Baseball Cards survive busy week

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By: 
Adam Hatlan/For the Times-Tribune
Derek Reisdorf and Middleton’s baseball team improved to 8-4 overall and 5-2 in the Big Eight Conference last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Four conference games in five days can test a high school baseball team, especially playing in the ultra-competitive Big Eight Conference.

That was the case for the Middleton Cardinals last week, as a slew of snow and rain-outs to start the year has led to a schedule with very few days off.

Middleton capped off its jam-packed week of Big Eight opponents in a strong way on Friday, as it used an eight-run fifth inning to cruise past host Madison Memorial, 11-1, in five innings. 

Middleton went 3-1 in the conference during the week, beating top-ranked Janesville Craig and splitting two games with Verona. They also split a non-conference doubleheader wiuth visiting Bay Port Saturday.

“It was nice to go 3-1 during the week. We definitely had 4-0 within our reach,” said Middleton manager Tom Schmitt. “We were looking for 4-0 to stay right in that (conference) race. We’re still in the race and that’s the main thing. We’re getting better and playing more consistent ball.”

Starting pitcher Brady Schmitt, who pitched five innings in a no-decision against Craig and pitched a complete game in the win against Memorial, said it was nice to bounce back with a win after losing to Verona the night before.

“We played some good baseball this week,” Brady Schmitt said. “We wish we would have went 4-0, but losses happen.”

Offense and plate discipline were on display in the big eight-run fifth inning for Middleton, as it sent 14 batters to the plate and had five walks in the frame.

Carsen Schulz, in his second at-bat of the fifth inning, gave Middleton a 10-run cushion with a laser beam grand slam over the center field fence. Schulz finished the game 2-for-4 with a home run a six RBI.

“Carsen stepped up and put the nail in the coffin. It was fun to see that for him,” Tom Schmitt said of the Schulz grand slam. “(Carsen) has worked hard, he’s had some injuries. He just hit an absolute line-drive missle.”

Brady Schmitt was very efficient in the mercy-rule-shortened game. The lefty Schmitt allowed one unearned run on five hits, struck out five and didn’t walk a batter in the complete game.

“It’s a little easier to pitch (with a big lead), but you’ve got to pitch the same as if you have a one-run lead,” Brady Schmitt said.   

Schmitt, who did not bat in the game, had to wait around 20 minutes between pitches during the lengthy top half of the fifth inning, but was able to come out in the bottom half to close out the game.

“(I) did some running between innings, played a little catch,” chuckled Schmitt on staying loose during the fifth-inning offensive barrage.

A two-out double in the first inning by Luke Ballweg led to the first run for Middleton. Ballweg came around to score after Schulz reached on an error by the Memorial second baseman.

Middleton added two runs in the third inning. Nolan Kelliher hit a leadoff single and Alan Roden followed with a single that moved Kelliher to third. Ballweg hit a sacrifice fly that scored Kelliher to make it 2-0. Roden stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Schulz to make it 3-0.

Middleton then erupted for eight runs in the fifth to help end things.

In the eventful fifth, Middleton sent 14 batters to the plate, had five hits and five walks, loaded the bases three times, scored three runs off wild pitches, got an RBI single from Noah Casali, and got the exclamation point grand slam by Schulz.

Memorial starting pitcher Kyle Jungers was pulled from the game in the fifth inning after Casali’s RBI single and after he failed to record an out. Jungers took the loss and allowed five runs (three earned).

The Cardinals swiped five bases and only committed one defensive error in the game.

“Pitching, hitting, base running, defense: our guys did it all tonight,” said Tom Schmitt. “You get an opportunity deeper into the game, some of the pitchers can tire. We were patient when (their pitchers) were having control problems. I like our approach with the bats right now.”

For Middleton, last week was just the beginning of a busy schedule that includes 13 games in 26 days.

Brady Schmitt thinks he and his teammates are physically and mentally prepared to take on the tough schedule.

“This offseason we really worked hard,” Brady Schmitt said. “I think we’re in a good spot to play a lot of games.”

Tom Schmitt said his team is playing good baseball, and that makes it a little easier to get mentally prepared for having to play so many games. 

“If you’re winning, it’s a little more fun to get up for the next game. If you’re losing those, it’s a little harder,” Tom Schmitt said. “We have a veteran group of guys, and they’re playing well. Hopefully we can keep it going next week.”

• Middleton 8, Verona 5 — The Cardinals pounded out 14 hits and toppled the host Wildcats last Tueaday.

Matt Ballweg threw five innings and allowed just one earned run to pick up the win for Middleton.

Alan Roden had a big day at the plate for Middleton, going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Luke Ballweg went 2-for-4 with two RBI and Noah Casali went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Both Carsen Schulz and Noah Casali had two hits for Middleton, as well.

• Verona 9, Middleton 7 — The host Cardinals built a 7-3 lead thanks to a six-run second inning. But Verona rallied with a five-run fifth inning and eventually notched a come-from-behind win.

Logan Schultz took the loss for Middleton after allowing four earned runs and four hits in 1/3 of an inning.

Zach Shipley had a big day for MHS, going 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Carsen Schulz was 2-for-3 with two RBI. Luke Ballweg and Noah Casali both had two hits, as well.

• Bay Port 12, Middleton 2 (5) — The host Cardinals were routed in the first game of a doubleheader. Derek Reisdorf took the loss for Middleton after allowing six earned runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.

• Middleton 13, Bay Port 0 (5) — The Cardinals erupted for four runs in the second inning and nine in the third and cruised in the second game of a doubleheader.

Joel Ticknor had a big day for the Cardinals, going 3-for-3 with two RBI, while Adam Casali was 2-for-3 with three RBI. Nolan Dahlk also had two hits, while Nick Michaels had two RBI.

Logan Schultz threw scoreless innings and picked up the win.

 

Middleton ……………. 102 08 — 11 12 1

Memorial ……………... 000 10 — 1  5  3

Pitchers (IP-H-ER-BB-K)

Middleton

Schmitt (W; 5-5-0-0-5).

Memorial

Jungers (L; 4-8-4-2-1)

Schaefer (0.1-0-5-4-0)

Sieloff (0.2-4-1-0-0).

Leading Hitters — Middleton: Schulz 2x4, Ticknor 3x3, Shipley 2x3. 2B — Ballweg. HR —Schulz. MM —Smith 2x3. 2B — Krumbach.

   

MIDDLETON 8, VERONA 5

Middleton .............. 101 203 1 — 8 14 2

Verona ................... 100 022 0 — 5 5 3

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Ballweg (W; 5-3-1-3-3), Reisdorf (2-2-2-3-1); Klawiter (L; 5-9-4-1-5); Haffner (2-5-3-4-1).

Leading hitters — MID: Kelliher 2x4, Roden 3x4, Schulz 2x4, Ballweg 2x4, Casali 3x3. 2B — Roden.

 

MIDDLETON 11, MADISON MEMORIAL 1

Middleton..........102 08 — 11 12 1

Mad. Memorial...000 10 — 1 5 3

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Schmitt (W; 5-5-0-

1-5); Jungers (L; 4-8-4-2-1); Sieloff (0.2-4-1-

0-0); Schaefer (0.1-0-4-4-0).

Leading hitters — MID: Schulz 2x4, Ticknor 3x3, Shipley 2x3. 2B — Ballweg. HR — Schulz.

MM: Smith 2x3. 2B — Krumbach.

 

VERONA 9, MIDDLETON 7

Verona 120 050 1 — 9 11 4

Middleton 160 000 0 — 7 12 1

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Kelliher (1.1-8-6-2-1), Grossnickle (W; 5.2-4-0-1-1); Blair (2.2-3-1-2-1); Ballweg (W; 4-4-2-5-5); Schultz (0.1-4-4-1-0).

Leading hitters — V: McGowan 2x4, Pederson 2x3, Fischer 2x4. 2B — Teskey, McGowan2. MID: Schulz 2x3, Ballweg 2x4, Casali 2x4, Shipley 3x4. 2B — Holewinski.

 

 

 

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