Two homers pave way for Janesville win in rain-delayed tournament
BELOIT Janesville’s opening game in the AAA American Legion baseball state tournament was delayed nearly 24 hours.
The wait was well worth it.
Jake Welch blasted a three-run homer and Tyler Teubert added a solo shot to lift Janesville to a 7-3 win over Beloit on Thursday at Pohlman Field in the opening game of the double-elimination tournament.
Janesville (23-14) is set to play Chippewa Falls (21-14) at 1 p.m. today in a winner’s bracket game.
Andy Kersten labored through seven innings of work in picking up the win against Beloit, but threw quality pitches when he had to. The right-hander and Carroll University recruit struck out nine but issued six walks.
“Andy had to battle out there. No question about it,” Janesville coach Bob Schenck said. “But when we needed him to give us a couple more innings, he was able to do that by getting us through the seventh. He looked good his last two innings but his pitch count (137) was up there.
“This is a big, big win for us. In a double-elimination tournament, winning your first game is huge because playing in the loser’s bracket right away is tough.”
Janesville took the lead for good in the bottom of the first. Tanner Moe was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score the first run, and Kyle Johnson raced home on a passed ball to make it 2-0.
Welch, who will be a senior at Janesville Parker, made it 5-1 in the third with a three-run homer. He blasted starter Aaron Roth’s first pitch over the leftfield wall.
Teubert added a solo homer to dead center in the fourth to push the lead to 6-1.
Janesville played flawless defensively, while reliever Brandon Hughes replaced Kersten and threw two shutout innings. Johnson had three of Janesville’s six hits.
“We didn’t hit the ball all that well, but we got a couple of clutch hits when we needed them,” Schenck said. “I’ve been on Welch all season about swinging at the first pitch if it’s in his zone and he did.
“Tournament play is a different game because you’re playing nine innings. We got out of here today having to use really only one pitcher (Kersten). Brandon should be able to come back right away and pitch when we need him.”
JANESVILLE 7, BELOIT 3
Beloit (ab-r-h-rbi)—Harris, 3b, 4-2-3-0; Cernek, lf, 2-0-0-0; Reese, lf, 2-0-0-0; McMahon, 2b, 3-0-1-2; Roegner, 1b, 4-0-1-0; Jones, dh, 3-0-0-1; Woodworth, rf, 3-0-1-0; Graber, rf, 1-0-0-0; Brunton, cf, 4-0-1-0; Diderich, c, 3-1-0-0; Hamilton, ss, 3-1-0-0; Pemberton, ph, 1-0-0-0. Totals: 33-3-7-3.
Janesville (ab-r-h-rbi)—Teubert, ss, 4-1-1-1; Ta. Kobs, lf, 3-1-1-0; Brandt, 2b, 2-1-0-0; Johnson, 1b, 5-2-3-0; Meyer, c, 1-0-0-1; Moe, 3b, 3-0-0-1; Welch, dh, 3-1-1-3; Fiedler, rf, 4-0-0-0; Tr. Kobs, cf, 2-0-0-0. Totals: 28-7-6-6.
Beloit 001 010 100—3
Janesville 203 101 00x—7
E—None. LOB—Beloit 9, Janesville 10. SAC—Brandt. SF—Meyer, McMahon. SB—Brunton, Ta. Kobs. 2B—Harris, Johnson. HR—Welch, Teubert.
Beloit IP H R ER BB SO
Roth (L) 3 1/3 4 6 6 4 4
Oldenburg 4 2/3 2 1 1 4 4
Kersten (W 6-2) 7 6 3 3 6 9
Hughes 2 1 0 0 0 1