Last-inning rally sinks Janesville Parker Vikings
JANESVILLE The most difficult outs to get in baseball are the final three.
Janesville Parker discovered how true that is against Middleton at Riverside Park on Thursday.
The Vikings controlled the Big Eight Conference power for the first six innings, building a 4-1 lead. Then walks and a couple of key hits resulted in a four-run Cardinal rally, which floored Parker with a 5-4 loss.
Parker relievers Brady Brandt and Aric Bobzien allowed four walks, two singles and a double in the disastrous final inning.
“We got away from what we had done the first six innings,” Parker coach Brian Martin said. “We were getting ahead of hitters and challenging them, then all of a sudden we walk a few. You give a team like that an opening, and they are going to take advantage of it.”
Junior Adam Greene set himself up to be the star of the game. Greene started for Parker and was able to pitch out of minor jams through the first five innings. Greene used fastballs and curveballs to limit the Cardinals to just one run, which came in the third inning when a grounder to shortstop took an unexpected right turn past Will Theisen.
“We played hard,” Greene said.
Greene had to come out of the game after five since he had pitched two innings Tuesday.
“Compared to how he threw Tuesday, he was great,” Martin said. “That is what we need to see.
“As a team, we pitched better than we did Tuesday,” Martin said, referring to the 13-9 loss at Madison Memorial. “That last inning was Tuesday. That is where we were the entire game Tuesday.”
Parker scored twice in the fourth and added single runs in the fifth and sixth to take apparent control.
Jake Welch was hit by a pitch to start the fourth and stole second. Brandt singled to center to get Welch to third, and Brandt stole second.
After a strikeout, Tyler Brooks put a suicide squeeze bunt down in front of the plate, and Welch slid past the tag attempt.
Greene walked. The Vikings took the lead when Matt Traynor’s popup midway between home and third was dropped.
Theisen singled in the fifth, stole second and scored on Welch’s single to right.
Parker appeared in command when Marshall was hit by a pitch n the sixth, stole second and came home on Vernon Franklin’s RBI single.
The Vikings were 8-for-8 in steal attempts, which set up their scoring.
“That’s the way I envisioned our team to play,” Martin said. “We still have a lot of young guys playing their first varsity games. To bounce back against a team like Middleton, and for six innings have them beat.
“We’ll learn from it. We’re not happy, but we’ll learn from it.”
MIDDLETON 5, PARKER 4
Middleton (ab-r-h-rbi)—Schafer, 2b, 5-0-1-0; Lockner, ss-p, 4-1-1-1; Haack, 3b, 2-1-1-0; T. Meinholz, dh, 4-0-1-0; Koistinen, rf-cr, 2-1-0-0; D. Meinholz, lf, 4-1-1-2; Adler, 1b, 2-0-2-0; DeyMarcos, cr, 0-0-0-0; Gunderson, c, 4-0-1-2; Passini, 2-0-0-0; Kvistad, cr, 0-1-0-0; Wadzinski, ss, 1-0-0-0. Totals: 30-5-7-5.
Parker (ab-r-h-rbi)—Franklin, cf, 4-0-2-1; Theisen, ss, 4-1-1-0; Welch, c, 4-1-1-1; Brandt, dh-p, 4-1-1-1; Bobzien, 3b-p, 3-0-0-0; Brooks, rf, 3-0-1-0; Greene, p-1b, 3-0-0-0; Osmond, p, 0-0-0-0; Traynor, lf, 3-0-0-0; Marshall, 2b, 3-1-0-0. Totals: 31-4-6-3.
Middleton 001 000 4—5
Parker 000 211 0—4
E—Middleton 2, Parker 1. LOB—Middleton 11, Parker 9. 2B—D. Meinholz. Sac—Brooks. SB—Franklin 2, Schaefer, Brooks 2, Passini, Welch, Brandt, Theisen, Meinholtz, Marshall.
IP H R ER BB SO
Acker 4.1 4 3 2 2 4
Lockner (W) 2.2 2 1 1 0 1
Greene 5 4 1 1 2 4
Osmond .1 0 0 0 2 0
Brandt (L) .2 2 4 4 2 0
Bobzien 1 1 0 0 2 2