Nine Waupaca batters struck out against Lanark, but the Lakemen held on for a 4-2 BABA South-Central Division win over the Lions July 13.
Waupaca also dropped a 2-0 decision July 11 to Marshfield.
Waupaca 4, Lanark 2
Lanark lefty B.J. Mitchell scattered six hits and had nine strikeouts in a complete-game effort, but ended up taking the loss.
Waupaca picked up a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning, as Jeff Riddle led off with a high pop up into very short left that got in line with the bright sun and dropped untouched for a hit. Wes Austin walked and both runners stole a base as Luke Behm was striking out. Designated hitter Rocky Mondello bounced a ball to second baseman Jeremy Christensen, but his throw to his brother Justin at first was dropped for an error as both runners scored to give the Lakemen an early lead.
Riddle retired the Lions in order in the first three innings and recorded four strikeouts in that period. Waupaca added a run in the second, as Andy Wanty led off with a walk, Nate Nelson doubled and Kyle Douglas bounced out sharply to a drawn-in infield. A wild pitch allowed Wanty to score.
Riddle’s perfect game was ended when Rob Smaldone reached on an error leading off the fourth. He was bunted to second and Justin Christensen singled sharply to left field to put runners at the corners. Jeremy Christensen then flew out to center field to drive in Smaldone with Lanark’s first run.
The Lakemen countered with Wanty drawing another leadoff walk in the fourth. Nelson bunted him to second and Wanty scored on Riddle’s single to give the Lakemen a 4-1 lead.
They had only one hit, a single from Wanty, over the last four innings. Jim Nighbor and Travis Holat drew walks while Mondello was plunked with a pitch. Only Nighbor made it as far as third.
Lanark drew closer in the seventh, as Mitchell reached on a leadoff error, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Ron Vallery’s double to the fence in right field. Riddle got the next two outs in the inning and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and ninth frame to end the quick game. Riddle held the Lions to three hits and he struck out 10 batters. He improved to 8-2 on the mound, as he has been the pitcher of record in all but the rain-suspended game vs. Rosholt that David Yeska finished and took the victory.
Marshfield 2, Waupaca 0
Both teams seemed to have plenty of chances to put the other away in the seven-inning game. Marshfield had seven hits and three walks against Behm in four innings. Somehow, he escaped jams in every inning by stranding nine runners in that time. The Chaparrals scored one run on two hits and a sac fly in the second inning.
Nighbor pitched the final three innings. He gave up a single in the fifth and three more in the seventh, as the Chaparrals added an insurance run.
Waupaca also had runners in every inning, but never more than more hit. Behm doubled in the first with two outs, but was left stranded. Nighbor singled in the second and bunted to second, but got no further. Riddle led off the third with a hit and was bunted to second, but he did not get past third, as nobody got the ball out of the infield.
Douglas doubled in the fourth, but the next two batters made outs. A walk to Ethan Dayton and hit by Behm had two on in the fifth, but two ground ball outs prevented any advance.
A walk and error had to runners in scoring position with two outs in the sixth, but a strikeout slammed the door. Trailing by two in the last inning, Dayton led off with a walk and Austin singled. With the tying runs on base, Nighbor lined out and Wanty grounded out to end the frustrating night.
Waupaca fell to 11-7 with the loss.