The 15-8 Madison West Regents sat through their first round bye on Tuesday in the WIAA Regional Final of the Section #5 Division 1 High School Baseball Playoffs. They would meet the winner of a game between Milton and Elkhorn, which turned out to be Elkhorn. Elkhorn loaded up the truck, and moved to Mansfield, Stadium that is, for a 5 PM matchup on Thursday June 1, 2017. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and for once there were no gale force winds. The stage was set.
Toeing the rubber for the Regents was none other than senior Gabe Hill, and his battery mate was Sophomore Drake Baldwin. The Elkhorn squad sent Ben McConnell to the bump, throwing to Riley Remington behind the dish.
Leading off the top of the first, Elkhorn center fielder Ian Nowell singled to break up the no-hitter. Their shortstop Jet Weber popped to Austin Cotharn at short for the first out. Third baseman Lucas Harding followed with a single, and left fielder Nick Rockweiler doubled down the right field line to score both runners. DH Dakota Biefield grounded out to John Frehner at second base, and then first baseman Ross Ingersoll popped out to David Grunder at third to end the half inning. 2-0 Moose, with the Regents coming to the plate. Only kidding, Elkhorn is the Elks. But wouldn’t it be funny if they were the Moose? Maybe just to me. Anyway…..
The Regents roared in the bottom of the first. Drake led off with a groundout to first. Right fielder Tommy Hill followed with a line-drive single between the shortstop and third baseman. DH Otto Treichel came up and singled to right. Left fielder Donovan O’Flahrity singled to score Tommy. Austin Cotharn then singled to center to score both Otto and Dono who had moved up an extra base on a passed ball during the at-bat. Centerfielder Eli Sorensen then doubled with another hard-hit line drive to the right-centerfield gap to score Austin. During the at bat by John Frehner, Eli stole third, planning ahead for Frehner’s upcoming sacrifice fly to knock him in. First baseman Charlie Met then flew out to center to end the half inning. Regents 5, Elks 2.
In the top of 2, the Elks saw a single by Gosh, Kyle that is. It was a slow roller and Charlie Met stretched as far as he could to get the throw in time…., but his foot left the base….and his hamstring nearly left his body…and Charlie had to leave the game. O’Flahrity moved to first base, and Max Hanson came in to play left field. The Elks went down uneventfully.
Bottom of 2, third baseman David Grunder reached on a dropped third strike wild pitch, and advanced to second on a passed ball. Drake popped to short for the first out. Tommy singled with a laser liner past a leaping Harding at third and the ball nearly took off his glove for a yard sale. (Its a skiing and baseball term for when your equipment gets knocked off and scattered around you as if someone was having a yard sale.) Tommy then stole second. Otto followed with a line drive single to score Grunder, and this was the end for Elks pitcher McConnell. In trotted Ingersoll from first base, and Jordan VanDyke took his place at first. Ingersoll is a tall glass of water. In fact, he was a pitcher. Literally AND figuratively. Donovan O’Flahrity greeted him with a line drive sacrifice fly to right to score Tommy. That would be all the Regents would get tonight, as Ross Ingersoll was a force to be reckoned with. He gave up no Regent runs. Of course we ran ourselves out of a few as well……stay tuned. 7-2 Regents!
In the top of the third, Harding singled, and Rockweiler hit a ground ball to Frehner that he threw to Cotharn at short and the runner slid into Austin enough to garner an automatic double play for runner interference. I think Mr Umpire was generous on that one. But as I have said numerous times, Mr Umpire’s calls are what count. We’ve been on the short end of a number of those, so it’s about time one goes our way. Biefield then singled, but Ingersoll grounded out 4-3 to end the inning. Still 7-2 Regents.
In our half of the third, Eli took a walk, and John Frehner hit into a fielder’s choice that retired Eli at second. Max Hanson flew out to right field with a well-struck ball. David Grunder was a strikout victim to end the inning. 7-2 Regents.
In the fourth, Elkhorn got two back. Chance Larson, their right fielder, singled. Gosh popped out to Drake, and Remington flew out to Eli in center. This brought up the top of the order. Nowell then doubled over a drawn-in outfield to knock in Larson. Weber followed with the exact same thing. 2 runs by the Elks. Harding popped to short for the third out. 7-4 Regents.
The bottom of the fourth for the West 9 had Drake leading off. He singled. This brought up Tommy Hill. Drake got caught leaning a bit too far off first, and got in a pickle-ickle-ickle. On a play that went 1-3-6-3 he was picked off. Bummer. Tommy then grounded out unassisted to first baseman VanDyke. Otto then singled again for his third hit of the game. Dono struck out. 7-4 Reggie.
In the top of the 5th, Gabe Hill was still going, like a tall energizer bunny. Rockweiler singled off the glove of a hustling and sliding Cotharn. Beifield struck out. Ingersoll reached on an error. Larson doubled to score Rockweiler. Gosh went down on strikes on an absolutely dirty curve by Gabe. Remington reached on an error that allowed Ingersoll to score. Nowell then hit a single to score Larson. Oh man! Its a tie ball game. Weber popped to first to stop the bleeding. 7-7. Momentum shift in favor of the Elks.
West came to bat in the bottom of the 5th a little miffed. Austin grounded out sharply to second. Eli singled. However, he also got caught leaning a bit too far off first base, and was caught in another rundown. This one went 1-3-6-1 or something like that. 2 outs. John Frehner then grounded out to short on a Sunday hop (that is a phrase for a well-hit ball that took an easy hop into the fielders glove). Still tied.
The 6th for the Elks saw them facing relief pitcher Austin Cotharn. Colin Pulkrabek was now in left field. First batter was Harding who flew out to Frehner. Rockweiler reached on an error. Biefield flew out to center. 2 outs. Ingersoll doubled, allowing Rockweiler to score their go-ahead run. However, he then took a page from our book and strolled leisurely off second base after a pitch. Drake saw this. He waited for him to do it again and when he did, he did not hesitate to pick him off to end the inning. 8-7 Elks.
In the bottom of the 6th, Jens Shager came on to pinch hit and grounded out 4-3. Donavan Parker then pinch-hit for Grunder and flew out to right. Drake then flew out to short to end the 6th. Still 8-7 Elks.
The top of the 7th saw Cotharn still on the mound for the Regents. Larson lined out to center. Gosh singled. Remington bunted to move him over and was safe on the bunt single. Eli Sorensen then traded places with Austin and came into pitch. He got Nowell to line out to Cotharn, and Weber singled to load the bases. As the outfield was again playing shallow, I shuddered. Thankfully Eli got their 3 hitter Harding to strike out swinging.
It was now up to us. Bottom of 7, down one run. Tommy Hill drew a base on balls. Otto then flew out to center. Donovan O’Flahrity was next, and during his at-bat, Tommy advanced to second on a passed ball. Dono then grounded to third, and their thirdbaseman played the ball to his left, looked Tommy back to second and threw to first to retire Dono. 2 outs. Austin was hit by a pitch that was a glancing blow off his shoulder. Eli then flew out to deep short to end the game.
I know I speak for a great number of Regent fans when I say this: I am very proud of the effort these Regents put in this year. They surpassed my expectations by a long, long, shot. The other teams in the Big 8 should and will take notice. The Regents will be strong in the next few years. Bring it boys. Good luck to the current Juniors, Sophs, and Freshmen. You’ve got big shoes to fill, but fill them you will.
The 7 seniors this year are: Gabe Hill, Tommy Hill, Austin Cotharn, Donavan Parker, Jens Shager, Nate Millman, and Sam Mohoney. Without hesitation, I can say that these young men are great people. Some are moving on to play some more, and all are moving on to further their greatness in the game of life. Parents, you have done very, very well to raise such fine young men, and you should be proud of yourselves in addition to your children.
This is not the end, it is the turning of a page. Oh sure, these 7 young men are no longer Regent Baseball players but they are moving on to bigger, and although it may be hard to believe, better things. And they are going to rock those things like they’ve never been rocked before. Believe that.
Baseball is a quirky sport. There are lots of subtle things going on that the casual fan might not notice. Rally caps are not one of these things. They are noticeable. And they are silly. But they work. Tonight was proof.
The West Regents hopped on the bus, Gus, and set off for Janesville. Just like yesterday. Except today was different. It was warm, sunny, and pleasant as the Regents finished the Big 8 Conference regular season schedule vs the Janesville Parker Vikings.
Leading off for West today was Catcher Drake Baldwin, who dug in against Janesville’s starter Sam Garvoille. Drake grounded out to Viking first baseman Sam Nemetz. Right fielder Tommy Hill followed with a groundout to the pitcher, and DH Otto Treichel struck out.
Parker came to bat in the bottom of 1 against our started Gabe Hill. Garvoille hit a can of corn fly out to Eli Sorensen in CF for out #1. Nemetz K’d. CF Jordan Bailey singled. SS Kyle Burkette also singled. Catcher Cade Bowman lined to a sliding Austin Cotharn for the nifty catch on the third out.
In the top of 2, Austin singled, but that’s all we did.
Janesville went down 1-2-3. This was highlighted by Gabe Hill pouncing off the mound like El Gato Grande to field a dribbler and throw out Ty Randall, their DH.
Top 3. 3B Charlie Met lined to left. First baseman Owen Christenson walked, and was zipping around third after Drake Baldwin’s double, and was cut down at the plate. Drake moved up to third on the throw to the plate. Tommy Hill then knocked in Drake with a single. Hill then stole second. Otto walked. Left fielder Donovan O’Flahrity then lined out to left to end the half inning.
Bottom 3. Gabe got third baseman Brandon Seidel to ground out to Charlie Met who moved over to first as Owen C had to leave the game with a finger injury. The bus driver and I fashioned a very nice splint from a plastic fork, and we think he’ll only be out of action for a short time. Garvoille singled. Nemetz grounded out to John Frehner at 2B. Bailey reached on a missed pop up that allowed Garvoille to score. Burkette doubled to score Bailey, then Cowman singled to score Burkette. Gabe struck out left fielder Jaden Ellis to end the inning.
Top 4. Austin walked. Eli struck out. John Frehner was at bat when Austin took off for second base. John’s follow through on a swing took him into the path of the catcher, and Austin was called out due to the Batter Interference. That is not something you see every day. John then grounded out to second.
Bottom 4. Gabe was still in there, firing away. He induced a pop up from Randall, then struck out Chase Hamilton, and got Seidel to fly out to Eli.
Top 5. Charlie walked, and David Grunder who entered when Owen went out, grounded out to the pitcher. Drake flew to center and Tommy lined out to left.
Bottom half of the 5th saw Nate Millmann come in to hurl for the Regents. He walked the leadoff man Garvoille, and Drake quickly threw him out by a lot when he tried to steal second base. Nemetz flew out to a sliding Tommy Hill in right. Bailey singled, Burkette had an infield single, and Bowman followed with another infield single. Nate got the pinch hitter to fly to center, another can of corn to Eli. 3-1 Vikings.
In the 6th, Otto started with a single, and Sam Mohoney came in to run for him. Donovan O’Flahrity walked. Austin laid down a bunt to get the runners over, but Mohoney was thrown out at third. Eli beat out an infield single to load the bases. Donavan Parker pinch-hit for Frehner and Dono was cut down at the plate 1-2. The catcher then over threw first base while trying to get a double play, and Cotharn scored. 3-2 Vikings. We’ve got a ball game going!
In their half of the 6th, they got one back on a single by Hamilton. Millmann exited the mound and traded places with Austin Cotharn at shortstop. Hamilton advanced to second on a wild pitch, and to third on a groundout by Seidel. Another wild pitch allowed Hamilton to score. Garvoille walked. Still 2 outs. Nemetz grounded to Met at first for the third out.
Top of 7. Now or never. The Regents chose now. David Grunder led off the inning against Seidel who was now pitching. Grunder singled to center to start a rally that would last for a while. This prompted the baseball gods to shine down upon Riverside Park, sending a message to get out the rally caps. Mary O’Flahrity started the trend of wearing her cap in an odd, inside out way, balancing it on her head. I followed suit with a shark-fin model rally cap. The fix was on. The movement gained momentum. Al Parker wore the inside-out classic model. Drake singled to keep it going and move David to second. Tommy Hill then hit a sharp grounder off the wrist of Casey Stone at third base, and everyone was safe. Word trickled into the dugout where more rally caps were donned. The mojo was strong. Now, bases were loaded for Treichel. He singled to knock in David and Drake to tie the game and move Tommy to third. Otto moved up to second on the throw to the plate. Tommy would score moments later on a wild pitch that got Otto to third. 5-4 Regents! But wait, there is more! O’Flahrity walked (not Mary, but Dono), and stole second. Otto then scored on a wild pitch. Austin lined out to right. Eli struck out. Donovan O’Flahrity was on third base now, as John Frehner walked. Charlie Met came to the plate. Frehner dashed for second and stopped half way as the catcher threw down to get him out. Little did he know John was messing with him. He stopped so that Dono could sneak home. John stayed in the rundown long enough to score the run. Good execution!
The Vikings looked like they were mounting a threat in the bottom of 7, but Eli Sorensen had come in to pitch and was not about to let this one get away. They managed a bunt single by Bailey, and a single by Bowman, but Ellis struck out and Randall grounded out to end the game!
Gabe finished with 4 innings pitched, No earned runs, 3 total runs, 5 hits, and 4 strikeouts without any walks. Nate had 1.1 innings pitched, 4 hits, one walk, and no earned runs.
Austin finished with 0.2 innings pitched, no earned runs, one walk and no hits.
Eli had one inning pitched, 2 hits, no walks, one strikeout and no runs scored.
After the varsity rally, the players hopped the bus and headed to cheer on the JV team, nearly helping them pull out a victory. I heard they were very vocal. Good job boys!
Friday night is a shared senior night between West and Edgewood. See you there!
*….is what I WOULD have titled this blog had West pulled out a victory against the 20-2 Janesville Craig Cougars who hosted the 14-7 Regents at Riverside Park Wednesday evening on May 24, 2017. But alas, it was not meant to be.
Our lineup consisted of Austin Cotharn at short, Tommy Hill in RF, Drake Baldwin behind the plate, Otto Treichel at DH, Donovan O’Flahrity in LF, Eli Sorensen in CF, John Frehner at 2B, Charlie Met at 3B, and Owen Christenson at 1B. On the mound for West was Aiden Burgess.
Their lineup consisted of Jack Blomgren at short, Austin Kraus in RF, Evan Spry at 1B, Jacob Campbell C, Noah Berhammer 2B, Nick Cramer in CF, Caleb White in LF, Ross March DH, and Dan Blomgren at 3B. Pitching was Mitchell Woelfle who was bringin’ it tonight.
Our first inning was quick, with Austin and Tommy going down by the way of the K. Drake singled to left center but was gunned down by the catcher after leaning too far off first base after a pitch.
Craig got one in the first after a flyout by leadoff Blomgren. Kraus strolled. Spry singled to left. Campbell flew out to center, and Berghammer had a bloop single that fell in shallow left to score Kraus. Cramer then hit a grounder off of John Frehner’s bare hand on a high bounce, but Frehner recovered, reacted, and threw out Spry at the plate for the third out.
West’s second saw Treichel go down on strikes, and Donovan O’Flahrity single. He was then cut down at second base on a fielder’s choice by Eli. Frehner doubled with a hard hit ball to the gap in right center, getting the ball over the outfielders heads, a tough task on this windy blustery and way to cold for May 24th day. Eli was sent home to score but cut down on a nice throw and relay to the plate, 9-6-2.
Janesville’s second was slowed by Aiden Burgess fielding the first out by leaping off the mound like a cat to field a swinging bunt by White, throwing him out at first. March was hit by a pitch in the tootsie. Dan Blomgren was a strikeout victim, bringing up big brother Blomgren, Jack. He was intentionally walked after the count got to 2-2 and March stole second. First base was unoccupied, so he was given a pass with 2 outs to bring up an opportunity for a force out at 3 bases. It worked as Kraus flew out to right to end the inning.
Charlie, Owen, and Austin went down in order in the third.
Craig’s third featured no runs. Spry was hit by a pitch in the solar plexus and went to first. Campbell grounded out to Austin at short, Berghammer grounded out to Frehner at second, and Cramer stepped to the plate with Spry having moved to third. He hit a sinking liner to centerfield that appeared to be headed to the turf for another run. But, out of nowhere comes Eli as usual, diving head first, arm extended to snare the ball off the tops of the blades with his signature hair-on-fire hustling way. 1-0 Cougars.
In the top of the 4th, West went down with a hush. Otto took one for the team, in the back. He shrugged it off. Dono reached on an error when Cramer whiffed on a catch attempt in shallow right center.
The Cougars crowed a bit in the bottom of the 4th. White singled off Burgess, and March then tried to bunt. He put one out in front of the plate that Drake fielded, felt he had a play at second and fired forcefully. He spiked it into the turf and the runner was safe. The younger Blomgren walked, and the older Blomgren singled to knock in a run. Kraus then walked to knock (or walk) in a run. Burgess was then relieved by Charlie Met, and David Grunder entered and went to play third base. Spry grounded out, knocking in another run. Campbell singled, to knock in two more. He then stole second. Berghammer grounded out to Grunder at third, and Cramer singled to score Campbell. 7-0 Cougars.
The Regent 5th was highlighted by a well-struck double over the left fielder’s head by Charlie Met.
Janesville Craig came out to bat in the bottom of the 5th trembling in fear. They would have to face the Norwegian Nightmare, Jens Shager, now on the mound for the Regents. Their first batter the younger Blomgren reached on an error. He then stole second. With a 7 run lead mind you. (Pause to sigh) Drake soon gunned him down trying to take third base, and then gunned down another runner who wandered too far off first. Drake took two of their potential runs off the board. Nice job kid!
In the Regent 6th, we had a bit more fire after the sniping defensive gems by Drake. Tommy started with a single to right center. Drake was caught looking. Otto walked. Dono popped to second. 2 outs. Our favorite situation. Eli slammed a triple over the heads of the outfielders in right center and galloped into third with 2 RBI! He would score on John Frehner’s second hit of the game. 7-3 Craig.
Jens climbed back on the mound for the bottom of the 6th and sent the Craiggies down in order, striking out Berghammer for the final out, much to the delight of the Regent crowd.
In the 7th, Jack Blomgren came on to pitch. He works quickly, and one might argue was pitching too quickly. This is one of the many cat and mouse strategies of baseball that can go unnoticed. This is best battled by batters calling time out frequently and holding up their hand while getting ready to bat, and then having Mr Umpire signal that the batter is now ready and the pitcher may deliver. Unfortunately, sometimes this takes a while to be noticed and a strike can be lost. Sometimes this is a great opportunity to tighten a shoe lace. Or get something in your eye. Slow him down. Break the rhythm. But be subtle.
Owen grounded out to second, and was followed by pinch hitter Nate Millmann. Nate singled strongly up the middle, and got to second when their catcher tried to pick him off first and threw it past the first baseman. Tommy then flew out to center field and Drake walked. Otto singled with two outs to load the bases, bringing Donovan O’Flahrity to the plate with the bases juiced. I quickly reminded his mother Mary that a home run here would tie the game! I then explained to her that this was not like the unwritten rule about not taking about a no-hitter during the no-hitter. Calling a home run is fair game and not in that unwritten book. Donovan fouled off one pitch, then another, and then on an 0-2 pitch, he drove the ball deep, deep, deep into the cloudy sky and up and over the fence! But silly me, it was the backstop. Blomgren then snuck an outside corner fastball past a swinging Dono for the third out. Final score was 7-3 Cougars. Congrats to Janesville for winning the Big 8 this year, a feat made possible by Verona beating Sun Prairie in the completion of a partial game from Tuesday night.
We’ll be right back in J’town tomorrow at what I hope is a warmer Riverside Park. See you there, lets end the conference regular season with a big, fat W.
Friday May 19, 2017 was the date, and on the slate was the number 8 ranked team in the state. Right out of the gate, you knew it was fate. Make no debate, good things we’d create, details await……
Here’s how it went down:
Manning the bump for the Regents was Gabe Hill. Hill is having a wonderful year on the hill. As you will recall, he is a fierce and tenacious competitor, focused and dialed in each time he steps onto the rubber. Doing the pitching duties for the Oconomowoc Raccoons was Jonah Landowski.
Hill was on fire once again. He started strongly, getting leadoff man 3B Alec Esenther to ground out to his counterpart Otto Treichel at 3B. Landowski lined out to Tommy Hill in RF, and SS Zachary Clayton singled to right. Raccoons Catcher Sean Meyer grounded out to Charlie Met at 1B. He does not actually catch raccoons, he catches for the Raccoons. This can be confusing, I know. Stay with me.
The bottom of the first was the start the Regents needed. SS Austin Cotharn led off with a base on balls. Lead-off walks will haunt. The runner seems to almost always score when the game starts with a walk. Tommy Hill was next up, lacing a double to the left center gap, to get Austin to third. Catcher Drake Baldwin flew to center, but too short to allow Austin to score. Never fear, Otto came up and grounded to second to score Austin. Donovan O’Flahrity, left fielder, grounded to short to end the inning. 1-0 Regents!
The top of the second inning featured two errors by West, and a balk. This sounds as if these would lead to problems, but as it turns out they did not. Raccoons 1B Miller Wallace popped to first and a wind-aided drifting ball bounced off Met’s glove allowing him to reach first. Gabe Hill had a balk that allowed Wallace to head south 90 feet to second base. Gabe then struck out second baseman Steven Diderich. Gabe then struck out DH Hunter Olson. Right fielder Alexander Pierce reached on an error to third. Runners on first and third. A stealing situation. Pierce took off on the first pitch, and was caught stealing on a strong throw by Baldwin, to end the threat.
The Regent half of the second saw CF Eli Sorensen fly out to left, DH Donavan Parker ground out to Wallace at first who pitched to Landowski covering the bag for out #2. Second baseman John Frehner then hit a can of corn* to center for the third out.
What is a can of corn you ask? In baseball, an easy fly ball is referred to as “a can of corn”. The reference comes from the old grocery store days when the corn was stored on the high shelves. The stock clerk would have to knock the can off the shelf with a long pole to the awaiting hands of the customer. It was done gently so as to be easy to catch. And now you know, the can of corn……Of course this has been gone for a long time, as some numbskull probably sued the poor clerk after he dropped the can and hurt his toe.
Back to the game. The Oconomowoc third was 1-2-3, with CF Nathan Platter serving up the first out with a fly to Tommy in right. Esenther grounded to third and Owen Christenson, now at first base, applied a tag on the throw up the line for out #2. Landowski grounded out 4-3.
West’s third saw Christenson lead off with a single to left center, but he was cut down at second 4-6 on a fielder’s choice by Austin. Austin advanced to second on a stolen base. Hill struck out, and Drake singled. Drake was then caught stealing for the final out of the frame.
In the top of the 4th, Zachary Clayton led off with a smash to left that was played beautifully by O’Flahrity who turned and burned (that is what you call it when the ball is hit well and you have to get back quickly as an outfielder) and caught the ball one step from the fence. He bounced off the fence one step after corralling the liner. Meyer grounded out to short, and Wallace hit a double to the right centerfield gap. Diderich grounded to short for the third out.
Bottom of 4, still 1-0 Regents. Otto was a strikeout victim, going down looking. Donovan O’Flahrity singled off Landowski’s glove on the mound, the ball carried into centerfield. Eli grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to retire the side.
Top of 5. Gabe still cruising. Olson grounded out to Otto at third, and Pierce flew out to Eli in center. Platter hit an Unchained (Melody) grounder to Frehner at second, but the Smoke Got In His Eyes and the ball scooted through. “Only You can keep the inning going for us Raccoons”, thought Esenther to himself, and so he did, with a single. But Lendowski turned out to be The Great Pretender as he flew out to right for the third out.
Bottom of 5. Donavan Parker took a third strike for a backwards K. John grounded out to short, and O.C. flew out to right. Still 1-0 Regents.
Top of 6. Clayton grounds out to Austin who made a great play on a tough short hop, gathered himself and threw him out. Meyer walked, for one of only two walks by Gabe Hill in his excellent outing. Wallace flew to center. Diderich grounded out to short 6-3.
Bottom of 6. Austin flew to left. Tommy grounded out to second 4-3. Drake singled for his second hit of the game, but was retired on a fielders choice by Otto. That would be all the at bats we needed…..as long as we could keep the Raccoons from scoring.
In the top of the 7th, Gabe went back out to the mound and commanded the plate. Olson went down looking for Gabe’s third strikeout of the game. Pierce reached on an error. Jackson Brown came in to hit for Platter, in a change that was music to our ears. He flew out to Tommy Hill in right for the second out. This allowed Tommy to get a little warmed up, given the cold and windy day, and this would prove helpful. Esenther walked, advancing Pierce to second with two outs. This brought Landowski to the plate. He singled to mid right, where Tommy was loose and ready from his previous action. He charged hard, fielded cleanly, crow-hopped and let go a laser as Pierce headed home. Drake fielded the on-target throw, stepped back and tagged the head-first-sliding Pierce to NAIL him at the plate! A walk-off 9-2 out to send the Raccoons back to their bus for what would be a long ride home. Game time 1 hour and 30 minutes.
West has beaten the current #8 and #3 teams in the state according to the ranking at Wisconsin Baseball Central. This establishes that they can do great things. After two games in Janesville next week, and an inner city battle vs Edgewood, it becomes playoff time.
Stay strong, drink plenty of fluids, and get plenty of rest. The (not exactly end of the year) Home Plate Banquet is Sunday from 6-8 at Union South. See you there!
On an evening that started hot, and ended cold, the West Regents did the same. I had hoped that once during my tenure as a West Regent parent, we would knock of Sun Prairie at least once. After the first inning, I had a feeling, much like the Black Eyed Peas, that tonight’s gonna be a good night, that tonight’s gonna be a good good night. But by the end of the evening, Imma Be singing a different tune. Probably something by Celine Dion.
Here is how it went down:
In the first, We Got It Started uh huh, we got it started in here. Starting Pitcher Eli Sorensen pitched a scoreless first as the Cardinals left two on base, and when we came to the plate, we were ready for starting Sun Prairie pitcher Carson Holin. CF Austin Cotharn started with a walk. RF Tommy Hill doubled down the third base line afterward. Catcher Drake Baldwin grounded to second, knocking in Cotharn and advancing Hill to third. 3B Otto Treichel hit a Sacrifice Fly to right to score Hill. With two outs, Donovan O’Flahrity singled. Eli grounded to second but their second baseman Joe Hauser let it go off of his glove into right field, and O’Flahrity advanced to third. While 2B John Frehner batted, Sorensen took off to steal second. As they went to make a play on him in the run down, O’Flahrity took off to home and they were not going to catch him. He made it home while Sorensen stayed in the run down so that his teammate could score. Nice job Eli. Nice job Dono. 3-0 Regents!
In the second, Sun Prairie got two back on a single by Luke DePrey, the left fielder, a double by Holin, a single by Jack Zander their first baseman. J. Hauser hit a sac fly to score Holin. 3-2 West.
Taylor Jansen came in to throw the second through 5th for the Cardinals. Jansen brings the heat, and has a nice changeup too. He allowed a single to Charlie Met who manned first base today. That’s all we came up with this inning.
The third inning for SP started with a single by DH Ben Hauser up the middle. Alex Oakley the centerfielder did the exact same thing, past the glove of Nate Millmann at short for West. Catcher Ty Hamilton sacrifice bunted the runners over, and then De Prey hit a sac fly to left to score Hauser. Holin then singled to right field, and Tommy Hill made a strong throw to the cutoff Met, who wheeled and threw to Drake to nail Oakley at the plate. 3-3 tie.
Our third was a 1-2-3.
They snuck another one back in the top of the fourth. Zander singled, and J. Hauser hit into a fielders choice that saw Zander nailed at second 4-6. Leadoff man and shortstop Walker Jenkins then hit a high pop foul over third base which was deftly fielded by Otto Treichel with an over-the-shoulder grab that wowed the crowd. Third baseman JP Suchomel singled to score J. Hauser and advanced to second on the throw to the plate. Ben Hauser then flew out to center. 4-3 Cardinals.
Our fourth inning saw Jansen continue to cruise. Dono, Eli, and John went down in order.
The top of the fifth saw them sneak another run. Austin Cotharn was now pitching, with Eli moving out to Centerfield. Austin yielded a single to Oakley, and he was bunted over by Ty Hamilton. DePrey grounded to the pitcher, moving Oakley’s pinch runner who shall remain nameless as I do not have his name, to third. Holin knocked him in with his third hit of the evening. 5-3 Sun Prairie.
The bottom of the 5th for the Regent 9 featured a bit of fire. DH Donavan Parker was hit by a pitch that nicked his shoulder. Sam Mohoney came in to run for him. Charlie reached on an error. Quinn Burgess came in to run for him. Cotharn bunted them over. Hill popped to second, and Baldwin hit an absolute laser to shortstop, to end the threat.
In the 6th, Sun Prairie did not score. Cotharn induced a fly out to center, and walked Jenkins. Suchomel then hit into an interesting fielders choice, blooping to right where a hustling Hill gathered the ball, and fired toward second. He overthrew a bit, but Nate Millman was ready, backing up the play and he flipped to Frehner for a 9-6-2 out at second base. You won’t see that every day. Ben Hauser then walked. Cotharn gave way to Otto Treichel on the mound, and moved to short. Millmann went over to third. Otto greeted Oakley with a hit by pitch, but Oakley did little to dodge the ball. In all honesty, he leaned into it a bit. But, Mr Umpire did not see it this way. No problem, Otto got Hamilton to fly out to Millmann in foul ground at third for the final out. Still 5-3 bad guys.
The bottom of the 6th for the Regents was exciting for a few moments. Otto walked. Taylor Jansen was then replaced by Taylor Middaugh. Donovan O’Flahrity greeted him with a double to the right-center gap. Game on! This advanced Otto’s pinch runner Quinn Burgess to third. Eli struck out, and Frehner worked an 0-2 count to a walk. Donavan Parker struck out looking, and Charlie Met struck out swinging to end the inning. Still 5-3.
In the top of the 7th, the Cardinals sealed the deal. DePrey was struck by a pitch that he did not dodge much either. Holin followed with a bunt single for his fourth hit of the night. Zander doubled to score DePrey and Holin. J. Hauser flew to right and Zander was nearly nailed trying to tag and go to third, but the strong throw from Hill bounced off of him and he was safe. On the next play however, he was retired on a fielders choice off the bat of Jenkins, with Nate Millman firing a strike to Drake to get Zander out. Suchomel flew to right to end the Sun Prairie inning. 7-3 Cards.
That is how it would end, as the Regents managed a walk by Drake and a single by Otto that got him to third, where he would remain.
Final score 7-3 Sun Prairie over West. Cue Celine. My Heart Will Go On. And so will the Regents. We need to have a short memory, and come out swinging vs Oconomowoc tomorrow night at 5 PM at the cozy confines of Mansfield “Stadium” .
We need confidence. We need to get our collective swerve on.
From the Australian Slang dictionary: To Get One’s Swerve On: “a compliment of skill. If you are about to get your swerve on then you are confidently preparing to enter the conflict. If you got your swerve on it means you accomplished something skillfully”.
G’day mate. See you Friday.