Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Crusader Baseball wins in first round

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Crusaders survive waiting game
Spartans put up first-round fight

CMH 4 
Brookfield East 2 

By Tony Mooren, 
Freeman Correspondent 

WAUKESHA — It was just a matter of time — even though time seemed to be running out.

That’s what Catholic Memorial High School baseball coach Tim Gotzler thought when his team was tangled up in a tie game with only two hits going into the bottom of the sixth inning.

Gotzler was right, as the Classic 8 Conference runner-up pushed two runs across the plate in the bottom of the sixth and beat gritty Brookfield East 4-2 in a WIAA regional semifinal game Tuesday.

Both teams collected only four hits.

Senior catcher Jake Shomin started the winning rally by getting hit by Brad Carstens’ first pitch of the inning, and he went to second on a wild pitch. Junior winning pitcher Eric Brown got Shomin to third with a sacrifice and senior third baseman Matt Schulze got him home with a sacrfice fly to right. Senior centerfielder Cam Krausert, the No. 8 hitter, then completed a big day with an RBI single for an insurance run.

“A miscue behind the plate, a sacrifice fly and Carstens left a pitch over the plate,” East coach Nick Wycklendt said. “Congratulations to Memorial for getting the big inning. This game was a credit to the players how much they battled all year and to come this close to a team that finished second in the Classic 8 Conference is hopefully a sign of bigger things to come if we keep improving.”

Schulze said, “At 2-2 I was just looking to hit the ball hard and put the ball in play.”

It was his first game-winning
 RBI of the season and he proclaimed, “It felt pretty dang good.” 

Krausert’s sixth-inning hit was his second of the game and he also had two RBIs and stole home in a two-run second inning that gave the Crusaders a 2-0 lead.

“Give credit to East,” Gotzler said. “Their pitcher was outstanding. He was on and allowed our offense down. But offense is our forte. That’s what we do. Our team on-base percentage is .490, our team batting average is .380 and we have confidence 1 through 9 in our lineup. It was just a matter of time before we pushed one across the plate.”

Krausert was the main run-pusher.

“The bottom of our lineup has been producing a lot lately,” he said. “Other teams don’t expect it and we (Krausert, No. 7 hitter Chandler North and No. 9 hitter Josh Karfonta) take it as a challenge to get on and be active on the basepath.

“I love to run, so whenever I get a chance I try to take an extra base and create havoc on the base paths.”

That was certainly the case in the second inning when he came up with two outs and Brown on second base after a leadoff walk and stolen base.

Krausert singled North home but then sped to third on an error on the play and stole home.

But Memorial answered in the top of the third inning as second baseman T.C. Swittel doubled, catcher Dan Magyer put down a sacrifice bunt and Swittel scored on a wild pitch.

After centerfielder Alex McGuire walked and stole second, right fielder Zach Breiter beat out an infield single and an error on the play got McGuire home.

But Brown didn’t allow a hit the rest of the way, retiring 13 of the final 15 hitters he faced with only a walk and error getting anyone else on base.

“I was jacked up and they were really battling at the plate,” Brown said. “I was just looking to make pitches. I was getting nervous late in the game but I knew our guys would come around because they have all year.”

Memorial got its leadoff hitter on base three times in the first five innings but only one scored as Carstens recorded three straight strikeouts in the third inning and had a strikeout and two grounds to get out of a fifth-inning jam.

Carstens finished with nine strikeouts — six in the first three innings.

“He was up there in pitches, but he’s our senior, our No. 1 pitcher and we wanted it to be his game — win or lose,” Wycklendt said.

Memorial, the No. 4-seeded team, improved to 20-10 overall while No. 13-seeded East, which had only two seniors (Carstens and third baseman Dustin Brah) in its lineup, finished

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