Evansville falls to Edgewood in baseball showdown
In a regional championship showdown between the top two teams in the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association’s Division 2 rankings, unbeaten Madison Edgewood jumped on the Blue Devils early and rode a masterful three-hitter by junior right-hander Chris Ritter to a 5-1 victory here at Warner Park.
Ritter struck out seven and walked only two. Two of Evansville’s hits came in the first inning, but Ritter faced only one batter over the minimum over the next four innings as he cruised to his ninth win of the year.
The No. 1 Crusaders (22-0) advanced to next Tuesday’s sectional at Evansville. They face fourth-ranked Edgerton (18-3), the Rock Valley Conference runner-up to Evansville, in a 1:30 p.m. semifinal game.
Portage and Prairie du Chien play at 11 a.m. The winners meet for a state tourney berth at 4:30.
Edgewood last appeared at state in 2005, a year after the Crusaders won the Division 2 title. Evansville was looking for its first state berth.
Evansville junior Derek Cashore, a two-time All-Rock Valley selection, was impressed by Ritter, who has allowed only two earned runs in 53 2/3 innings. That translates into an ERA of 0.27.
“He was very good today,’’ said the Blue Devils’ catcher. “He threw strikes. He kept us off-balance. He’s the best we’ve faced all year.’’
Ritter was able to relax after the Crusaders got to Evansville starter Taylor Koch in the first. Tyler Sorensen led off with a double to left, and Jeff Lindholm followed with a bloop single over first base.
One out later, Edgewood shortstop Robert Parman pulled a Koch fastball into Warner Park’s party deck in right field. It was his third homer of the season and gave the Crusaders at 3-0 lead.
“It really wasn’t bad location,’’ Cashore said of the pitch. “It was right on the inside corner.’’
Parman hit to the right spot to gave Edgewood an important advantage.
“Three runs right away helped, especially with Ritter on the mound,” Edgewood coach Rich Newton said. “That gives us confidence because we know he’s going to hold them to few if any runs.’’
Two walks, an error, a sacrifice fly by Christian Wabers and a single by Tim Longo pushed Edgewood’s lead to 5-0 in the third. That was more than enough for Ritter.
“It’s difficult to get behind the 8-ball like that,’’ said Evansville coach Brian Cashore. “He (Koch) was working from behind.
“When you’re sitting dead red, good hitters are going to be sitting in the zone, and if they get it in there, they’re going to jump on it. They’ll make you pay for it, and we did.’’
Cashore’s sixth-inning single drove in Evansville’s only run. It was unearned because of two Edgewood errors, one an errant pickoff throw by Ritter.
The Crusaders managed only four hits off Koch, who lost for the first time after nine wins. However, he struggled with his command and issued five walks in five innings.
“We didn’t get our typical pitching performance today, the kind we got over the last 21 games,’’ Brian Cashore said.
“He got behind hitters and lost his mechanics,’’ Derek Cashore said of his battery mate.
But Koch got little help as Ritter made sure Evansville (18-4) wouldn’t hand the top-ranked team its first loss.
“When you compete, and like to compete, and you put your best into something, it obviously hurts when you lose,’’ Brian Cashore said of his team’s season-ending loss. “But when they get an opportunity to reflect on the season a little bit, on where we’ve come in this program, and what they did this year—our first conference championship in 17 years— they’re going to be proud of what they accomplished.
“At the same time, we’re not complacent or satisfied. We want to go to the next level, and we need to build on what we’ve got going now.’’
For Derek Cashore, next season will provide another chance at that elusive state berth.
“Our program has taken steps in the right direction,’’ he said. “We’re only losing three seniors, so hopefully next year we’ll be able to get past this game.’’
EDGEWOOD 5, EVANSVILLE 1
Evansville (ab-r-h-rbi)— Keister, ss, 2-1-0-0; Kremer, cf, 3-0-1-0; Cashore, c, 3-0-2-1; Koch, p-3b, 2-0-0-0; Weaver, 3b-p, 1-0-0-0; Johnson , 1b, 3-0-0-0; Diedrich, dh, 3-0-0-0; Deininger, 2b, 2-0-0-0; O’Leary, rf, 1-0-0-0; Lunde, lf, 1-0-0-0; Crans, ph, 1-0-0-0; Chenoweth, ph 1-0-0-0; Kruger, pr, 0-0-0-0. Totals: 23-1-3-1.
Edgewood (ab-r-h-rbi)—Sorensen, 3b, 2-1-1-0; J. Lindholm, 1b, 3-1-1-0; Ritter, p, 2-0-0-0; Parman, ss, 3-1-1-3; M. Lindholm, dh, 2-1-0-0; Hughes, c, 2-0-0-0; Wabers, lf, 2-0-0-1; Longo, rf, 3-0-1-1; Haen, cf, 1-0-0-0; Minnaer, 2b, 0-0-0-0; Dahmen, pr, 0-1-0-0. Totals: 20-5-4-5
Evansville 000 001 0—1
Madison Edgewood 302 000 x—5
E—Evansville 2, Edgewood 2. LOB—Evansville 3, Edgewood 3. 2B—Cashore, Sorensen. HR—Parman. SF—Wabers
IP H R ER BB SO
Koch (L, 9-1) 5 4 5 3 5 3
Weaver 1 0 0 0 0 0
Ritter (W, 9-0) 7 3 0 0 2 7
Edgerton 14, Clinton 2—Clinton took a quick two-run lead in the first inning, but the Crimson Tide scored 14 unanswered runs for a decisive win in a Division 2 regional final at Edgerton.
Trailing after the first inning, Edgerton scored in each inning the rest of the way to halt the game after six.
Derek Carrier, Josh Eastman and Kyle Johnson each homered for Edgerton. The Tide’s Matt Buhrow scattered four hits in going the distance.
Fourth-ranked Edgerton (18-3) plays top-rated Madison Edgewood (22-0) at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals of the Evansville Sectional.
EDGERTON 14, CLINTON 2
Clinton 200 000—2 4 2
Edgerton 026 123—14 12 1
Cary, Eliszewski (3), Wisowaty (3), and Danielson; Buhrow and Stearns.
Leading hitters—Hesebeck (Cl) 2x2, Carrier (E) 2x4, Stearns (E) 2x4, Johnson (E) 2x3, Kinnett (E) 2x3. 2B—Eliszewski (Cl), Stearns (E), Johnson (E), Buhrow (E), Kinnett (E) Gregory (E). HR—Carrier (E), Eastman (E), Johnson (E).
SO—Cary (Cl) 4, Eliszewski (Cl) 1, Wisowaty (Cl) 2, Buhrow (E) 2. BB—Cary 2, Eliszewski 3, Wisowaty 4, Buhrow 5.
East Troy 8, Jefferson 1—Andy Kiesow’s three-hit pitching kept the Eagles in check as East Troy’s third-ranked Southern Lakes champions rolled to a Division 2 regional title.
The Trojans (15-2) face Racine Prairie/Lutheran at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals of the Chilton Sectional.
East Troy scored three runs in the second inning to seal its victory over Jefferson (13-9). Mike Windle smacked a leadoff home run, and Dan Douglas poked a two-run double to give the Trojans a 4-0 lead.
EAST TROY 8, JEFFERSON 1
Jefferson 000 100 0—1 3 1
East Troy 130 202 x—8 8 2
Huckabay, Smillie (5) and McDermot; Kiesow and D. Douglas.
Leading hitters—D. Douglas (ET) 2x2, Mit. Windle (ET), 2x3. 2B—D. Douglas (ET), N. Douglas (ET). HR—Mik Windle (ET).
SO—Huckaby 5, Smillie 2, Kiesow 8. BB—Huckaby 7, Smillie 2, Kiesow 3.