Sunday’s BABA matchup between Waupaca and Scandinavia lived up to all of the pregame hype.
The Lakemen squandered an early 2-0 lead, but came back with a pair of unanswered runs in a 4-2 win over the Vikings at Lakemen Field.
Waupaca also handed the Appleton Legends a 2-1 defeat Wednesday, June 29.
Waupaca 4, Scandinavia 2
The first two Lakemen batters reached on errors, as Waupaca took a 2-0 lead.
Third baseman Matt Louison knocked down leadoff hitter Jeff Riddle’s hot shot, but the throw was low to first. Jason Wanty then bunted, but that throw to first also pulled Jason Berrens off of the bag. Luke Behm followed with a towering fly ball to the fence in right that was caught, but Rocky Mondello came through with a bouncer up the middle that scored Riddle. David Yeska also bounced one into center to plate Wanty.
Scandinavia got a pair of hits off of Lakemen starter Zac Peterson in the second. Jesse Dickert and Matt Mehne singled, but a bouncer back to Peterson got him out of the frame unscathed.
Peterson was in control from that point until the seventh, as only Berrens reached in the fourth after being hit by a pitch. Peterson struck out three batters in that timeframe, but was supported by a solid Lakemen defense that made the routine plays as well as a couple of good running catches in the outfield.
Viking pitcher R.J. Rosenthal was in just about as much control of the Lakemen offense. Riddle did get a two-out hit in the second and Braden Kaminske singled with two outs in the third, but was cut down stealing. Yeska reached on an error to lead off the fourth and reached third on a wild pitch with only one out, but was cut down trying to score on a ground ball to Louison.
Riddle led off the fifth with a walk and stole second with two outs, but was also left stranded. That was as far as Rosenthal managed to go, as he had a rather high pitch count. He only allowed the two unearned runs and four hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked only one.
The game reached an even higher level of intensity in the top of the seventh. Berrens led it off with a single to right and after a strikeout, Hans Hartleben blasted a Peterson changeup over the left field fence to tie the game at 2-2. Peterson got the next two hitters on a fly out and line drive to end his day on the mound, so it was up to the Lakemen offense to try to get him the win.
They came through, as Wes Austin worked reliever Matt Mehne, in his second inning of pitching, for a walk in the seventh. Pinch hitter Tom Wanty laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. Riddle popped up, but Wanty came through with a clutch hit to center that plated Austin with the lead run.
Riddle then took the mound in relief of Peterson to start the eighth. He gave up a leadoff walk to Chris Yenter. Andy Garr bunted him to second and Rosenthal also walked, but Riddle got out of it with a strikeout and groundout.
Mondello got things going for Waupaca in the bottom of the eighth with a single to center. Kaminske followed with a line drive off the fence in left for another single and Eric Brehmer bunted the ball between the mound and first base, hoping for a sacrifice. Mehne and Berrens both charged, but thought the other would pick it up. Neither did and Brehmer was credited with a hit that loaded the bases. With the infield playing up, Cam Nicewander bounced to Louison, who fired home for a force out. Austin then came through with a two-strike bouncer that was picked up by the second baseman, but his only play was to first as Kamiske scored Waupaca’s fourth run. With 2 outs, a pitch in the dirt got by Dickert behind the plate, but only a short distance and Brehmer was thrown out at the plate on a hustle play to keep the score at 4-2 going into the ninth.
Riddle finished it up quickly, as Dickert lined out to right center on a nice catch by Brehmer. A strikeout and ground out followed and the game was over, with Riddle credited with the save. He did not allow a baserunner except for the two walks. Peterson got the win, as he struck out six and didn’t walk a batter. Offensively, only Mondello and Kaminske had two hits in the game.
The win leaves the Lakemen in sole possession of first place in the South-Central Division.
Waupaca 2, Appleton 1
There was not much hitting in the game, as the teams combined for just 10 hits. The Lakemen led that count by a 6-4 margin.
An Appleton double was the only extra-base hit. The teams also combined for seven errors, six of them by Appleton.
Waupaca scored in the bottom of the first, as Riddle led off with a hit and later scored on an error.
Jason Wanty reached on an error in the third, moved up on a Behm single and scored on a throwing error by the pitcher.
That was it for Lakemen scoring, but they did get other singles from Will Marringa, Ethan Dayton, Nicewander and Kaminske. Meanwhile, the usually potent Legend offense was kept in check by the slants of starting pitcher Jim Nigbor. He allowed a walk in the first, a single in the second and another in the fourth.
Corey Richardson led off the Appleton fifth with a single, moved up on a sac bunt and scored as a grounder went thru the legs of the Lakemen shortstop.
Yeska came on in relief to start the sixth and retired the Legends in order. Richardson also led off the seventh with a double and the next man grounded out with him moving to third. Yeska got a key strikeout and groundout to end the game with the tying run stranded.
Nigbor was credited with the win and Yeska garnered the save.
• All Lakemen players and concession workers have Jackpot Raffle tickets for sale. The drawing will be held Friday, July 22, as the team will give away $2,000 to 20 lucky winners. The winning numbers will collect the low amount of $25 or the peak amount of $500, with many winners in between. The catch is there are only 300 tickets sold. They cost $10 each, but do go fast, so it is advised to see a Lakemen and purchase tickets long before the July 22 because once they are sold out, that’s it.
• Former Lakemen players are hopefully loosening up their arms and getting some batting practice, as they will take the field at noon Sunday, July 17, before the team’s regular scheduled game that day with the Manawa Spurs. All former Lakemen players are encouraged to attend an participate in this fun, hour-long intrasquad game.
• The Lakemen (as well as other teams in the South-Central) are a bit beat up physically. The Lakemen have lost starting shortstop Andy Wanty and part-time starter Nate Nelson with shoulder injuries. “Both are waiting for MRIs to reveal their length of absence, but it does hurt,” team manager Dave Peterson said. “What helps is our depth, as other players get their chance to step up and deliver. Other Lakemen have small hurts or have missed games due to vacations and other matters. With the tough nonleague schedule as well as a very competitive South-Central, the team is doing well and keeping its head above water.”
• The team’s other promotion is also getting near, as Fan Appreciation Night is set for Wednesday, July 27, as Waupaca hosts Little Falls. More on that in later issues.
Today (Thursday, July 7), at Menasha Macs, 7:15 p.m.; Friday, July 8, vs. Marshfield Chaparrals, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 10, vs. New London, 1:30 p.m.; Wednesday, July 13, vs. Clintonville, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, July 15, vs. Tigerton, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 17, Old-Timers Game, noon, vs. Manawa, 1:30 p.m.