Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crusader Baseball in full swing

from today's Waukesha Freeman --

CMH 12
Mukwonago 4

Crusaders start fast with six runs in first inning
Eleven go to bat in inning
By Jeff Hagenau Freeman Correspondent

MUKWONAGO – One big inning. That’s all the Catholic Memorial High School baseball team needed as it defeated Mukwonago 12-4 in a Classic 8 Conference game Tuesday.

The Crusaders, who improved to 3-4 in conference and 6-6 overall, scored six runs on six hits and took advantage of two errors in the top of the first inning to build momentum. Senior first baseman Matt Groehler and senior third baseman Alex Herrmann each had two-out, two-run singles to help ignite the decisive inning for Memorial, which sent 11 batters to the plate.

“Being down in the early count with two strikes, I just tried to hit the ball hard and put it in play,” said Groehler, who went 2 for 5 with a double and three RBIs. “I was seeing the ball pretty well at the plate so it was just a matter of staying confident, going with the pitch and making the most of the opportunity. With the depth of the Classic 8, there’s always some added pressure. It was just a great feeling to come through with some big hits and get on the board early.”

Senior center fielder Matt Krause and junior pinch runner Matt West each scored on errors.
The Crusaders extended the lead to 7-0 in the second on an RBI single by senior second baseman Kevin McInerny, and put the game away with five runs in the fifth. Junior left-hander Charlie Walsh was the winning pitcher, scattering seven hits with four strikeouts, two walks, a hit batsman and a balk to earn a complete-game victory. “I was hitting the corners with my fastball,“ said Walsh, who pitched out of a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the second by forcing an inning-ending groundout.

“They’re a good hitting team, so I just wanted to go out there, throw strikes and put all the confidence in my defense to finish the job. After we built an early lead, I was able to relax a little more, hit my spots and pitch with confidence the rest of the way.

“I felt good the entire way and never really considered coming out of the game. It was just great to dig down and end on a strong note.” Memorial second-year head coach Tim Gotzler was encouraged by his team’s ability to start fast and maintain the momentum for seven innings.

“We were aggressive at the plate early in the game, and it played a big part in our success,” Gotzler said. “As that happened, we were able to build off of the momentum and play with a lot of confidence. It was nice to have a cushion and be able to build on it.

“Walsh came out with a strong effort on the mound and we backed it with steady defense. It was just good hard-fought effort the entire way.”

Sophomore shortstop Austin Bricco went 3 for 4 for Mukwonago, which dropped to 3-5 in conference and 7-7 overall. “We had some good opportunities and just couldn’t come up with the big hit to get back in the game,” Mukwonago coach John Strohbusch said. “We’re not a home run-hitting team, so we can’t afford to get behind early. Unfortunately, that’s what happened and we never quite recovered.”

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