Janesville Cougars find way to win
The Cougars scored twice in the bottom of the sixth inning, then rode the right arm of reliever Nick Blomgren for a pivotal 4-2 Big Eight Conference win over Verona at Riverside Park.
Craig (12-2, 10-1) stayed within one game of top-ranked Sun Prairie (15-1, 11-1), whom they play Saturday.
Despite leaving 10 batters on base and committing two costly errors, Craig found a way.
“We labored today, no doubt about it,” Craig coach Vic Herbst said. “It’s tough to try and keep high school kids focused on the game today and not look ahead to Saturday’s big matchup.
“That was a difficult win today, but it was a win. That’s the most important thing.”
Verona (5-9, 3-7) tied the game at 2-2 in the sixth with an unearned run. The Cougars responded with two in the bottom of the inning.
With two outs, Craig pinch-hitter Devin Feggestad reached on an error. He advanced to second when Dalton Johns walked. Feggestad stole third and scored the game-winning run on a passed ball. Johns made it 4-2 after scoring on Riley Quinn’s bases-loaded walk.
Blomgren shut the door on the Wildcats with a 1-2-3 seventh. Verona did not hit a ball out of the infield off Blomgren, as the only two batters to reach base off the freshman came via a Craig error and an intentional walk. Blomgren retired five of the seven batters he faced in an inning and two-thirds of work.
We didn’t excite anybody today with our play, but we found a way,” Herbst said. “Verona came in and played hard, and that’s a credit to them. It could’ve gone either way today.”
Verona left 13 on base and had two runners thrown out at the plate. The Wildcats left the bases loaded three times.
Craig lost 6-5 to Sun Prairie in the first game between the teams this season. The Cardinals rallied late for the win. The Cougars will have No. 1 starter Brandon Hughes on the mound Saturday.
“We didn’t play our best today, but hopefully being able to find a way to win carries over to Saturday,” Herbst said.
Saturday’s game is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the new Sun Prairie High School baseball field.
CRAIG 4, VERONA 2
Verona (ab-r-h-rbi)—Ellis, ss, 1-1-1-0; Sharer, cf, 4-0-0-0; Yapp, 3b, 1-0-1-0; Moynihan, p, 4-0-1-0; Carmichael, p, 0-0-0-0; Schultz, 1b, 4-0-0-0; Miller, dh, 4-0-1-0; Stone, 2b, 0-0-0-0; Lund, lf, 2-0-0-0; Kopp, lf, 2-0-0-0; Renk, c, 3-0-2-0; Frey, cr, 0-1-0-0; Watzke, rf, 0-0-0-0. Totals: 25-2-6-0.
Craig (ab-r-h-rbi)—Wright, cf, 2-1-1-0; Luebke, p-1b, 2-0-1-1; Eichman, cr, 0-1-0-0; Malmanger, p, 1-0-0-0; Quinn, 2b, 2-0-1-1; Hughes, 1b-3b, 4-0-1-0; Blomgren, ss-p, 2-0-0-0; Hoskins, 3b-ss, 3-0-0-0; Campbell, dh, 3-0-1-0; Marro, c, 0-0-0-0; Hoag, lf, 2-0-0-0; Feggestad, ph, 1-1-0-0; Johns, rf, 2-1-0-0. Totals: 24-4-5-2.
Verona 000 101 0—2
Craig 002 002 x—4
E—Verona 3, Craig 2. LOB—Verona 13, Craig 10. SAC—Watzke 2, Ellis. SB—Wright, Johns, Blomgren, Feggestad. 2B—Yapp, Renk.
Verona IP H R ER BB SO
Moynihan (L) 5 2/3 5 4 2 4 3
Carmichael 1/3 0 0 0 1 0
Luebke 4 5 1 1 3 4
Malmanger 1 1/3 1 1 0 0 0
Blomgren (W) 1 2/3 0 0 0 1 1