By Matthew Davis
Proximity and inspiration didn’t give Young America enough momentum to counter Lake Henry’s bats Aug. 26.
Weston Brinkman of Lake Henry jumped at the first miscue as the Lakers beat the Cardinals 7-1. The Cardinals missed a pop up to left field in the third inning as Brinkman darted home to break a 0-0 tie.
“I wasn’t really sure what was going on,” Brinkman said about the error. “After that, it took off.”
Playing seven miles from home in Hamburg, Young America came in Saturday’s second-round game with heavy hearts. Longtime Young America Cardinals booster Billy Ernst, 71, passed away Aug. 25 from cancer.
“It was a little bit of motivation,” Cardinals manager Adam Kostecka said.
Young America bounced back in the third after the Lakers run to leave another base runner stranded. The Cardinals also fielded a double play to end the fourth inning and keep the game 1-0.
Young America tied things up 1-1 in the fifth inning when Kyle Horstmann drove home Roch Whittaker. Horstmann led the Cardinals lineup with 2-4 hitting.
Jason Kampsen provided a lift for the Lakers with 2 RBI and a run on 2-5 hitting as his team scored six runs in the sixth and eighth innings. Josh Kampsen, Matt Quade, Grant Ludwig and Ryan Wuertz all drove in runs. Brinkman finished 2-3 hitting with two runs scored.
“We’re a pretty good hitting team; we play good defense,” Brinkman said.
Brad Mergan, Lake Henry’s draft pick from Farming, threw 4.2innings and allowed one run. Lakers pitchers Patrick Courtney, a draft pick from New London-Spicer, and Jason Kampsen limited the Cardinals to a hit the rest of the way.
Raymond shuts door on Buckman
Alex Lothammer threw a four-hit shutout as Raymond ended Buckman’s first trip to the state tournament in 12 years Aug. 26 in Hamburg.
Lothammer went seven innings and struck out 10, and he walked two batters. He mixed sliders, fastballs and changeups to keep the Billygoats’ bats off balance. He said his fastball clicked in particular.
“Buckman was a really good hitting team,” Lothammer said. “They stayed back on balls.”
Buckman drew some of its players from Pierz’s Legion team, which won Division II state and regional titles. Raymond’s bats put the Billygoats in a hole quickly to support Lothammer’s efforts.
Brett Swanson and Calvin Kosminskas got the scoring going for Raymond in the second inning with sacrifice flies, which scored Jordan Smith and Eric Hulterstrom respectively.
Kyle Knott added to the Rockets lead in the sixth inning with a solo home run. Kosminskas followed that up in the seventh with his second RBI of the day, and Justin Koenen brought him home on a sac fly for a 5-0 lead. Tyler Steen sealed the game in the top of the ninth with a two-run home, which also scored Koenen for a 7-0 cushion.
Buckman threatened in the ninth with Peter Suska, Zach Lannners and Mark Kahl all reaching base. Kosminskas tagging Suska out at third prevented the Billygoats from loading the bases. Rockets closer Cole Christianson fanned the next batter, and the Rockets fielded the following at-bat to end the contest.
“We could never put much together all day consistently,” Billygoats coach Paul Oldakowski said.
Union Hill breezes past Milroy
Dominic Dolan put Milroy ahead early, but Union Hill took control from there en route to a 6-1 win.
Union Hill loaded bases in second inning scored three runs to grab a 3-1 lead and never look back. The Bulldogs added two more in the fourth and another in the fifth as they out-hit the Irish 10-6.
“It was good after they put one up in the first to come back in the second and get three,” Bulldogs infielder Conrad Masberg said.
Bryan Linder led the Bulldogs lineup with 1-3 hitting, a run and two RBI. Conrad Masberg also scored once and drove in a run on 1-4 hitting.
Union Hill’s offense came from everywhere in the lineup. Nathan Berg and Eric Bisek drove in runs. Jesse Bastyr, Matt Beckius, Dusty Steinhoff and Adam Giesen all crossed home plate.
Bulldogs pitcher Derek Masberg went 7.67 innings and struck out four batters. He gave up one walk, a run and five hits. He had lots of help from a fielding crew that committed no errors and seldom allowed a hit to go extra bases.
“Just make the simple plays, make the easy plays [and] make the right plays,” Conrad Masberg said.
Tyler Peterson and Mason Schnaible both had the only multi-hit games for the Irish with two apiece. Schnaible also had the lone RBI.
“We didn’t hit the ball very well today [but] they battled,” Irish manager Bob Dolan said.