Craig baseball team drops eight-inning thriller
The first-year Madison Memorial baseball coach, who was Janesville Parker’s starting catcher in 1991 and 1992, saw his Spartans score one run in the top of the eighth en route to a 4-3 Big Eight Conference win over Janesville Craig.
Jake Murray scored twice and stole three bases, and Nick Cyganek picked up the win with seven solid innings, as Thomas made his first visit to his old stomping grounds a successful one.
“To come back down here to Riverside Park, and see the river up and water all around, reminds me of the good, old days of playing here,” Thomas said.
“And we knew with the pitching match-up that we had that it was going to be a highlight type of game. It’s a great win for us, and one I’ll always remember.”
The pitching duel featured Cyganek and Craig’s Trevor Foss. The two hard-throwing righthanders matched each other pitch for pitch.
Cyganek finished with 11 strikeouts and allowed only five hits. Foss had nine strikeouts and also gave up five hits.
With the game tied at 3-3 after seven innings, Craig coach Vic Herbst turned to reliever Sevy Stavn. The senior righthander gave up a leadoff double to Pat Ritchie, and Craig Czuprynski followed with an RBI single. Stavn worked out of any further trouble, thanks to a strikeout, a weak ground out and a pop fly.
The Cougars (5-5, 2-5) loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth on three walks, but Czuprynski came on to get Zach Bayreuther on a fly out to left to end the game.
“We had opportunities, both offensively and defensively. But we didn’t come up with the key hit or make a couple of plays in the field when we had to,” Herbst said.
“Trevor Foss did a great job on the hill and probably deserved a better fate. But again, we let him down defensively a couple times, and that hurt us.”
Craig took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on a sacrifice fly from Dylan Grall and an RBI single by J.T. McCrone. The Spartans (7-3, 5-3) took the lead with two runs in the fifth, but the Cougars tied it in the sixth when courtesy-runner Nick Weber raced home on a wild pitch.
The Cougars host top-ranked Middleton at 5 p.m. top at Riverside Park in a makeup game from last week.
MEMORIAL 4, CRAIG 3 (8)
Memorial (ab-r-h-rbi)—Murray, cf, 3-2-2-0; Martinson, dh, 2-0-0-0; Lotz, cr-ph, 1-0-0-0; Lorrig, 1b, 3-0-0-0; Ritchie, c, 4-0-3-2; Curtin, cr-dh, 0-1-0-0; Czuprynski, lf-p, 3-0-1-1; Traas, 3b, 2-0-0-0; Kreisler, ss, 3-0-0-0; Genin, dh, 1-0-0-0; Schneider, rf-p, 4-1-1-0; Fruhling, 2b, 3-0-0-0; Cyganek, p, 0-0-0-0; Schiro, cr, 0-0-0-0. Totals: 29-4-7-3.
Craig (ab-r-h-rbi)—Bayreuther, ss, 5-0-1-0; Foss, p-2b, 4-0-1-0; Yaucher, rf, 3-1-1-0; Knott, 3b, 3-1-0-0; Eichman, c, 2-0-1-0; Grall, 1b, 1-0-0-1; 28-Weber, cr, 0-1-0-0; McCrone, dh, 3-0-1-1; Wright, lf-cr, 0-0-0-0; Stavn, 2b-p, 4-0-0-0; Miller, 2-0-0-0; Whalen, ph, 1-0-0-0. Totals: 28-3-5-2.
Madison Memorial 100 020 01—4
Janesville Craig 000 201 00—3
E—Memorial 4, Craig 3. LOB—Memorial 8, Craig 10. SAC—Fruhling, Eichman. SF—Grall. SB—Murray 3, Ritchie, Traas, Schneider. 2B—Ritchie. 3B—Murray.
IP H R ER BB SO
Cyganek (W) 7 5 3 2 3 11
Schneider 2-3 0 0 0 3 0
Czuprynski (S) 1-3 0 0 0 0 0
Foss 7 5 3 3 4 9
Stavn (L) 1 2 1 1 1 1