Waupaca leads BABA South-Central
A 5-0 win over Scandinavia has the Waupaca Lakemen on top of the BABA South-Central Division standings.
The Lakemen improved to 8-1 in division play with the July 16 win at Lakemen Field, while the Vikings fell to 7-2. Both teams are still in the hunt for a spot in the BABA playoffs with three games remaining in the regular season.
Meanwhile, the Lakemen won the Marion Invitational with recent wins over Tigerton, Menominee and Eland.
Waupaca 5, Scandinavia 0
The game turned out to be a pitching matchup between Waupaca’s Cam Seidl and Scandinavia’s Zach Kesinski.
Seidl ended up with the win after holding the Vikings to two hits while striking out eight batters.
Neither team scored in the first two innings, although the Lakemen had the better chance. After the Vikings went down in order in the first, leadoff hitter Johnny Popham reached on a throwing error. Luke Behm followed with a one-out single, but Walker Smith flew out and Rocky Mondello struck out to leave both runners stranded.
Connor Zblewski singled with one out in the second for the Vikings, but never advanced. Tyler Goggins led off the Lakemen half of the inning and was credited with a double, as his slide into second base just eluded the tag of the second baseman, who took a throw from the left fielder in deep left field. However, his slide carried him past the bag and he was alertly tagged out.
The Lakemen finally cracked the scoreboard in the third after Kesinski hit Kyle Douglas and Popham. Austin flew out to left field and Behm popped up on the infield. Smith then lined a single off the glove of a diving shortstop and the ball rolled into shallow left field with courtesy runner Tyler Dayton scoring the game’s first run.
Waupaca added to its lead in the fifth with some help from the Vikings. Douglas again led off by getting hit before Popham doubled down the left field line to put two runners in scoring position with nobody out. Austin grounded to third, but runner Dayton was caught in a pickle heading for home. As he tried to get back to third, the catcher’s throw hit him in the back of the helmet and caromed into foul territory as Dayton reversed his direction again and scored.
Smith and Mondello added RBI singles to gave the home team a 4-0 lead.
Scandinavia’s only baserunner over the last four innings was Gavin Erdes, who was hit with a pitch in the sixth, but was erased as the next batter grounded to Behm at first who stepped on the bag and threw to second for an easy double play.
Waupaca’s final run came in the bottom of the eighth, as Sean Peskie led off with a walk and eventually scored on Popham’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Besides holding the Vikings scoreless, Seidl didn’t walk a batter. Kesinski walked two batters, hit three others and allowed six hits.
Waupaca 12, Tigerton 2 (5 inn.)
The Lakemen opened the tournament July 12 with a 10-run win over Tigerton.
Jim Nighbor went the distance to get the win on the mound for Waupaca.
Behm drove in Nate Nelson in the first inning and Popham drew a bases-loaded walk in the second to give the Lakemen a 2-0 lead.
Behm led off the Lakemen half of the third with a triple and scored on Smith’s groundout.
Tigerton cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth, but Nelson’s RBI single in the bottom half of the inning gave the Lakemen a two-run cushion.
Waupaca added eight runs on only three hits in the fifth. Tigerton gave up six walks and had a pair of wild pitches in the inning, while Nelson, Smith, Austin and Ethan Dayton had RBIs.
Waupaca 5, Menominee 1
The Lakemen returned to Marion July 13 and picked up a win over the North Stars.
Behm pitched through the sixth inning before giving way to reliever David Yeska with a 5-1 lead. Yeska recorded three quick groundballs to end the game.
Austin led off the second inning with a double and eventually scored on an error. Menominee tied the game in the fifth on a double and single, but.
Behm led off the bottom of the fifth with a double and moved up on Pat Plamann’s single. Austin grounded out with Behm scoring on the play and Yeska drove in Plamann with a single for a 3-1 lead.
Waupaca added two insurance runs in the sixth, as Behm singled and Plamann doubled. Both runners later scored on Austin’s single.
Waupaca 2, Eland 1
Waupaca wrapped up the tournament championship July 14 with a win over Eland.
The Lakemen called Yeska in as the team’s emergency starter and he scattered four hits and an unearned run over five innings. Eland’s run came on a dropped fly ball in the second inning.
The Lakemen had only six hits in the game, but three of them – singles from Nelson, Behm and Smith – came in the bottom of the first as Waupaca took a 1-0 lead.
Popham reached on an error in the third, moved to second on Nelson’s sacrifice bunt, ended up on third on a passed ball and scored the game-winning run on Behm’s infield groundout. Smith and Yeska later singled, but were left stranded.
The 2-1 lead held up, as reliever Andy Wanty came on in the sixth. He gave up a two-out single and a two-out double in the seventh before stranding the tying run by striking out Eland’s No. 3 batter to earn the save and give the Lakemen the tournament championship for the second year in a row.