Something out of the ordinary always seems to happen each time Waupaca and Scandinavia’s BABA baseball teams match up.
July 7 was no exception, as the Lakemen improved to 10-0 in South-Central Division play with an 8-6 win over the Vikings at Lakemen Field.
The Lakemen also split a pair of nonleague games, falling to Marshfield 7-1 July 5 and picking up a 3-1 win July 3 over Omro.
Waupaca 8, Scandinavia 6
The Lakemen maintained their stranglehold on the South-Central, while the Vikings have big games ahead as they strive for playoff position. Four teams – Weymont, New London, Rosholt and Plover – will enter play this weekend with 6-4 records, while Scandinavia is at 4-6.
Each team had one base runner in the opening inning. Lakemen starter David Yeska put the Vikings down in order in the second and Waupaca came up with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Tyler Goggins reached on a one-out single, but was forced out at second on Jake Reedy’s groundball. Viking starter R.J. Rosenthal then walked Travis Holat and Josh Peterson to load the bases and Wes Austin came through with a two-run single. Yeska followed with a hit before Luke Behm’s towering drive was caught in deep center field.
Scandinavia got a leadoff single from Mike Griffin in the third. He was sac bunted to second and scored easily on Rosenthal’s long double over center fielder Eric Brehmer’s head. Yeska got Willie Rosenthal on a liner to Behm at third base to end the inning. The Lakemen left two runners stranded in the third and the game went to the fourth with Waupaca up 2-1.
Jason Berrens led off the Viking fourth with a booming double. Hans Hartleben followed in similar fashion and Berrens scored when the relay throw was misplayed. Joe Marx singled to put runners at the corners and Zach Gauerke grounded to Behm at third for the first out. Griffin’s groundout plated Hartleben and the Vikings had a 3-2 lead.
Austin singled with one out for the Lakemen and stole second, but was left stranded as Yeska flied out and Behm grounded out.
The Vikings then added to their lead with two more runs in the fifth. Willie Doll singled, R.J. Rosenthal walked and Willie Rosenthal plated both with a double down the right field line. Lakemen fans were happy when Yeska got two groundouts and a strikeout to leave Rosenthal stranded, but the Vikings did have a 5-2 lead.
Needing some momentum, the Lakemen got it quickly in their half of the fifth, as Rocky Mondello singled and Jake Reedy, playing in his first league game, blasted a two-run home run to left center and the Lakemen were back in the game at 5-4.
Jim Nighbor came on in relief and kept the momentum in the Lakemen corner, as he retired the Vikings in order. Austin led off the sixth with a hit and scored on Nighbor’s double to left center field. Pinch runner Ethan Dayton was trapped off second on Behm’s grounder after a nice stab by Rosenthal on the mound. Behm was thrown out trying to steal, but the Lakemen still took the lead as Jeff Riddle launched a drive that cleared the fence in deep left center for a solo home run.
Nighbor got out of the seventh despite a leadoff single and stolen base by Doll. Waupaca scored another run after two were out in the seventh. Travis Holat looped a single to right, stole second and moved to third when the throw went into center. Andy Wanty was plunked by a pitch, but Austin crossed everybody by bunting for a single with Holat easily scoring on the play.
Hartleben opened the eighth with a long home run off of Nighbor to cut Waupaca’s lead to 7-6.
Behm led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and scored on Reedy’s double. Nighbor got three outs in order in the ninth and notched the win.
Austin had four of Waupaca’s 14 hits, while Reedy added two. The Lakemen managed 6 walks and a hit batter off of Rosenthal and Gauerke while striking out only three times. Doll had three of Scandinavia’s 10 hits and Hartleben added two.
Marshfield 7, Waupaca 1
The Chaparrals beat the Lakemen for the second time in 10 days as they brought their usual good defense, speed and solid pitching to Lakemen Field.
The same pitcher who held the Lakemen to six hits in eight innings in Marshfield held them to four.
Waupaca’s run came in the fifth, as Wanty and Brehmer led off with singles and Tyler Dayton was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A run scored on Austin’s groundout before Behm and Reedy struck out.
Behm got the start on the mound and gave up a hit and walk in the sixth before being relieved by Austin. After a sac bunt, Dayton could not locate a fly ball to left field and it dropped, allowing two runs to score.
Behm was charged with all seven runs, although only four were earned. Marshfield outhit the Lakemen 10-4.
Waupaca 3, Omro 1
Wanty took the mound for the first time in a couple of years and scattered six hits and an earned run over six innings.
That run came in the first inning, as Omro had three consecutive one-out hits.
Holat threw out a runner at the plate from left field. Seth Deuman pitched the seventh to pick up the save despite giving up two hits and a walk to load the bases before getting the last out on a diving catch in right field by Jason Wanty that preserved the win.
Waupaca scored twice in the first, as Austin reached on an error and Jason Wanty walked and Holat and Ethan Dayton had RBI singles.
The game then went quickly, as nobody scored again until the Lakemen did with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Brehmer singled down the left field line and Reedy reached on an infield tapper. Austin came up with an RBI single that provided the insurance run.
Lakemen on deck
• Waupaca will host New London at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 14. The Lakemen headed to Clintonville July 10 and will be in Menasha for a 7:30 p.m. game today (Thursday, July 11). After New London, the Lakemen will host Appleton Wednesday, July 17, and Freedom Friday, July 19, with both games set for 7:30 p.m.
• July 20-21 is designated as Old Timers’ Weekend. Any and all former Lakemen are invited to play golf Saturday, July 20, but, more importantly, to participate in Old Timers’ Day July 21. That day consists of a brief (noon to 1 p.m.) intrasquad game between all former Lakemen. They will divide into teams and give everybody a chance to see what they can still do whether they are now nearly 30 or 80 years old. The regular division game will still be played that day at its usual time of 1:30 p.m. That game, against Weymont, is the last regular season Sunday game at home for the Lakemen, as they will finish with road games at Manawa and Plover.
However there are still the playoffs, as well as several home night games, including Fan Appreciation Night and Jackpot Raffle Night, during the last couple weeks of July.
• The sausage races are still taking place on Sunday games. Miss Potato Salad won for the second time this past week, edging out Pepperoni Slice by a step.
• The Lakemen want to make fans aware that they can be followed by “liking” them on Facebook. A team fan has started that idea.