Jefferson ends Albion’s season
It’ll be Fort Atkinson vs. Jefferson in the finals of Home Talent League baseball’s Southeast Section playoffs.
East Division runner-up Jefferson earned a third shot at Fort Atkinson by knocking off West Division champion Albion, 4-1, in Sunday’s first round.
Fort Atkinson, the East Division champion, gained a home game next Sunday against the Blue Devils by opening with a 2-1 win over West runner-up Lodi.
Jefferson (11-6) took advantage of four Albion errors to score three unearned runs in tripping the host Tigers (11-6) for the second time this season.
John Ristow, who scored three runs, got Jefferson rolling by reaching base on an infield error with two outs in the second inning. Travis Wagner drew a walk, and Nathan Huckabay followed with an RBI single that gave the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead, which they never relinquished.
Javier Rodriguez’s RBI single made it 2-0 in the Jefferson fourth. That came after Dan Dobereiner got a leadoff single, was forced out when Ristow hit into a fielder’s choice, and Wagner reached on a fielder’s choice and error.
Albion cut it to 2-1 with an unearned run in the fifth. Jason Millar walked, and Matt Buhrow singled. After both advanced on Josh Eastman’s sacrifice, Millar scored the Tigers’ only run when Aaron Manogue reached on an infield error.
Jefferson followed with a two-run sixth. Ristow got a leadoff walk, and Huckabay reached on a dropped fly ball. Rodriguez followed with an RBI single for the Blue Devils’ only earned run off Mike Nanstad, and Craig Lange added an RBI single that made it 4-1.
The Tigers immediately had a chance to bounce back when they loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Ristow ended the threat, however, by catching Millar’s line drive to center field and doubling off the runner at second base.
Albion had two base-runners each in eighth and ninth innings but couldn’t break through against Tom Klug, who limited the Tigers to five hits in pitching a complete game.
Nanstad also pitched a complete game in allowing nine hits and striking out six.
-- Fort Atkinson 2, Lodi 1—The Generals (15-2) got only three hits off Lodi’s Kyle Mack, but they made two unearned runs hold up in a come-from-behind win at Fort Atkinson.
Tyler Kurt got a leadoff double and scored on Brett Benish’s single to give Lodi a 1-0 lead in the first, but Fort Atkinson took advantage of errors to tie it in the fourth and score the winning run in the eighth.
Dan Dean pitched a complete game in stopping Lodi (10-7) on six hits, five strikeouts and three pickoff plays.
Chris Koepke, Jacob Soriano and Bobby Bastien had the only hits for the Generals, who will be going for their third win over Jefferson (11-6) in next Sunday’s second round at Jones Park.