from his father Jim, from what I have heard.
The Verona fifth was highlighted only by a single by Bishop. Slonim and Grassman flew out ahead of him, and Anderson was a strike out looking victim to finish the inning.
In the Regents’ half of the 6th, favors were returned. Centerfielder Slonim made a Sorensen-esque catch on a liner by none other than Sorensen himself for the first out. Charlie popped to first, and Jens Shager pinch hit for Owen, striking out.
The Wildcats made things interesting in the bottom of the 6th, with a leadoff double by McClure, over the head of the fleet-footed O’Flahrity in left field. That pesky Tucker Tesky resurfaced with a single off a diving John Frehner’s glove for a single. This was the end of the night for Gabe. Another great game by the Tenacious Tower. He was relieved by Austin. McGowan greeted him with a sacrifice fly to center to score McClure. Largent flew out to Eli as well. Then, with RJ Woppert at the plate, Tesky tried to steal second. Drake was ready. Austin was ready. Through a quick slide-step delivery and fantastic pop time Tesky was nailed at second, tagged out by shortstop Nate Millmann. End of the threat. 3-2 West!
Our 7th inning went fast, a ground out by Frehner 6-3, a groundout to first unassisted by Austin, and a line out to right by Tommy Hill brought us to the bottom of 7.
The Wildcats went out with a meow, rather than a roar. Woppert flew to right, Slonim grounded to third where Met knocked down the bullet and threw a strike to first. Grassman was struck out by Austin for the save. Game Over!
The Regents improve to 12-4 and 9-4 in the Big 8. Way to go boys. No let ups. Stay up, play up!
Next game is Thursday at Warner Park, at 7 PM, apparently, versus the LaFollette Lancers. See you there folks.