Craig baseball defeats Parker to add to week's fine start
JANESVILLE Janesville Craig's baseball team is running the gauntlet this week.
The Cougars have five games in six days.
Maybe the team should've scheduled a sixth game as well.
Craig raced out to an early five-run lead Tuesday night and coasted to a 14-4 win over crosstown rival Janesville Parker at Riverside Park. The game was called in the bottom of the sixth due to the 10-run rule.
Coupled with Monday's 3-1 Big Eight Conference win over Madison La Follette, the Cougars have started the grueling week with two impressive wins.
"The last two games we've played good baseball," Craig coach Vic Herbst said. "Tonight was the most runs we've put on the board in a few weeks, and our pitching was good in back-to-back games.
"We were able to take advantage tonight of some opportunities and came up with some clutch hits when we needed them."
Craig jumped on Parker freshman starter Hunter Van Zandt with three runs in the first. Nick Blomgren and Brandon Hughes had RBI singles, and Charlie Platts capped off the inning with an RBI when he walked with the bases loaded.
Parker cut the lead to two on Dominick Gruenwald's RBI single in the second, but Craig (13-10, 9-7) answered with three runs in the third. Ryne McKee's RBI single plated the first run and two more scored thanks to a Parker error and three walks.
Parker pitchers allowed eight walks and hit four batters, while the defense continued a disturbing season-long trend with five more errors.
"Our team is decimated right now with injuries," Parker coach Brian Martin said. "We've got three starters out, and our pitching has really taken a hit."
Parker's Logan Coulter made it interesting in the fourth. The sophomore belted a three-run homer to right that cut Craig's lead to 6-4.
Craig responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by Troy Malmanger's two-run single. The Cougars put the game away with four in the sixth—capped off by Hughes' double to left that scored Justin Graham to end the game.
Colin Frey went the distance for Craig. The senior right-hander struck out six and walked three. He kept the top of Parker's order off the bases, as the Vikings' 1-2-3 hitters were a combined 1-for-10.
"Colin made pitches when he had to, and other than the home run that Coulter hit, was in control," Herbst said. "He's getting stronger with each outing."
Craig plays at Madison Memorial today in a makeup game.
Parker (4-16, 3-13) hosts La Follette on Thursday.
CRAIG 14, PARKER 4 (6)
Parker (ab-r-h-rbi)—Theisen, ss, 4-0-0-0; Bailey, 3b, 3-0-0-0; Brooks, cf, 3-0-1-0; Osmond, rf, 3-1-2-0; Powers, c, 2-0-0-0; Welch, cr, 0-1-0-0; Greene, 1b-p, 1-1-0-0; Coulter, lf, 3-1-1-3; Gruenwald, 2b, 2-0-1-1; Stalker, ph, 0-0-0-0; Pingel, dh, 2-0-0-0; Van Zandt, p, 0-0-0-0. Totals: 23-4-6-4.
Craig (ab-r-h-rbi)—McKee, 2b, 4-3-2-1; Hoag, lf, 3-1-1-0; Graham, 3b, 2-1-1-2; Blomgren, ss, 4-1-2-2; Hughes, 1b, 4-2-2-2; Olson, cf, 3-2-1-0; Marro, c, 1-0-0-0; Schmoldt, cr, 0-1-0-0; Platts, lf, 2-1-0-1; Malmanger, dh, 4-2-1-2; Frey, p, 0-0-0-0. Totals: 27-14-11-10.
Janesville Parker 010 300—4
Janesville Craig 303 404—14
E—Parker 5. LOB—Parker 6, Craig 11. SF—Blomgren. SB—Greene, McKee, Graham, Blomgren, Olson. 2B—Osmond, Blomgren, Hughes. HR—Coulter.