The Wauapca Lakemen played through most of the recent heat and humidity and came out of it with wins over Manawa and Freedom and a loss to Menasha.
The team is looking forward to three home games in the next week that are either important in the BABA division standings or have a big promotion attached. The South-Central Division game is set for Sunday, July 22, as the Lakemen host the Weymont White Bass at 1:30 p.m. Weymont defeated the Lakemen by 10 runs early in the season and are fighting for a playoff spot themselves.
The Little Falls Loggers will head to Lakemen Field for a 7:30 p.m. game Wednesday, July 25, for Fan Appreciation Night. Admission is free, but fans are encouraged to participate in a raffle, with tickets to cost 50 cents. Prizes from area businesses will given away throughout the entire game. At times, several prize packages will be given between each half inning.
The Marshfield Chaparrals will visit Waupaca at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 27, for Jackpot Raffle Night. Only 300 tickets are being sold at $10 each. The top prize is $500, but ticket buyers also have a chance at $400, $300, $200 and $100, $50 and $25. All tickets will be drawn at home plate immediately after the game, at about 9;30 p.m., although participants do not have to be present to win.
There are not too many tickets left to be sold, so check at the Lakemen Field concession stand or with a Lakemen player no later than Sunday’s game.
Menasha 5, Waupaca 1
MENASHA – The Lakemen upset the Macs earlier in the season, but the July 11 rematch went to Menasha.
The Macs scored in the bottom of the first off Lakemen starter Jim Nighbor. The first two batters singled before left fielder David Yeska robbed the next batter with a diving backhand catch of a long fly. However, the next man blooped a single to left to drive in the run before Nighbor got the final two outs.
The Lakemen did not get a baserunner until Ethan Dayton singled with one out in the third. Eric Brehmer and Luke Behm later drew walks that loaded the bases, but Nighbor bounced out to end the threat.
In the bottom of the third, Brehmer helped stop the Macs when he took a sure triple away from their leadoff hitter with a spectacular over-the-shoulder grab of a drive to the deepest part of center field.
The Lakemen tied the game in the fifth, as Dayton walked and Brehmer was hit by a pitch before Jason Wanty also walked to load the bases with one out. Behm’s sac fly to center tied the game.
Nighbor was victimized by his defense with two outs in the fifth, as a batter reached on an error. The next man lined to center but just in front of a diving Brehmer with the ball going the fence for an RBI triple. The Macs tacked on three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth on four straight hits, with one of the hits bouncing off the third base bag and another being an infield roller that the Lakemen could not make a play on.
The Lakemen had only two hits, with Yeska adding a single in the sixth). They walked four times while being struck out eight times. Nighbor took the loss, allowing 10 hits, no walks and striking out two.
Waupaca 3, Freedom 1
WAUPACA – The game started on time despite a heavy brief rain July 13. It was played at times with a very light rain falling until a brief delay happened in the fifth after the rain got heavier. The umpires called a halt to the game later in the top of the seventh, as there were a couple of lightning bolts in the area and safety took precedence.
Will Marringa got the start on the mound for the Lakemen and went the distance, allowing only three hits. He did walk four batters that at times put pressure on him, but he also had three strikeouts and some good defensive play.
He got the first two batters in the game before an error, walk and base hit gave the Mets what turned out to be their only run. The Mets got two hits in the second, but a line drive was turned into a double play and kept the lead at 1-0.
The Lakemen tied the game in the third, as Dayton walked, went to second on a ground out and scored on Behm’s line drive single.
The score remained tied at 1-1 going into the bottom of the fifth. Dean Nelson led off with a walk and Kyle Douglas sac bunted, but the pitcher fumbled the ball and both runners were safe. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch before Behm popped one up to the shortstop, who did not see the ball due to the lights and some foggy conditions. The ball fell into very short left field and the Lakemen had their two insurance runs, which Marringa made hold up without allowing another hit. He was again helped by a sliding catch by right fielder Jason Wanty in the sixth.
Waupaca 4, Manawa 1
MANAWA – Both teams held up quite well in the heat and humidity.
The Spurs scored in the second off of starter Braden Kaminske. Casey Reierson drew a one-out walk and B.J. Block followed with a hit. Kaminske got a strikeout, but Aaron Quinn bounced one up the middle that hit the second base bag, eluding second baseman Wes Austin and rolling into center for an RBI single. David Sell then lined out to short to stop the rally.
Meanwhile, the Lakemen had trouble hitting Spur pitcher Jason Steinbach. With one out in the third, Wanty and Austin had the first hits. Kaminske ripped a leadoff single in the fourth and was bunted to second by Rocky Mondello, but two groundouts to the first baseman quickly ended the inning.
The Lakemen sent eight men to the plate in the fifth. Tyler Goggins led off with a single down the third base line, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Douglas reached on an infield single, Wanty lined a single to right and Austin beat out a perfect bunt for a single that loaded the bases. Behm had a clean single to center that scored one run and Kaminske was plunked by a pitch to force in the lead run. Steinbach got out of the inning by striking out Mondello and Yeska.
Manawa missed out on a good chance in the fifth. After an out, Sell reached on an error at third. Donnie Sell singled, but Kaminske got a strikeout for out No. 2. He walked Steinbach to load the bases before getting Quinn on strikes. Manawa again left the bases loaded in the sixth after Kaminske walked three batters. Donnie Sell rolled out to third to end the inning.
Kaminske helped himself at the plate in the seventh. With two outs, he blasted a Steinbach offering over the fence in left to put the Lakemen up 3-1. He also helped himself defensively a couple of times. In the sixth, he fielded an excellent sac bunt and threw to Austin at first for the out. In the eighth, he caught a line drive that was just about at his head and got to him in what seemed like a millisecond.
The Lakemen scored an insurance run in the ninth off of Block. Austin led off with a double, Behm was hit by a pitch, Kaminske flew out to deep center and Mondello walked to load the bases. Marringa then bounced one to the shortstop, who threw home just in time to get Austin. However, Andy Wanty worked Block for a walk that forced in the big run. As it turned out, the run did not matter as Kaminske got the Spurs in order on three fly balls in their final at-bat.
Austin had three of Waupaca’s 12 hits, while Jason Wanty Kaminske and Goggins had two each. The Lakemen had two batters reach by getting hit with a pitch and four who walked. The Spurs did not commit an error. Manawa had the three hits, while getting five on by walks. Kaminske got six on strikes.
Both teams missed several opportunities in the game, as the Lakemen stranded 13 runners and Manawa nine. Both teams also left the bases loaded twice.