Craig baseball lapses lead to late defeat
Unfortunately for the Cougars, they couldn't deliver the knockout punch.
Tony Butler's RBI double in the top of the eighth lifted the Cardinals to a 6-5 Big Eight Conference win at Riverside Park.
Craig (3-2, 2-1) led 3-1 in the sixth but could not hold off the defending conference champions.
"We were a little indecisive on a couple of defensive plays and that cost us," Craig coach Vic Herbst said.
"But I'm really proud of our effort. We stuck right with them, and proved we could play with what many think is the best team in the state."
Craig grabbed a two-run lead in the bottom of the fifth on RBI singles by Ryan Marro and Nate Hoag.
Sun Prairie answered with three runs in the sixth to take a 4-3 lead, but Craig tied it in the bottom of the inning when Hoag took advantage of an errant relay throw and raced home from third.
The Cardinals took the lead back in the top of the seventh, but the Cougars answered again on a triple by Brandon Hughes and Brandon Luebke's RBI single.
Hughes started for Craig and threw five solid innings. The junior righthander allowed one run and struck out four. Hughes helped his own cause at the plate, going 3-for-3.
"If we play like this throughout the season, we're going to do some damage to some teams," Herbst said. "We know we can stick with anybody.
"Like I said, if we make a couple of plays tonight and make better decisions on the field, we walk out of here with a ‘W'."
Craig hosts Beloit Memorial at 5 p.m. on Thursday at Riverside Park.
SUN PRAIRIE 6, CRAIG 5
Sun Prairie (ab-r-h-rbi)—Funnell, cf, 5-0-0-1; Schmidt, 2b, 4-1-3-2; Butler, ss, 4-0-2-1; Fairchild, c, 2-0-0-0; Curran, rf, 5-0-0-0; Mayr, 3-1-1-0; Brekke, 3b, 2-1-1-1; Lund, lf, 2-1-1-0; Marchese, dh, 3-1-1-0; Brink, cr-pr, 0-1-0-0. Totals: 30-6-9-5.
Craig (ab-r-h-rbi)—Wright, cf, 3-0-0-0; Blomgren, ss-p-ss, 5-0-1-0; Quinn, 2b, 4-1-1-0; Hoskins, 3b-ss, 3-1-1-0; Hughes, p-3b, 3-1-3-0; Johns, cr-pr, 0-1-0-0; Luebke, 1b, 2-0-1-1; Marro, c, 4-0-1-1; Malmanger, cr-p, 0-1-0-0; Campbell, rf, 2-0-0-0; Eichman, rf, 2-0-0-0; Hoag, lf, 4-1-2-1. Totals: 32-5-10-3.
Sun Prairie 000 013 11—6
Janesville Craig 000 211 10—5
E—Sun Prairie 3, Craig 2. LOB—Sun Prairie 9, Craig 9. DP—Sun Prairie 1, Craig 1. SAC—Brekke, Hughes, Marchese, Hoskins, Lund. SF—Luebke. SB—Johns 3, Funnell. 2B—Hoskins, Butler 2, Brekke. 3B—Hughes.