The Waupaca Lakemen continued their winning ways this past week, although it was just a two-game stretch.
There was only one mid-week game because of three weddings in the Lakemen “family” last weekend for Mike Koronkiewicz, Jim Nigbor and Dave Peterson’s daughter Nancy.
In any case, the Lakemen showed up with just enough players and just enough effort to get a pair of close wins, a 3-1 win June 24 over Rosholt and a 5-1 win June 20 over Clintonville.
Waupaca 3, Rosholt 1
WAUPACA – Waupaca opened the second half of the BABA South-Central Division schedule with a win over the Renegades.
Waupaca improved to 4-2 in division play with the win and currently share first place with Plover.
It took 10 innings before the Lakemen pulled out the win over Rosholt earlier in the season. The rematch could have gone extra frames as well, but Waupaca capitalized on the lone Rosholt error of the game.
Lakemen starter Jeff Riddle pitched well until the heat caused him to fade after seven innings. He gave up an infield hit in the first and no other hit through five innings. Only a walk in the second kept him from going three-up, three-down each time.
He was helped in the fifth when shortstop Tyler Goggins ranged into the hole and somehow got a long throw to first just in time to nip the runner. It also helped that the runner tweaked his hamstring on the way, but nonetheless it was still a great play to see.
Lakemen bats although not silent were still having a hard time bunching hits. Waupaca managed nine hits, but only scored in the two innings when they managed more than one hit.
There were a couple of times that the leadoff batter reached and was sacrificed to second, but the run-scoring hit just never came.
The Lakemen did send eight men to the plate in the fourth, but scored only two runs and left the bases loaded. Cam Nicewander singled to center field and Andy Wanty blooped a single. Wes Austin’s groundball then went through the legs of the shortstop and the first run of the game scored. Riddle then dropped a single into very short right field that was just enough to allow Wanty to slide into home plate with run No. 2.
Waupaca added another run in the fifth. Nicewander ripped a double into the left field corner. Courtesy runner Ethan Dayton moved to third on a wild pitch and scored easily as David Yeska ripped a smash past the second baseman that give the Lakemen a seemingly safe 3-0 lead.
Dave Rogers led off Rosholt’s half of the seventh inning with his team’s second hit of the day. He was eventually forced out at second on a groundball and that runner reached second on a passed ball. He then broke for third as Riddle stretched. Riddle stepped off and threw to third base, but Wanty let the throw get away and into foul territory as the runner scored without a throw.
Braden Kaminske relieved Riddle to start the eighth inning. He got the first two batters easily, but a double, walk and infield error loaded the bases. He then got the dangerous Rogers on a line drive, but directly at left fielder Austin for the out.
Rosholt led off the ninth inning with a bloop single. After a strikeout, the next batter hit a fly ball to right field that Jason Wanty lost in the bright sun as the ball dropped to the ground. Fortunately for the Lakemen, the runner on first thought it was going to be an easy catch and stayed near the bag. As soon as the ball hit the ground, Wanty picked it up and fired to second to get a force out.
The last batter of the game flied to center and when the ball settled into Eric Brehmer’s glove after he too fought the glare for a bit, the Lakemen had the 3-1 win secured.
Riddle was credited with the win and Kaminske the save as they struck out seven batters and combined on a six-hitter, with Aaron Dobbe getting three of those hits. Nicewander and Yeska led the Lakemen with two of the team’s nine hits.
Waupaca 5, Clintonville 1
CLINTONVILLE – The Lakemen traveled to Clintonville to visit the A’s on a night that was threatened with heavy rain.
Because the game was well-played and well-pitched on both sides, it concluded about five minutes before the rain arrived.
Neither team scored in the first two innings off of starters Yeska and Clintonville’s Justin Thebo. The Lakemen struck quickly in the third, as Riddle and Luke Behm doubled.
Yeska went on to scatter five hits over five innings. He allowed two hits in the first and was helped by Austin in left field, who made a diving catch of a line drive with a runner on third that was then unable to tag up and score.
Yeska handed the ball to Nigbor in the sixth, while Thebo continued in the game and ended up going the distance.
Brehmer led off the Lakemen half of the sixth inning with a walk. The right fielder then misplayed Andy Wanty’s fly ball and the Lakemen had two on. Riddle laid down a sac bunt and Nigbor came through with a single to center to drive in a pair and give his team a little breathing room. The Lakemen added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh, as Dayton and Riddle had RBIs.
Nigbor pitched a perfect sixth before giving up three consecutive singles in the seventh that accounted for the lone A’s run.
Behm, with two doubles, was the only Lakemen batter with more than one hit. Cody Knapp and Corey Smith led Clintonville with two hits each. The Lakemen improved to 11-3 overall with the win.
• Jackpot Raffle tickets are in the process of being printed and will hopefully be available for sale by the second week of July. The drawing date is probably going to be Friday, July 27, as the Lakemen host Marshfield.
• Fan Appreciation Night is also scheduled for Wednesday, July 25, as the Lakemen host Little Falls. Watch for more information in the next couple of weeks.
• Game action continues this week as the Lakemen headed to Appleton June 27 to take on the Legends. Waupaca will also host Menasha at 7:30 tonight (Thursday, June 28). The Macs have one of the area’s best offenses that features the brother of major leaguer Eric Hinske. Waupaca will return to BABA South-Central action at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 1, by hosting Scandinavia.