An 8-4 win over Lanark, coupled with Plover’s 13-3 loss to Manawa and New London’s 4-2 loss to Scandinavia, has the Waupaca Lakemen on top of the BABA South-Central Division standings with one regular-season game remaining.
However, the Lakemen will host second-place Plover at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5. If Plover wins, they would tie the Lakemen for first place in the final standings. The bad thing for the Lakemen is that in event of a tie, the league goes to a tie-breaker to see who gets first place as far as playoffs go.
Because Plover would have beaten the Lakemen twice, they would win the tie-breaker and host any playoff games in the South-Central. Even with a loss, the Lakemen would secure second place and host a first-round playoff game Sunday, Aug. 12.
Waupaca 8, Lanark 4
LANARK – Waupaca’s Jason Wanty led off the game with a walk off of Lanark starter Jeremy Christensen. Luke Behm singled and Braden Kaminske followed with a sac fly. Rocky Mondello then looped a double into left center field that gave the Lakemen a 2-0 lead.
Tyler Goggins accounted for an additional run in the second after his long fly ball bounced off the foul pole on the left field line for a solo home run and a 3-0 Lakemen lead.
Gram Weed led off Lanark’s half of the second with a walk and Clay Wanty drove him in with a line drive double to the gap in right center field. Jordan Wilkensen then laid down a sac bunt fielded by Kaminske, but his throw was high and down the right field line as Wanty scored. Kaminske got out of the inning without more damage by getting three groundballs. One of those resulted in Wilkensen being thrown out at the plate. Nobody scored in the third, so the game went to the fourth with the Lakemen up 3-2.
David Yeska singled with one out and Andy Wanty hit a single to right field on a hit-and-run play with Yeska reaching third. After a strikeout, Wanty and Yeska executed a perfect first-and-third double steal, with Yeska sliding in head first to the plate to just beat the return throw.
Wes Austin and Behm reached on hits in the fifth and Kaminske walked to load the bases. Mondello grounded out with Austin scoring on the play, while Behm and courtesy runner Seth Deuman scored later in the inning on wild pitches to give the Lakemen a 7-2 lead.
It seems that the bigger the lead, the tougher it is for Kaminske to bear down. Todd Suhs and Jake Carriveau singled to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Cal Krusick then lined a triple over the head of Eric Brehmer in center field, but Krusick would never score, as a bouncer to the pitcher, a popup to third and a groundout to second ended the inning.
The last run of the game came in the Lakemen seventh, as Kaminske walked. After a groundout moved Deuman to second, he scored easily on Cam Nicewander’s line single to left. Yeska would add a single in the inning, but no more runs scored.
Both teams went down in order over the final two innings. Reliever Jim Nighbor pitched both frames for the Lakemen to get the save, while Justin Christensen relieved brother Jeremy for Lanark.
The Lakemen outhit the Lions 12-5. Yeska led the way with for Waupaca, while Behm and Nicewander added two each. No one for Lanark had more than one hit.
Waupaca 1, Little Falls 0
WAUPACA – The crowd that showed up for Fan Appreciation Night July 25 got to see some extra baseball, as Austin accounted for the game’s only run with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Starting pitchers Yeska and Little Falls’ and Graham Barden matched zeroes for eight full innings and gave up only five hits. Yeska walked three batters and struck out 10, while Barden walked one and finished with three strikeouts. Waupaca left four runners stranded in scoring position. Little Falls left only one in scoring position, but had a runner thrown out at the plate after he rounded third base too far on an infield hit in the second.
Nighbor pitched the ninth for the Lakemen and had a runner reach second base after an error and passed ball. He got out of the inning with a fly out and strikeout. He would then get credit for the win, as the Lakemen scored off reliever Jerry Mork in the bottom of the inning. Andy Wanty led off with a line drive single and reached second just ahead of a throw for a force out on a Nicewander groundball.
Goggins then tried to sac bunt, but the ball was bobbled for an error. With the bases loaded and no outs, Austin ended the night with a line drive single to center and the Lakemen walked off with a win in their final at-bat. The only hitters in the game with more than one hit were Jason Wanty with three and Little Falls’ Jeremy Bauer with two.
Several fans won raffle prizes donated by area businesses.
Marshfield 10, Waupaca 4
WAUPACA – The Chaparrals defeated the Lakemen for the second time this season.
Andy Wanty, Behm and Goggins singled in the second to make it 1-0. Jason Wanty added back-to-back hits in the third and another run scored later on a groundout to give the Lakemen a 3-0 lead.
Behm got the start on the mound, but ran out of gas in the fourth. The leadoff man reached on an error and the next hitter lined a home run over the left field fence. A walk, hit, error and passed ball later in the inning allowed Marshfield to take a 4-3 lead. The Chaparrals added two runs in the fifth after reliever Dean Nelson hurt his pitching shoulder as he allowed a hit and walk before he had to take himself out of the game.
Brehmer was called in to relieve. He hit a batter and give up an RBI single before he finally got the third out on the only Marshfield strikeout of the night. Brehmer pitched the sixth inning, but Marshfield came up with three more runs on a walk, error and three hits,
The Lakemen scored a token run in the seventh. Jason Wanty led off by getting hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a bases-loaded walk to Behm.
The loss dropped Waupaca’s overall record to 20-7. Behm and Austin led the nine-hit attack with three and two hits, respectively. Marshfield had eight hits, but their cleanup hitter had four RBIs.
Waupaca played at Hortonville Aug. 1 and will host the Appleton Legends at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, before concluding the regular season by hosting Plover at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5.
The top four teams in each division will enter postseason play Sunday, Aug. 12. The No. 4 seed will travel to the No. 1 seed, while No. 2 hosts No. 3 in 1:30 p.m.
The 16 playoff teams will be cut to eight and the four BABA divisions- South-Central, West, East and North – will have division championship games Sunday, Aug. 19. Those four winners will play Sunday, Aug. 26, in the semifinals, with the Grand Championship game scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 2.
• The Lakemen held their annual Jackpot Raffle drawing after the Marshfield game.
Winners include Vi Wanty, Pamela Nighbor, Luke Behm, Brandon McPeak, Wes Zube, Paul Miller, Patti Peterson, Ken Dayton, Michael Solberg and Scott Ryan, $25; Jim Hamm, Jeff Berrens Sr., Joe Miller, Misty Peterson and Joel Olson, $50; Sonja Nelson, $100; Dennis Williams, $200; Tom “Bomber” Thompson, $300; Bella Mondello, $400; and Romie Jungers, $500.
Lakemen fans are reminded to get their tickets as early as possible next year after printing, as several people wanted to buy them the night of the drawing, but all tickets had been sold.