The wins keep adding up for the Waupaca Lakemen.
The Lakemen handed New London a 22-0 defeat July 20 in a rematch of BABA South-Central Division teams and also shut out Omro 4-0 July 18.
Waupaca 22, New London 0 (7 inn.)
NEW LONDON – The game at New London turned into a rout, as the Merchants just did not have the pitching available, as several of the Merchants’ players were in a softball tournament.
A trio of pitchers tried their best, but with three hit batters, 12 walks and 19 hits allowed, the Merchants were never really in the game. The Lakemen opened the scoring with four runs in the first inning. Jeff Riddle was hit by the fourth pitch of the game and Jason Wanty walked. After a pop out, Luke Behm rifled an RBI single to right field and David Yeska followed with a soft RBI single to center. Rocky Mondello beat out an infield hit with another run scoring, Travis Holat was plunked with a pitch and Josh Peterson walked to force in a run. A double play ended the inning.
Riddle and Wes Austin walked in the second before Behm hit one into the pine trees beyond the fence in right center field for a three-run home run and a 7-0 lead.
The Lakemen would not score again until the fifth, as they added four runs after a leadoff out. This time, five straight singles by Riddle, Wanty, Austin, Behm and Yeska produced the runs.
Meanwhile, Riddle pitched a solid five innings. One runner reached on Waupaca’s only error in the game in the second inning. A single by Luke Listle in the third plus the first of two hits by Jim Thorpe in the fourth were the only baserunners off Riddle. Thorpe was erased on a ground ball double play.
Waupaca cleared its bench, as eight new players entered starting in the top of the sixth. That group scored nine times in that inning alone on five hits, six walks and a hit batter. Jim Nighbor, Ben Selsing, Dean Nelson, Ethan Dayton and Andy Wanty had hits; Tyler Dayton drove in a run with a walk; and Austin drove in a run after being hit by a pitch. Andy Wanty’s single drove in two more runs as the Lakemen basically played base to base. They sent another eight men to the plate in the seventh and Selsing and Nate Nelson picked up RBIs.
Every spot in the batting order got a hit and/or RBI. Behm had four hits and drove in five runs; Yeska had three hits; and Selsing, Ethan Dayton and Andy Wanty had two each. Nighbor pitched the final two innings and allowed only one runner on Thorpe’s second single.
Waupaca 4, Omro 0
WAUPACA – The Lakemen had only 11 eligible players show up, but one of those was former pitcher Zac Peterson, who was home for a vacation from North Dakota. He hoped to pitch a couple of innings but as the game developed, ended up pitching a complete seven-inning game. He held the RiverRats to six hits, with five of those scattered over the last three innings). He got 11 ground outs and struck out seven batters.
The Lakemen had only four hits and scored their first two runs in the third inning without a hit. Peterson and Riddle led off with walks. Each runner moved up on a wild pitch and scored on ground outs.
Waupaca added a run in the fourth, as Josh Peterson led off with his second single of the game. He moved up on wild pitches and scored on Ethan Dayton’s grounder.
Behm lofted a triple to the base of the fence in right field in the fifth and scored on Jason Wanty’s ground out.
Waupaca improved to 13-7 on the season with the wins.
The Lakemen are also 10-2 in the South-Central standings, good for second place behind Plover. The next closest competitor has at least five losses, so Plover and Waupaca are guaranteed a top-two finish and an opening-round home game in the upcoming playoffs. Positions 3 and 4 are still up for grabs.
Waupaca will travel to Scandinavia Sunday, July 27, for a 1:30 p.m. rematch with the Vikings, one of the teams still in the running for the playoffs.
The Lakemen hosted Little Falls July 23 for Fan Appreciation Night and will host the Appleton Legends at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 25, a team that has already defeated the Lakemen twice this year and are coming off a recent 2-1 record in the state tournament.
The annual Jackpot Raffle drawing will be held following the game. Most – if not all – of the 300 tickets have already been sold.
“There is a possibility of one or two remaining if someone still wanted to get involved, but you would have to get to the game early to check it out,” manager Dave Peterson said. “Those who have purchased tickets do not have to be present to win, but it is fun to watch it in person to see who wins what of the 20 cash prizes that total $2,000.”
Following the Scandinavia game, the Lakemen have only two other regular-season games left. The team will host Hortonville Wednesday, July 30, and host Weymont at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3.