The Waupaca Lakemen baseball team faced three tough opponents last week.
Waupaca fell out of first place in the BABA South-Central Division July 1 with an 8-2 home loss to Scandinavia. The team also fell the Appleton Legends 8-2 June 27 and picked up a 5-3 win the following day over the Menasha Macs.
Scandinavia 8, Waupaca 2
WAUPACA – The tied for first Lakemen took on the last-place Vikings. With the parity in the South-Central this year, it maybe should not have been a big surprise that the Vikings walked off with a solid 8-2 win.
R.J. Rosenthal greeted Lakemen starter Jim Nigbor with a leadoff single, but Nigbor retired the next six men in order to get through the second inning.
The Lakemen missed a good opportunity in their half of the first, as Nigbor singled with one out. Braden Kaminske dumped a single into short center, but Rocky Mondello struck out to end it.
The Lakemen struck quickly off of Rosenthal in the second. Andy Wanty worked him for a walk and Wes Austin drove a pitch far over the left center field fence to give the Lakemen a 2-0 lead. However, only two other Lakemen would even reach second base the rest of the game.
Dave Candra opened the Viking half of the second with a single and he went to second on Zach Gauerke’s sacrifice bunt. Willie Rosenthal came up with a clean two-out single to drive in Candra and cut the margin to 2-1, but Austin made a great play on a bouncer up the middle to keep the Lakemen in the lead.
Both teams threatened in the fourth, but no one scored. Joe Marx singled for Scandinavia and back-to-back Lakemen errors loaded the bases with two outs before Nigbor struck out Gauerke.
The Lakemen got singles from Wanty and Austin with one out before Dean Nelson bounced into a forceout and Jason Wanty flied to center field.
Scandinavia’s bats came to life in the fifth with consecutive hits. A couple were broken bat hits, while the others were solid and all counted. The big blow came on Hans Hartleben’s long grand slam, the fifth hit in the inning. Earlier hits came from Willie Rosenthal, Jason Berrens, Jesse Dickert and Marx.
Chris Yenter later singled and scored on R.J. Rosenthal’s single. Another runner was caught trying to advance and thrown out on the play, but the Vikings had a 7-2 lead.
Kaminske relieved Nigbor in the sixth. Willie Rosenthal who tapped him for a double to right center. With two outs and Rosenthal at third, a batter struck out, but the ball got away from the catcher. The throw to first was high for an error and Rosenthal scored the game’s final run.
Rosenthal gave up seven hits, one walk and two earned runs in seven innings on the mound, while Gauerke retired all six men he faced with four groundouts and two strikeouts.
Jason Wanty and Austin each had two hits to lead Waupaca. The Rosenthals led the Vikings with three hits each, while Marx chipped in a pair. The Vikings had only one error, while the Lakemen committed four.
Waupaca 5, Menasha 3
WAUPACA – The Lakemen got right back into action the night after the game with the Legends by hosting the Macs.
David Yeska pitched a complete game and kept the powerful team off-balance with a great mix of speeds (mostly slow and curves) and good location. He walked only one batter over seven innings. He did give up two runs on three hits in the third, but that was half of the Macs’ hits for the night.
Trailing 2-0, the Lakemen put on possibly their best offensive inning of the year, scoring five times on five hits. Austin started it with a single and Yeska followed with a double. Ethan Dayton and Mondello grounded out, but each drove in a run. Luke Behm and Kaminske singled in front of a Cam Nicewander two-run double. Nicewander later broke for third on a short wild pitch. He made it, with the catcher’s throw being low and bouncing away as Nicewander raced home with run No. 5.
The Macs cut the lead to 5-3 in the fourth on a pair of two-out singles. With a runner at third, a passed ball left the door open for the easy tally. However, Yeska would get 10 of the remaining 11 batters in the game. Only one hitter reached and that was on an error. Yeska finished with six strikeouts, while Nicewander was 3×3 at the plate. No other Lakemen had more than one hit.
Appleton 8, Waupaca 2
APPLETON – The Legends played a good game against the Lakemen and despite using five different pitchers in the seven-inning game, managed to keep the Lakemen from ever getting a lead.
Austin, the second batter in the game, doubled to deep left center, but never advanced further. The Legends batted around the order in the bottom of the first and scored four runs on only two hits. Lakemen starter Will Marringa had control problems. He walked the leadoff man and when the next man bunted, Marringa scooped it up, but threw wildly to second for an error. He walked the next man to load the bases. Two hits and a hit batter were sandwiched around two strikeouts and a groundout to account for the 4-0 lead.
Nicewander reached on an error to lead off the second. Marringa and Eric Brehmer singled to load the bases with two outs. Jason Wanty then worked a walk to force in a run. Austin hit a long foul to left field. Marringa started down the line at third hoping to score if the ball was fair, but instead stepped in a hole and turned his ankle and had to be removed from the game.
Austin went on to strike out in the at-bat. Marringa’s injury meant the Lakemen had to go to Behm, who was pitching in only his second game of the season. He went four innings, allowing five hits, four runs and a walk while hitting a batter to add to the problems.
Waupaca scored a run in the seventh, as Nicewander’s fly ball drove in Austin.
The Lakemen hope to have Jackpot Raffle tickets available this weekend.
There are only 300 being sold for $10 each. The first prize of $500 is followed by a $400, $300, $200 and $100 winner. There will also be five $50 winners and 10 $25 winners.
Fans should get their tickets early, as they don’t tend to last until the drawing, which this year will be after the July 27 night game with Marshfield. However, ticket holders do not have to be present to win.
All Lakemen players and the concession stand will have tickets available.
Home games this week include 7:30 tonight (Thursday, July 5) vs. Omro; 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 6, vs. Clintonville; and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 8, vs. New London. The Merchants are currently in third place in the South-Central standings, just behind the Lakemen.