Clintonville remains the grand champion
By Scott Bellile
More than 1,000 spectators packed Don Jirschele Stadium and witnessed the Clintonville A’s win their 14th Badger Amateur Baseball Association Grand Championship on Sunday, Sept. 6.
The Clintonville A’s finished the summer with a 15-2 season record after achieving a 4-0 victory over the Elderon Whiskey Jacks Sunday. The Whiskey Jacks went 12-4.
“We just played fundamentally sound baseball,” the A’s winning pitcher Patrick VanDaalwyk said.
“It was awesome. It was really fun. It was a heck of a ride.”
In the second inning Clintonville took a 2-0 lead thanks to some wildness by Elderon starter Rick Boda. Clintonville’s Dean Muthig opened the frame with a walk, and Jansen VanDaalwyk reached on an error. Jesse Wiley then flew out to right and Jared Westphal popped to short. Pat VanDaalwyk then singled to load the bases and Parker Mendl and Garrick Morgan drew consecutive walks as the A’s scored twice.
The A’s added a run in the fourth when Wiley singled to open the frame and later scored on Morgan’s fielder’s choice.
Clintonville’s final run came in the fifth as Nick Hogen singled and stole second. He moved to third on an error and scored on Muthig’s sac fly to center.
Elderon threatened the A’s in the first when Matt Meronk banged a two-out double, but the threat ended with a ground out to second by Brandon Groshek.
In the third inning the Whiskey Jacks had runners on first and second with two outs, but Matt Meronk fanned to end the frame. Elderon had only two runners reach base the rest of the way.
Patrick VanDaalwyk was the game’s MVP. He allowed just four hits, fanned seven and walked only two in a complete game, 110-pitch performance.
“He pitched unbelieveable,” A’s coach John Fietsch said. “He’s well deserving of that MVP he earned.”
“I just felt really fortunate enough to put the ball where I wanted to put it,” Patrick VanDaalwyk said.
Elderon’s Rick Boda took the loss. He worked five innings, allowing four runs on five hits. He fanned one and walked two. Reliever Alex Krumins pitched three innings, allowing one hit while striking out four and walking three.
Clintonville had six hits in the contest while Elderon totaled four hits.
A’s player Nick Hogen said he noticed the Whiskey Jacks lose intensity in the sixth inning. He credited Patrick VanDaalwyk’s pitching and the A’s strong defense.
Fietsch used the eighth inning to let bat two non-starters who have been part of the A’s since the 1980s, Mike Sasse and Scott Schoenike.
“The ovation that the crowd gave them was pretty sweet,” Fietsch said.
Prior to Sunday’s 2 p.m. start, a moment of silence was observed for Wayne “Swede” Waukau, 1993 title game MVP who died that morning. Then April Dunlavy performed a vocal and ukulele rendition of the national anthem. Dick Koeppen and granddaughter Bella threw the opening pitches to celebrate the Koeppens’ donation of a new scoreboard to Don Jirschele Stadium.
BABA secretary/treasurer Gordon Boldig contributed to this article.