Two-out hits by Dan Blomgren and Clark Schmaling saved Janesville Craig’s perfect Big Eight Conference record Tuesday afternoon.
And in fact, all of the Cougars’ runs were the result of two-out hits in a 5-4 victory at Middleton in eight innings.
Dan Blomgren’s home run with two outs in the seventh inning sent the game into extra innings, and Clark Schmaling’s two-out single scored Eric Hughes with what turned out to be the game-winner in the top of the eighth.
“I give all the credit to our kids,” Cougars coach Victor Herbst said. “We were down much of the day, and we got a lot of big, two-out hits.”
Middleton scored in the second and kept the 1-0 lead until Craig scored three times in the fourth.
Ryan Herbst walked and Colin Hageman pinch ran. Clark Schmaling walked. Jacob Hesseling delivered a two-out RBI single to tie the game, and Schmaling scored on an overthrow to second on the play.
Tegan Christiansen then drove a pitch up the middle to score Hesseling and make it 3-1.
Middleton regained the lead at 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth. The Cardinals were set to celebrate, but with two outs in the seventh, Blomgren hit his second homer of the season to tie it.
With one out in the eighth, Hughes singled to left. With two outs, he stole second and then came home on Schmaling’s single.
Gavin Kilen pitched the final seven outs for the win in relief of Micah Overley. The Cardinals loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but Connor Clark fielded a hot grounder that almost hit the first base bag and got the final out.
The Cougars play Madison East at Riverside Park today at 5:30 p.m., a half hour later than originally scheduled because of a transportation issue for the Purgolders.
CRAIG 5, MIDDLETON 4 (8)
Craig (ab-r-h-rbi)—Blomgren, ss, 3-1-1-1; Kussmaul, lf, 3-0-0-0; Overley, p, 3-0-1-0; Hughes, cf, 4-1-1-0; Herbst, dh, 3-0-0-0; Clark, 1b, 0-0-0-0; Hageman, pr, 0-1-0-0; Schmaling, c, 3-1-0-1; Kilen, 3b, 4-0-0-0; Hesseling, 2b, 3-1-1-2; Chrsitianson, rf, 3-0-1-1. Totals: 29-5-5-5.
Middleton (ab-r-h-rbi)—Holewinski, cf, 3-1-1-0; Kalscheur, 2b, 3-0-0-0; Stumpf, 2b, 1-0-0-0; Meinholz, 3b, 2-1-0-0; Frusciante, pr, 0-0-0-0; B. Collier, p, 4-2-2-3; Carrington, lf, 3-0-1-1; Hodgman, ss, 4-0-1-10; Smith, dh, 3-0-0-0; Lockwood, c, 2-0-0-0. Totals: 28-4-5-4.
Janesville Craig 000 300 11—5
Middleton 010 003 00—4 5 3
E—Craig 1, Middleton 3. LOB—Craig 5, Middleton 5. DP—Middleton 1. 2B—B. Collier, Carrington, Holewinski. HR—B. Collier, Blomgren. SB—Hughes.
Craig IP H R ER SO BB
Overley 5 2/3 5 4 4 6 2
Kilen (W) 2 1/3 0 0 0 2 1
Middleton IP H R ER SO BB
B. Collier 6 3 3 2 6 5
Schultz (L) 2 2 2 2 0 0