Crimson Tide hold on to capture regional baseball title
EDGERTON--The Edgerton Crimson Tide refuse to let anything come easy during the postseason.
Two days after needing three 12th-inning runs to earn a walkoff victory to stay alive, Edgerton's baseball team nearly squandered a five-run first-inning lead Friday.
But senior Cullen Oren got two seventh-inning strikeouts to strand the game-tying run at third base, and the Crimson Tide escaped with an 8-7 victory over visiting Monroe in a WIAA Division 2 regional final.
Edgerton (21-6) advances to play Lodi in a sectional semifinal at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Evansville.
“That happens in most of our games. We seem to get out to a nice lead, and an inning later it's a one-run game,” said Tide senior Brennan Deegan, who went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI. “Coach (Mike Gregory) says we're always giving him a heart attack.
“It wouldn't be fun if we didn't,” Deegan added with a chuckle.
The Tide certainly had Gregory and the fans assembled at their home diamond stressed in the seventh.
Sean Saxby ripped Monroe's second bases-clearing double of the game with one out to turn a four-run deficit into an 8-7 game. When Hogan Edwards hit a single to move Saxby to third, Oren was called on to take over for Jake Taylor, who had settled in after a rocky second inning.
Pinch runner Carter Sawdey stole second, and suddenly the lead-changing run was in scoring position.
“I was just thinking that coach chose me to be the man for the job, and I feel like I filled that,” Oren said. “A win is a win, that's what we've been living by—whatever it takes to get to the next step.”
Oren struck out the first batter he faced, but he hit Jaron Kuester with a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Monroe's Matt Coplien battled from an 0-2 hole to draw even in the count at 2-2, but Oren retired him when he swung at and missed a belt-high heater.
“It's a great win, but we don't do anything easy,” Gregory said. “We scheduled tough this year, and this is why. We've been in this situation—down and battling.
“You bring a senior in, and he shuts the door. To get out of that without giving up the tying run was huge.”
It didn't appear the Tide would need to battle through any high-pressure situations in the early going. They put up five runs right away in the first thanks to a two-run double from Deegan and RBI doubles from Ben Hudrlik and Clayton Klubertanz.
Monroe fought right back with four runs in the top of the second, three of them scoring on Garrett Gogin's bases-clearing double.
But Deegan calmed things down with a first-pitch, two-run, two-out homer to left field.
“In games past, I was just taking too many pitches,” said Deegan, who drove in four runs despite seeing four pitches all day. “Coach told me going into today, 'The first good one you see, take a hack at it.'”
Taylor helped his own cause with an RBI single in the fifth. He struck out five and battled around seven hits and seven walks. Taylor needed Oren's help when his pitch count crept past 120.
But the Tide prevailed, and now they'll get another shot at Lodi. The Blue Devils knocked the Tide out in sectional semifinal games in both the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
EDGERTON 8, MONROE 7
Monroe (ab-r-h-rbi)—Adkins, lf, 1-2-0-0; Hellenbrand, 3b, 3-1-1-1; Gogin, c, 3-1-2-3; Saxby, 1b, 4-0-1-3; Flannery, cr-pr, 0-0-0-0; Edwards, dh, 4-0-2-0; Sawdey, pr, 0-0-0-0; Meir, p, 0-0-0-0; Neuenschwander, p, 0-0-0-0; Ford, ss, 3-1-0-0; Kuester, cf, 3-1-1-0; Coplien, rf, 4-0-0-0; Edmunds, 2b, 2-1-0-0. Totals: 27-7-7-7.
Edgerton (ab-r-h-rbi)—Oren, ss-p, 3-1-0-0; Reilly, cf, 3-2-1-0; Deegan, 3b, 3-2-2-4; J. Zeimet, 1b-ss, 3-1-1-0; Hudrlik, lf, 3-1-1-1; Klubertanz, c, 3-1-2-1; Taylor, p-1b, 3-0-1-1; Wileman, cr, 0-0-0-0; Hein, rf, 3-0-1-0; D. Zeimet, 2b, 2-0-0-0. Total: 26-8-9-7.
Monroe 040 000 3—7
Edgerton 520 010 x—8
E—Monroe 3. LOB—Monroe 7, Edgerton 3. DP—Monroe 1. SAC—D. Zeimet. SB—Adkins, Edwards, Oren. 2B—Gogin, Saxby, Kuester, Deegan, Hudrlik, Klubertanz. HR—Deegan.
Pitching--IP, H, R, ER, BB, SO
Meir--2, 5, 7, 5, 2, 3
Neuenschwander--4, 4, 1, 0, 0, 0
Taylor (W)--6 1/3, 7, 7, 7, 7, 5
Oren (S)--2/3, 0, 0, 0, 0, 2
• Jefferson advances to Mayville Sectional—Jefferson, the defending WIAA D2 state champion, continued its march back toward the state tournament with a 3-0 win over visiting Catholic Memorial.
Nick Schrader tossed a complete-game two-hitter, striking out six and walking none. Jared Nelson went 2-for-3, and Dylan Ott scored twice for the Eagles.
They play fourth-seeded Milwaukee Lutheran at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Mayville. The winner plays the winner of top seeds Waupaca and Kettle Moraine Lutheran at 5 p.m.
JEFFERSON 3, CATHOLIC MEMORIAL 0
Catholic Memorial 000 000 0—0 2 0
Jefferson 101 010 x—3 7 1
Bosch, Brown (3); Schrader.
Leading hitters—Nelson (J) 2x3.
SO—Bosch (CM) 2; Brown (CM) 4; Schrader (J) 6. BB—Bosch 1; Brown 2.