The Lakemen won two pitching duels last week.
Although Waupaca scored only three runs each game, they held their opponent to two and zero runs respectively.
On Friday, June 14, the Hortonville Stars were in town for the nonconference matchup. The Stars play in the Dairyland League.
Jeff Riddle started on the mound for the Lakemen and went three innings.
He allowed only a single in the first inning. He struck out four batters and made a diving stop of a hot groundball headed up the middle in the third.
He left the mound with the score tied at zero.
The Lakemen also had a tough time getting any hits through the quick Stars’ defense. Only Dean Nelson reached with a single in the second inning. Seth Deuman came on in relief of Riddle in the fourth and escaped without a run in that inning although he, too, gave up a one-out hit.
Riddle led off the bottom of the fourth with a bunt single.
One out later, David Yeska walked. But the Lakemen would not score as the second baseman ended the inning with a running catch of a short pop up off the bat of Nelson.
Hortonville scored one run in the fifth off Deuman.
The Stars sent seven men to the plate and had two hits, a walk and a Lakemen error before the inning ended with three players left stranded. The Lakemen went out in order in their fifth and so trailed 1-0 entering the sixth.
Deuman again gave up two leadoff hits in the sixth. But a strikeout and two groundouts prevented any scoring.
The Lakemen struck quickly in their sixth. After an out, Riddle doubled off the fence in left center.
He was immediately driven in on a sharp single by Luke Behm.
A Yeska single moved Behm to third, and he scored the lead run as Travis Holat put down a perfect squeeze bunt.
The Lakemen led 2-1 but the leadoff batter in the top of the seventh blasted a homerun off Deuman and the game was tied.
Deuman got the next three outs with the help of a catch in left by Wes Austin.
Facing the possiblily of extra innings, Eric Brehmer walked with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
Austin then bounced one to short whose throw to second was off line for an error with Brehmer reaching third.
With the infield playing up, Riddle smashed a grounder that easily went into the hole at short for the walk off 3-2 win.
On the game, the Lakemen had only six hits (with Riddle getting three). The Stars had seven hits.
Each team committed only one error.
Seven Stars struck out while none from the Lakemen. The Lakemen got three walks and a hit batter while the Stars had only one walk.
Control continues to be a positive for the Lakemen staff as a whole.
Deuman picked up his first career pitching victory.
On Sunday, June 17, the Lakemen returned to division play as Manawa was in town.
Behind the pitching of Jason Steinbach, the Spurs gave the Lakemen all they could handle.
However, Lakemen starter Yeska was up to the task and then some as he (with reliever Jim Nighbor) combined to throw a shutout.
The defenses were a little shakier than on Friday. This time, each committed three errors. Fortunately for the Lakemen, they were not costly.
The first Lakemen run came in the third when Josh Peterson’s leadoff groundball was booted by the first baseman.
Deuman grounded into a fielders’ choice. Kyle Douglas flew out, but Austin kept the inning alive with a bunt single.
Yeska then plated Deuman with a line single to left center.
The Lakemen got through the fourth unscathed although a leadoff runner via an error and subsequent one-out single put two on.
Yeska got Corey Sullivan to bounce one back to the mound. He grabbed it and threw to Behm at third for the forceout. Behm in turn fired across the diamond just in time to complete the unusual 1-5-3 double play.
The Lakemen got their first two on in the fourth as Goggins reached on a bad hop single and Rocky Mondello on an error.
A sacrifice bunt by Holat moved them into scoring position. However, a pop out and ground out and the inning was over.
Both teams missed moderate chances in the middle innings with the closest chance being Austin’s drive to the fence in left center in the seventh with Douglas on first after being hit by a pitch.
Leftfielder David Passehl caught the ball running at top speed and only about a step from the fence.
In the top of the eighth, Nighbor relieved a tiring Yeska. He put Manawa down in order.
In the bottom of the eighth, Yeska led off with his second hit of the game.
Behm followed with a drive off the top of the fence in right for a double putting two players in scoring position.
Steinbach got Goggins on strikes, but Mondello came through with a line single to right center that plated both runners for a 3-0 lead.
Reliever Casey Rierson walked his first batter but got two fly outs to end the inning.
Only one Spur reached base in the ninth on an error by Goggins at short, but Nighbor got a pop out to Holat in short right and a grounder to Holat right on the second base bag that ended the game.
The Spurs had only four hits and one runner via being hit by a pitch. They struck out eight times against the pair of Lakemen hurlers.
The Lakemen managed seven hits with only Yeska getting more than one. Behm and Douglas added doubles, but Kyle ended up not advancing past second even though he led off the inning.
The Lakemen stranded eight and the Spurs seven.
On Wednesday, June 19, the Lakemen were at Tigerton.
They will host Marion at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 21.
Then Sunday, June 23, the second-place Rosholt Renegades come to town for a 1:30 p.m. game. The Lakemen just beat Rosholt 9-5 two weeks ago and expect them to come looking for payback.
Also, this past Sunday, the Lakemen held a Sausage Race between the fifth and sixth innings.
Four contestants, two each from the Wheelhouse and Niemuth’s Steak and Chop Shop, were decked out in appropriate costumes. with the winner of this inaugural event being Niemuth’s “Pototo Salad,” who happened to be the only female entry. They did promise to have a rematch this coming Sunday.