Janesville Craig’s baseball team might as well have brought a sheet of carbon paper to Riverside Park on Monday evening.
Its scorebook looked eerily similar to last Tuesday’s game against Janesville Parker.
For the second time in a week, the Cougars shut out their crosstown rivals 7-0. And for the second time in that span, Craig’s pitchers limited the Vikings to just a couple hits.
Dan Blomgren doubled twice and scored twice, freshman Gavin Kilen tossed five shutout innings and Craig, which moved up to No. 2 in the Division 1 state rankings Monday, swept the season series with Parker in winning its seventh consecutive game to open the season.
“When you’re called upon to execute and move runners, you’ve got to do it and we did a nice job of that tonight,” said Craig coach Victor Herbst, whose team left five runners in scoring position in the first meeting with Parker. “And Gavin was very efficient. He threw about 10 pitches an inning, and you should have a good night when you do that.”
Kilen was staked to a 2-0 lead before he even toed the rubber for the first time, as Blomgren’s first double gave the Cougars (7-0, 5-0 Big Eight) a 1-0 lead three batters into the game. Blomgren later scored on Tressin Kussmaul’s single.
Kilen allowed a leadoff single to Peyton Meyer and a one-out single to Jared Emerson to find himself in a bit of early trouble in the bottom of the first. But he got a pair of groundouts to escape the jam and then sat down 12 of 13 batters over his final four innings.
“It would’ve been nice to bust through with a run (in the first inning),” Parker coach Kerry Michaels said. “Because, otherwise, Cav (Parker starting pitcher Cav Mair) really only allowed one or two hard-hit balls, and they’re a good hitting team.
“Gavin had a nice changeup—a beauty that he got some of our better hitters out on. They’re good, and they’re ranked where they are for a reason.”
Meyer, who finished with two of Parker’s three hits, was the only Parker player to get as far as second base. The Vikings (3-5, 0-4 Big Eight) never got a runner to second in the first meeting last Tuesday.
The Cougars added to their lead in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings.
In the third, senior Tegan Christiansen reached on a leadoff single, stole second, moved to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a two-out error.
In the fourth, Kussmaul led off with a single, stole second, was sacrificed to third and scored on Kilen’s sac fly.
And in the fifth, Craig struck for three more insurance runs. One was Christiansen, who stole two more bases before scoring, and two others came in on senior Micah Overley’s double to the left-field gap.
“A lot of our big hitters are gone from last year,” said Christiansen, who relieved Kilen and threw two scoreless innings of his own. “So my job is to get on base and steal around. That’s just what I tried to do.”
Kilen threw 52 pitches, allowing three hits and a walk and striking out three.
His solid outing allowed the Cougars to save Overley, their No. 2 pitcher, presumably to start against Big Eight Conference rival Sun Prairie when the teams play Tuesday at Riverside.
Top starter Mitchell Woelfle—who struck out 12 and allowed two hits in the first victory over Parker—threw Saturday and will be ready to pitch again later this week, weather permitting. Craig is slated to play at Sun Prairie on Thursday and at state-ranked Burlington on Saturday.
Parker, meanwhile, continues its week at Madison La Follette on Tuesday.
“We’re getting better,” Michaels said. “And we’re going to get a couple guys back soon. Maybe we can see them (Craig) again in a regional or sectional. You never know.”
CRAIG 7, PARKER 0
Craig (ab-r-h-rbi)—Hughes, cf, 4-1-1-0; Schmaling, c, 4-1-1-1; Blomgren, ss, 3-2-2-1; Overley, 3b-1b, 4-0-1-2; Kussmaul, lf, 4-1-2-1; Stried, lf, 0-0-0-0; Herbst, dh, 2-0-0-0; Hesseling, 2b, 0-0-0-0; Kilen, p-3b, 1-0-0-1; Hageman, cr-2b, 0-0-0-0; Clark, 1b-rf, 3-0-0-0; Christiansen, lf-p, 2-2-1-0. Totals: 27-7-8-6.
Parker (ab-r-h-rbi)—Meyer, cf, 3-0-2-0; Stone, ss, 3-0-0-0; Emerson, 1b, 2-0-1-0; Mair, p-lf, 3-0-0-0; K. Madsen, rf, 3-0-0-0; O’Leary, lf, 2-0-0-0; Heerey, c, 1-0-0-0; King, 2b, 3-0-0-0; Klukas, c-p, 2-0-0-0; Simons, 3b, 2-0-0-0. Totals: 24-0-3-0.
Janesville Craig 201 130 0—7
Janesville Parker 000 000 0—0
E—Parker 2. LOB—Craig 4, Parker 4. 2B—Blomgren 2, Overley. SAC—Herbst. SF—Kilen. SB—Blomgren, Kussmaul, Christiansen 3.
Craig IP H R ER BB SO
Kilen (W) 5 3 0 0 0 3
Christiansen 2 1 0 0 1 2
Parker IP H R ER BB SO
Mair 5 8 7 6 1 2
Klukas 2 0 0 0 2 1