It wasn’t exactly a cakewalk, but the Waupaca Lakemen picked up a pair of wins and are now tied for first place in the BABA South-Central Division with two league games remaining.
The Lakemen handed Weymont an 11-9 loss July 22 in a South-Central rematch and also picked up a 5-4 win over Tigerton.
Waupaca 11, Weymont 9
WAUPACA – The game with the White Bass could be cut in halves time-wise, as the first three innings lasted as long as the last six.
Lakemen starter Braden Kaminske and Weymont starter Eric Hart had very rough outings, as the teams combined for seven walks, three hit batters, 12 hits, five errors and 19 runs in the first three innings alone.
Weymont scored first, as Kyle Bosquez hit the game’s first pitch for a single. The next man grounded to shortstop Ethan Dayton on what looked like a potential double play ball, but Dayton bobbled it for one error and then threw wildly to first for a second error. Robbie Struck then grounded out to make it 1-0.
That was nothing, as the Lakemen came to bat and all nine hitters reached base before an out was recorded. Hart walked Jason Wanty and Cam Nicewander singled for the inning’s only hit. Luke Behm walked to load the bases and Kaminske was hit by a pitch, while Rocky Mondello and David Yeska walked.
With the score now 3-1 and nobody out, Bosquez came on in relief. Andy Wanty’s groundball was misplayed and all were safe. Wes Austin and Dayton walked as the Lakemen had batted through the order. Bosquez was victimized with another error before he got two groundouts and a strikeout to end the inning with the Lakemen up 9-1.
Weymont started the second with hits from Hart, Eric Keenan and Cole Bosquez. Kaminske then got a strikeout, but Kyle Bosquez drove in a pair of runs with a single. Josh Oehlke drove in another run and Struck grounded out with the fourth run of the inning to cut the lead to 9-5.
The Lakemen went down in order in the second. After Kaminske hit the first two batters in the third and walked the third batter, Jim Nighbor was called upon to relieve. Cole Bosquez dropped a two-run single and Weymont then worked a first/third steal. Nighbor picked a runner off at first but in the rundown, another run scored to tie the game at 9-9.
Dayton singled with one out in the Lakemen third. After an error and passed ball, he scored the go-ahead run on Jason Wanty’s sacrifice fly. That run would be the last scoring for quite a while, as Nighbor settled into a great groove and recorded 10 straight outs before Dan Gorchals singled with one out in the seventh. The next two batters made quick outs and the 10-9 lead stood.
Yeska led off the Lakemen seventh with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Will Marringa. Andy Wanty’s sac bunt was misplayed and the Lakemen had two on. A misplayed pickoff attempt let Marringa reach third and he later scored on Austin’s sac fly to left.
The White Bass got a two-out single from Kyle Bosquez in the eighth, but that would be their last hit of the day. Nighbor was credited with his fourth win of the year, while Hart took the loss.
Yeska was the only Lakemen with multiple hits, as he was 2×3. Jason Wanty and Austin had two RBIs each. Kyle Bosquez had a 4×5 day for Weymont, while Cole and Oehlke had two each. Weymont outhit the Lakemen 11-7. The Lakemen left seven runners stranded, while Weymont left five on the bags.
The win, coupled with Plover’s loss to New London, left the Lakemen tied with Plover for first with New London only one game back. All three teams have locked up a spot in the upcoming playoffs, with the final fourth spot still up for grabs.
Waupaca 5, Tigerton 4
TIGERTON – The game at Tigerton pitted the two teams that played each other in the last two BABA Grand Championship games.
Tigerton started their ace pitcher of the past two years and he got the Lakemen in order over the first two innings. Meanwhile, Yeska gave up a solo home run on the first pitch he threw in the bottom of the first. He gave up two other hits in the inning but no more runs through the second.
Andy Wanty led off the Lakemen half of the third with a double to right field and Marringa singled him to third. Jason Wanty walked to load the bases and Austin was hit by a pitch to force in the tying run.
Behm drew an RBI walk before Nicewander grounded out with a run scoring. Tyler Goggins then lofted a sac fly to plate the fourth and final run of the inning.
Tigerton added a run in the third to make it 4-2. Marringa got a one-out double in the fourth and trotted home on Jason Wanty’s sac fly.
Tigerton got another solo home run in the fifth to cut the margin and scored on three straight hits in the sixth to make it 5-4. They would have scored at least one more, but a perfect relay to the plate cut down one runner.
Marringa was called in to relieve in the sixth with two outs and the tying run on second. He walked the first man, but got a groundout to first to end that inning. After he got two outs in the seventh, he made it much too close by walking the next two men to put the tying and winning runs on base. However, he blew a third strike past the Tigers’ designated hitter to lock up the Lakemen victory and get credit for the save.
Andy Wanty and Marringa had two of Waupaca’s seven hits. Tigerton managed eight hits, with three of the four runs off of Yeska being earned. Waupaca improved to 18-6 overall with the win.
The Lakemen will host the Marshfield Chaparrals at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 27. The team will announce the Jackpot Raffle winners at about 9:30 p.m., but that depends on the speed of the game. Raffle ticket holders do not have to be present to win, but it can be fun to observe and watch to see who is lucky.
Other upcoming games are at Lanark, 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 29; at Hortonville, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1; vs. the Appleton Legends, Friday, Aug. 3 (final night game of the year: and vs. Plover, 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5 (final regular season game).
Playoffs begin Sunday, Aug. 12.