Milton falls first
Unfortunately for fans of 10th-seeded Milton (13-12), the Red Hawks’ tale was the latter, wrapping up with an 8-2 loss to sixth-seeded Oconomowoc (17-10) in the semifinals.
Oconomowoc then lost to the title game to Fort Atkinson, 6-3.
Milton’s first time at-bat yielded mixed results as sophomore third baseman Dane Burman doubled to left to drive in catcher Josh Meyers.
“He’s hit the ball hard all year long,” Milton coach Steve Heilman said. “When he comes up to the plate with runners on, usually good things happen.”
But Burman got caught straying from second, and cutoff man Casey Herr cut him down as he tried to slide back into second.
Milton’s starting pitcher and cleanup hitter, Sam McCann, followed with a single.
“That’s an opportunity we’d like to have back, and a run that got away,” Heilman said. “But they (the Raccoons) drove in all eight of their runs; they earned all of them. So we were going to need a lot more than that.”
Left fielder Aaron Benz went 3-for-4 and picked up four RBIs for the Raccoons. He started the scoring with a single that drove home Herr and tied the game at 1-1 in the first.
After the Raccoons scored twice in the third, Benz socked a two-run double to give his team a 5-1 lead.
Benz’s RBI hit, part of a three-run fifth, came after an RBI single by McCann in the top half that pulled the Red Hawks within 5-2. Milton’s right-handed pitcher helped himself by lining a single to shallow left-center to bring home leadoff man Nick Meyers.
The third inning proved pivotal, as the Red Hawks failed to score despite putting runners at second and third with no outs. After Meyers rapped a single into left, Burman tattooed another line-drive double that one-hopped the center-field fence. But the next three Milton batters were retired.
“We had a lot of opportunities to score but didn’t take advantage,” Burman said.
Milton went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, while the Raccoons went 6-for-15.
OCONOMOWOC 8, MILTON 2
Milton (ab-r-h-rbi)—N. Meyers, ss, 3-1-0-0; Josh Meyers, c, 3-1-1-0; Burman, 3b, 3-0-2-1; McCann, p-3b, 4-0-2-1; Rogers, dh, 1-0-0-0; Brayshaw, dh, 1-0-0-0; Ernst, rf, 3-0-0-0; Haas, cf, 2-0-1-0; Vruwink, 1b-p, 2-0-0-0; Lucas, lf, 3-0-1-0. Totals: 25-2-7-2.
Oconomowoc (ab-r-h-rbi)—Herr, ss, 2-1-0-1; Schlosser, rf, 3-2-2-1; Benz, lf, 4-0-3-4; Wensman, rf, 3-1-1-0; Pierson, dh, 4-1-1-0; Winkelman, 1b, 4-0-1-1; Bell, p-3b, 3-1-2-1; Ziemann, c, 3-0-0-0; Persick, 2b, 2-2-1-0. Totals: 28-8-11-8.
Milton 100 010 0—2
Oconomowoc 102 230 x—1
E—Milton 1, Oconomowoc 0. LOB—Milton 8, Oconomowoc 8. 2B—Burman 2, Schlosser, Winkelman, Benz.
Milton IP H R ER BB SO
McCann (L) 4 2/3 10 8 8 5 5
Vruwink 1 1 /3 1 0 0 0 0
Bell (W) 6 7 2 2 2 6
Wilson 1 0 0 0 0 1