Anfang helps Jefferson open critical stretch with win
WHITEWATER--Cam Anfang called Tuesday’s Rock Valley North Conference baseball game in Whitewater a “must-win.”
The Eagles entered the week three-quarters of the way through the 16-game league season and were up a half-game on Evansville and 2.5 games on Whitewater. Home-and-home sets with the Whippets and Blue Devils were the only RVC games left for Jefferson.
Anfang helped the Eagles begin the critical stretch on the right foot. He struck out 10 batters in a complete-game three-hitter, and Jefferson got clutch hits from the bottom of its order in the sixth inning on the way to a 4-1 victory.
Jefferson, ranked No. 6 in Division 3, is now 14-4 overall and 11-2 in the RVC North. Whitewater dropped to 6-4 in league play, while Evansville won at East Troy to keep pace at 10-2.
“This is exactly what we want—the tough games to get ready for playoffs,” said Anfang, who walked just one. “I feel pretty good right now. I’ve got all three of my pitches working.”
Anfang kept Whitewater guessing with a mix of fastballs, curveballs and changeups.
He was staked to a 1-0 lead right away in the first inning when Ryan Brost led off with a walk, moved to second on Ian Drays’ single and scored when there were back-to-back two-out hit-by-pitches.
The Whippets got their lone run in the third. Cooper Pease reached on an error to begin the frame, stole second and scored on Danny Harnack’s double to left field.
The potential for a bigger Whitewater rally was stifled, however, when Chris Dedrick put down a sacrifice bunt and appeared to reach on an error. Instead, after some discussion between umpires and coaches, Dedrick was ruled out due to interference, and Harnack had to go back to second. The Whippets eventually left runners on second and third in a 1-1 game.
“It was early enough in the game where I really didn’t think (so),” Jefferson coach Greg Fetherston said when asked if he thought the interference call had a major impact on the game. “There was more than half the game left, and I thought there would be more runs scored.
“It’s easy for me to say. Obviously he (Whitewater coach Jim Pease) would probably say something different.”
Whitewater got a runner to third with two outs in the fourth and another to second with one out in the fifth, but Anfang slammed the door both times.
Jefferson regained the lead with back-to-back two-out hits in the sixth. Nick Hauser smashed a double to the right-field gap and then scored when senior Grant Johnson, hitting in the No. 9 spot, laced a single to left-center.
“That was a big run,” Fetherston said. “It’s seniors stepping up and making great plays. Grant is a senior and had the big hit, and obviously Cam just had another great performance. When you’re throwing three different pitches for strikes, it’s really tough for a high school hitter to get good swings.”
Anfang sat down the final seven batters in order, and he got two more insurance runs in the seventh on a series of walks and wild pitches.
The two teams play again Thursday in Jefferson. Whitewater saved its No. 1 starting pitcher, Jason Curtis, for the rematch.
“There’s definitely always room for improvement,” Anfang said. “But I feel pretty good about where we’re at.”
JEFFERSON 4, WHITEWATER 1
Jefferson 100 001 2—4 7 3
Whitewater 001 000 0—1 3 1
C. Anfang and Drays; Dedrick, Niemuth (7) and Co. Pease.
Leading hitters—Drays (J) 2x4, Harnack (W) 2x3. 2B—Hauser (J), Laesch (J), Dekrey (J), Harnack.
SO—Anfang 10, Dedrick 3. BB—Anfang 1, Dedrick 2, Niemuth 2.
Last updated: 11:34 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017