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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Milwaukee Lutheran, Waupaca Div. 2 Spring Baseball Finalists

Waupaca 6, West Salem 3

Waupaca (24-4) will play in the State Tournament title game for the first time following a 6-3 victory over West Salem (16-11) at Neuroscience Group Field Wednesday.

The Comets scored a run in the second inning to take the lead on a bases-loaded walk to 
Jacob Popham. 

The Panthers grabbed the lead in the top of the next inning with the aid of two Comets’ fielding miscues.  With runners on the corners and one out, a presumptive double play grounder near the bag at second was bobbled for an error to score Jake Whitbeck, who singled to lead off the inning. The next batter grounded back to the pitcher with what appeared to be another made-to-order double-play, but that resulted in an errant throw to second to score Braxton Ghelfi from third. 

Waupaca re-established the lead in the third inning with three runs. With the bases loaded with no outs, the Panthers appeared poised to get out of the jam without surrendering a run when they turned a double play with the base runners unable to advance because of runner interference. Following a walk to fill the bases again, Nate Meihak ripped a double to right center field to clear the bases.

The Comets took a 6-2 lead with two runs in the fifth inning. Walker Smith singled to drive in a run with a second run scoring on the play when the ball was mishandled in the outfield. 

The Panthers loaded the bases in the seventh inning and narrowed the deficit to 6-3 with a run-scoring single by Trevor Kastenschmidt, but were unable to complete the comeback.

Jason Ellie pitched his way to a complete game victory. He yielded two earned runs on nine hits while striking out 11. Brenden Canterberry led the the Comets in the hit column with two. 

Ghelfi, Kastenschmidt and Whitbeck led the Panthers at the plate with a pair of hits each. Alex Jeranek started on the mound for West Salem and was charged with the loss.


Milwaukee Lutheran 4, Lodi 1

Defending champion Milwaukee Lutheran (24-7) advanced to the title game in Division 2 with a 4-1 decision over Lodi (26-3) Wednesday evening at Neuroscience Group Field in Grand Chute.

The Red Knights scored three runs to begin the game. The first four batters reached base, including an RBI triple to centerfield by Nick Winter and a run-scoring single by TD Walker. Ben Soderbeck knocked in Walker later in the inning with a ground out.

Back-to-back doubles by Garrett McGraw and Garret Wegner produced a run for the Blue Devils in the bottom half of the first inning to trim the Blue Devils’ deficit to 3-1.

A lead-off walk led to a run for the Red Knights in the fifth inning. Winter clubbed his second double of the game to score Caleb Alles, who was sacrificed to second after being inserted into the game to pinch run for Matthew Brandt who walked.

Winter had quite a game to remember. He was credited with a complete game victory, allowing one run on three hits with 15 strikeouts. He allowed just one hit in his final six innings of work. In addition, he reached base in each of his plate appearances. He hit a double and a triple, drove in two runs and walked twice.

McGraw went the distance and was charged with the loss for Lodi. He surrendered three earned runs on seven hits while striking out seven. 

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