Big Foot springs upset but falls short in sectional final
EVANSVILLE--One bad inning spoiled what was one magical season for Walworth Big Foot's baseball team.
Ripon sent 14 batters to the plate in the second inning and scored eight runs en route to a 9-1 win over the Chiefs in the title game of the Division 2 Evansville Sectional.
Big Foot reached the title game by rallying past defending state champion Lodi, 3-2, in a semifinal game but managed only three hits off Ripon starter Owen Krueger.
The Chiefs, who came into sectional play hitting over .300 as a team, had five hits in two games Tuesday.
“Our bats just didn't show up today,” Big Foot coach Steve Bochat said. “Obviously the pitching had a lot to do with it, but we didn't have a lot of good swings all day.
“And when you give a team an eight-run cushion in a sectional championship game, it's tough to come back.”
Big Foot used the left arm of Austin Hoey to reach the title game. The senior outdueled Lodi's Fred Manke, allowing only five hits and striking out 13. The Chiefs rallied with three runs in the top of the sixth to earn the win.
Against Ripon, however, things fell apart quickly.
The Tigers chased starter Chandler Hehr in the second inning. Ripon scored all eight runs with two outs, including three on Alex Goyette's double that made it 6-0.
Big Foot got its only run in the fifth on Zak Greco's RBI single.
Krueger retired the first 12 batters he faced and allowed only one runner to reach third. The right-hander struck out two and did not walk a batter.
Nathan Freytag was outstanding in relief for Big Foot. The senior right-hander allowed only one run and two hits in five-plus innings.
Big Foot, the Rock Valley South champion, was one win away from the school's first state berth since 1983.
“We really thought coming in that the winner of our game with Lodi would come out of this sectional,” Bochat said.
“But give their (Ripon) pitcher credit. He pitched strikes and jammed us. We couldn't the bats around on him, and when we did, they made plays.”