The BABA South-Central Division will not have an undefeated champion this season.
Waupaca handed Plover its first division loss July 6, as the Lakemen defeated the Pterodactyls 7-3 at Lakemen Field. Waupaca also picked up a 6-0 win July 3 over Hortonville.
Waupaca 7, Plover 3
Plover picked up an unearned run off of Waupaca’s Jeff Riddle in the top of the first inning, as third baseman Luke Behm made a bad throw on a grounder. John Jasenovsky followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Eric Fritz hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the game’s first run before a strikeout ended the inning.
The Lakemen had a pair of baserunners in the first, as Riddle walked and David Yeska singled, but a foul out and soft line out ended the threat.
Paul Hass led off Plover’s half of the second with a double off the top of the center field fence and moved to third on a wild pitch. With the infield playing in, Riddle got a ground out, a soft pop up and a comebacker to end the inning unscathed.
Rocky Mondello led off the Lakemen second with a walk, Josh Peterson singled and Travis Holat got a sacrifice bunt down, but the next two in the order failed to drive in a run.
Riddle got out of the third despite a walk and infield hit, but the Lakemen countered with a two-out rally. Wes Austin reached after his slow roller was thrown high to first by the pitcher and moved up on a passed ball. Behm hit a game-tying single and Mondello followed with a similar hit to give the Lakemen a 2-1 lead, with both of those runs unearned.
Riddle then sailed through the fourth, fifth and sixth with seven groundouts and two fly balls to center field. Meanwhile, the Lakemen tacked on three more in the fourth. Holat worked a leadoff walk and went to second on a Kyle Douglas bunt. Riddle and Jason Wanty walked to load the bases. Yeska hit a short fly to left field, but Holat scored as the relay throw to the plate was dropped. Austin then ripped a two-run double to the left field corner and the Lakemen had a 5-1 lead.
Plover got two hits in the seventh and the No. 9 man in the order fouled out to catcher Douglas. An infield single loaded the bases before Bill Held lined a two-run single to center field. Riddle then got the big out when Jasenovsky lined out to Wanty in right field.
The Lakemen came up with another two-out rally – again with the help of an error – in the eighth. Yeska and Austin got hits while Behm walked to load the bases. Mondello then bounced into the hole at short. The shortstop came up throwing, but overthrew the first baseman as two big insurance runs scored. Behm was cut down on that same play trying to score all the way from first, but the Lakemen now had a much more comfortable 7-3 lead.
Yeska came on to pitch the ninth and hit the first batter he faced. The next man lined out to now Riddle, who made the catch about knee high in left field. The leadoff batter lined a shot that appeared headed to left, but Austin was just tall enough to snag it out of the air and fire to first to complete the game-ending double play.
The loss was the first for Plover in league play, but the Lakemen trail by just a game with two division losses. There are four weeks left in regular-season play.
Yeska and Austin had two hits each for the Lakemen while Jasenovsky did the same for Plover. The Lakemen had the one error which led to an unearned run, while Plover’s two errors led to four runs.
Waupaca 6, Hortonville 0
HORTONVILLE – Behm scattered three hits over seven innings while striking out three and walking one.
Meanwhile, the Lakemen faced a hard-throwing (estimated in the upper 80s on the speed gun) lefty. He did strike out 13 hitters in his five innings of work, but he also walked three, hit a batter and was hurt by an error.
Riddle led off the game with a walk, stole second and scored on Austin’s single.
Riddle led of the third with a double to the right field corner and Behm drove him in. He also led off the fifth by reaching on an error, moved up on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a pair of wild pitches.
Three insurance runs scored off a reliever in the top of the seventh. Nate Nelson reached on an error, Yeska bunted for a hit and Austin singled to load the bases. Behm’s groundout plated Nelson, Douglas hit an RBI sacrifice fly and Holat drove in the final run with a single.
The Lakemen had seven hits and improved to 10-6 on the season.
Waupaca will host the Marshfield Chaparrals at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 11, before hosting Lanark at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 13, in a South-Central rematch.
Fans are reminded of two upcoming promotions. Players are now selling Jackpot Raffle tickets and tickets are also available at the Lakemen concession stand. Tickets are $10 each, but only 300 are sold.
Twenty winning tickets for $2,000 (in varying amounts) will be drawn Friday, July 25, following a game at Lakemen Field. Longtime Lakemen supporters know not to wait until the last week to purchase a ticket, as they don’t tend to be available that long. That means less than two weeks remain to check with any player or the concession stand on game day.
The team will also hold its annual Fan Appreciation Night Wednesday, July 23, during a game with the Little Falls Loggers.
Fans not only get to see a game for free, but also have the chance to purchase 50-cent raffle tickets for a chance to win one or more of about 50 prizes donated by area businesses and other supporters.
Tickets for the events are only sold that evening.