Evansville ends season on a no-hitter
The Madison Edgewood High School senior right-hander and Bradley University recruit no-hit the Evansville Blue Devils in a WIAA Division 2 regional final baseball game Wednesday at the Bishop O’Connor Center field.
Ritter struck out 11 and added an RBI single in leading the Crusaders to the 6-0 win.
Edgewood (21-3) will play Edgerton (17-5) in a sectional semifinal game at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Dodgeville. The Crusaders defeated the Crimson Tide, 11-10, last year in a sectional semifinal game.
Portage and Prairie du Chien, the defending Division 2 runner-up, play in the first game at 11 a.m. The winner takes on Edgewood or Edgerton for the sectional title at 4:30 p.m.
Evansville, the Rock Valley Conference North co-champion, ended the season at 17-6.
In retiring 21 of the 26 batters, Ritter needed 101 pitches in throwing his first career no-hitter at Edgewood. His only close call came in the top of the fourth, when Evansville’s Derek Cashore narrowly missed beating out a ground ball to the shortstop.
“We were overmatched. That’s the bottom line,” Evansville coach Brian Cashore said of Ritter. “We hit a couple of balls hard. But other than that, we didn’t do much.
“And we were a little shorthanded with Derek nursing a very sore thumb, and our No. 4 hitter, Jeremy Weaver, out with a hyperextended knee. It was a tough day all around.”
Ritter got all the run support he needed in the opening inning. The Crusaders scored twice on Nick Hughes’ clutch two-out, two-run single.
Edgewood added another run in the third on Mario Minnaert’s RBI single. But with Ritter overpowering the Blue Devils, it didn’t matter.
“I probably started thinking about the no-hitter in about the third inning,” Ritter said. “But I was more concerned with just going out there to compete and giving our team a chance.”
Edgewood and Ritter beat Evansville, 5-1, a year ago in the regional final, but he said he didn’t think much about last year’s game.
“All I knew was that they were going to be pretty good, and I was going to have to bring my ‘A’ game,” Ritter said.
“Scoring those two runs in the first inning really helped. I was able to mix things up pretty well after that.”
Junior Brian Lunde started for Evansville and kept his team in the game until the Crusaders scored two runs in the fourth to make it 5-0. The left-hander struck out five and allowed five runs in three-plus innings of work, but got no offensive support. Evansville got only two runners to second base and struck out at least once in every inning.
Edgewood finished with 10 hits, including three by Minnaert.
“We were one pitch away from getting out of the first inning, and the same thing happened in the fourth,” coach Cashore said.
“There were a couple of times where we made mistakes either with pitch selection, or another time failing to hit the cut-off man, and that cost us a couple of runs.
“But when you don’t get good swings, which we didn’t, it doesn’t matter.”
EDGEWOOD 6, EVANSVILLE 0
Evansville (ab-r-h-rbi)—Keister, ss, 3-0-0-0; Weaver, lf-2b, 2-0-0-0; Crieder, 3b, 0-0-0-0; Cashore, c, 2-0-0-0; Koch, 3b-1b, 3-0-0-0; Johnson, 1b-p, 2-0-0-0; Deininger, 2b-p-2b, 3-0-0-0; Moseley, cf, 3-0-0-0; Crans, dh, 1-0-0-0; Gernetzke, ph, 1-0-0-0; Walczak, rf, 0-0-0-0; Lunde, p-lf, 1-0-0-0; Baumberger, ph, 1-0-0-0. Totals: 22-0-0-0.
Edgewood (ab-r-h-rbi)—Haen, cf, 2-1-0-1; Minnaert, 2b, 4-2-3-1; Ritter, p, 4-0-2-1; Curtin, cr, 0-0-0-0; Parman, ss, 3-0-0-0; Hughes, c, 4-0-2-2; Dammen, cr, 0-1-0-0; Wabers, 1b, 1-0-0-0; Longo, rf, 2-0-0-0; Cosgrove, dh, 3-1-2-1; Benesh, 3b, 0-0-0-0; Schershel, lf, 3-1-1-0. Totals: 26-6-10-6.
Evansville 000 000 0—0
Edgewood 210 210 x—6
E—Evansville 1, Edgewood 1. LOB—Evansville 5, Edgewood 7. SAC—Longo. SB—Cosgrove. 2B—Minnaert, Schershel. 3B—Minnaert.
IP H R ER BB SO
Lunde (L) 3 2/3 6 5 5 2 5
Deininger 2 4 1 1 2 0
Johnson 1/3 0 0 0 0 1
Ritter (W) 7 0 0 0 3 11