As you will recall, a Purgolder is the offspring of the mating of the colors Purple and Gold. The Purgolders were guests of the Maize and Blue, or should I say the Maizebluers, on a warm, windy Tuesday May 16th, 2017. The 12-6 Regents set out to avenge a prior 2-1 loss at the hands of the now 4-12 Eastsiders. And avenge they did. Bigly. Eww, I just threw up in my mouth a bit there.
Anyhoo, here is how it went down:
On the bump for the Regents was none other than the Triumphant Tenacious Tower, Gabe Hill. We’ll shorten that to triple T from this point forward. His counterpart was Sean Baggot for East.
In the top of the first east went down 1-2-3. Baggot led off with a tailing liner to Tommy Hill in RF. Hill’s first step appeared to be a slip and fall, but as it turns out, a grass lizard had latched onto his ankle and yanked him down. Unfettered, Hill rose to his feet to slay the mighty grass lizard, and strode proudly toward the ball, catching it easily. One out. Next up was Carson Tomony, playing 2B for East. He singled. He then tried to steal second base. Silly Tomony. Catcher Drake Baldwin threw an absolute laser into the teeth of an 18 MPH wind to nail him by a good 5 feet. The fan next to me said, “Man, he is fun to watch.” I responded with a “heck yeah he is.” TTT then struck out East’s star Cameron Cratic to end the half inning.
The Regents have not had many strong first innings as of late, but busted out of that pattern with 4 runs today! Shortstop Austin Cotharn led off with an ROE (reached on error). He grounded to short, and the throw was to the home plate side of first. The first baseman caught it, laid on a tag, but the ball flew out of his glove after bouncing off the chiseled Cotharn. Tommy Hill followed Austin with a single to right. Austin darted for third base on the opposite field hit, textbook baserunning by the savvy Cotharn. The throw to third was short, resulting in an E9 that allowed Austin to score. Tommy was sneaking up behind the lead runner this entire time. As they threw from third to home to try to get Austin, Tommy wheeled to third…..only to be cut down by a throw from the catcher 2-5. Tommy’s best swim-slide attempt was not enough. He was out. No worries, we got one. 1-0 Regents. Drake then reached on an error on a grounder to second. DH Otto Treichel followed with a grounder off the pitchers face. I’m not kidding. It hit is face, and he recovered in time to throw out Treichel. Nice play kid. Nice play. He was fine, shrugged it off and stayed in the game. LF Donovan O’Flahrity took a base on balls, and CF Eli Sorensen moseyed to the plate. With a wind blowing in at a staunch 18 MPH, no one expected the ball to carry. Except Eli. He launched what would have been a no-doubter dinger on any other day, but today it was a triple to the 325 mark of the right field fence. Baldwin and O’Flahrity came home. 3-0 Regents. Sorensen nimbly zipped home on a wild pitch prior to 2B John Frehner grounding out to second. 4-zip Regents!
East threatened in the second, but it turns out that these were idle threats. LF Connor Schlichting started with a slow roller single to short. RF Lance Breitnauer then did the exact same thing. Copycat. Their 3B Tyler Owen sacrificed himself so that they could advance a base. Runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out. 1B Sam Heiman flew out to center, and shortstop Sam Thorson grounded out to Charlie Met at 3B to silence the Purgolder crowd. 4-0 Reggie.
In our half of the second, Charlie Met doubled, was advanced to third on a groundout by Cotharn, which brought Tommy Hill to the dish. He walked and advanced to second on a Baldwin single that scored Met. Sam Mohoney came in to run for Drake. He and Tommy executed the double steal with two outs, to the surprise and chagrin of East’s catcher Van Venegas. Otto then flew out to CF to end the inning. 5-0 Regents!
East was shut down by Gabe in the third, on a nice pickup on a mid-hop by Owen Christenson our 1B. A single by Cratic would be all they would muster in the frame.
The Regent third was interesting. We did not score, but it was interesting. After an O’Flahrity strikeout, Sorensen walked. This was not your regular base on balls. No sir. The fourth ball bounced past the catcher for a wild pitch. Eli hustled from the get-go. As he got to first, the catcher had still not located the ball. Eli did not slow, and sprinted to second before their catcher knew what was going on. This might be a stolen base, or might be scored as a wild pitch to get him to second. I am scoring it as both. So should you. Really, what have you got to lose? John Frehner was caught looking, and Donavan Parker came in to pinch hit for Owen C. He laced a liner on the first pitch, that was curtailed by a diving Breitnauer in RF. He was robbed. Robbed I tell ya!
The Purgolder fourth was uneventful as Breitnauer grounded to David Grunder at third, Owen grounded to Cotharn at short who made a nice charging hustling running throw to first, and Heiman lined to Frehner at 2B for the final out of the half-inning.
The West fourth saw Nick Perez come in to pitch. It also saw Grunder go down looking, Cotharn flying to center, and Tilly lining out to third. Still 5-nothing Regents.
The Purgolder 5th was 1-2-3, with TTT imposing his will. Donavan Parker snagged a tailing liner in RF for the third out.
The Regent 5th was highlighted by Drake Baldwin reaching on an error, and while rounding second he ran into Mr Umpire who was in his path. After a brief conversation about Mr Umpire’s wife and kids, Drake politely said “excuse me sir” and continued toward second base and slid in head-first and safely. He was moved to third on a Treichel ground out, and scored on a Donovan O’Flahrity single to right, doing what he should by stroking a liner behind the runner. Nice piece of hitting right there kid. Sorensen grounded out after O’Flahrity stole second and creeped to third on the groundout. He then scored on a wild pitch during an at bat by Frehner that ended in a walk. Donavan Parker was next, and again on the first pitch he unleashed. He drove a single to right. David Grunder then lined a ball to right that was captured by a sliding Breitnauer. 7-0 Regents.
East’s 6th was 1-2-3. Gabe was cruising. He has really had a nice year so far. But he is not yet done. No sir. We’ve got a long way to go on the road to Appleton.
The bottom of the 6th included a Cotharn groundout, a Tommy Hill (Tilly) fly out to center, and then a double by Drake. He hit a frozen rope to the Regents Baseball sign in left center. Sam Mohoney came in to run for him again. Otto was intentionally walked, probably because of fear, and Quinn Burgess came in to run for him. Mohoney and Burgess then executed the SECOND double steal of the night, taking 3rd and 2nd respectively. Colin Pulkrabek pinch hit for O’Flahrity and had a swinging bunt that was fielded by the catcher for a 2-3 groundout to end our at bats for the evening. (Note to those who are just starting to love [and figure out] baseball…..if your team is the home team and does not NEED to bat in the bottom of the 7th inning, it means they have already won after the top of the 7th by keeping the opponent from tying the game.) Substitute 7 for 9 in the pro and college game.
East was set down gently by Gabe Hill, who pitched another complete game. The first hitter was Lewis, pinch hitting for Breitnauer, and he struck out. Isaac Ballwahn hit for Owen and flew to Nate Millmann at second base for the second out. Pitcher Perez hit for himself and grounded out to Nate to end the game.
The Regents improve to 13-6 overall, 10-5 in the Big 8. The Purgies fall to 4-10 in the conference, and 4-13 overall.
Rumor has it we are the second seed in the WIAA sectional playoffs for Sectional #5 the Verona Area sectional. This features the following teams: Beloit Memorial, Elkhorn Area, Fort Atkinson, Janesville Craig, Janesville Parker, Madison La Follette, Madison Memorial, Madison West, Milton, Oregon, Stoughton, Verona Area.
And apparently it’s no rumor! See below…..but we’ve got a lot of honing to do before June 1. Let’s keep getting better. Next game is Thursday at 5 at Mansfield versus Sun Prairie. You will not be happy with yourself if you miss it. Drive down. Come on over.
We’ll see you there.