Craig High's offense comes alive to outscore Parker
JANESVILLE Janesville Craig baseball coach Vic Herbst figured it was a matter of time before his team broke out of its early-season hitting slump.
The Cougars busted out in a big way Tuesday.
Justin Graham had four hits to lead a 15-hit attack as Craig pulled away for a 12-7 win over crosstown rival Janesville Parker in a Big Eight Conference slugfest at Phil McQuade Field.
Craig got a gutsy performance from starter Brandon Hughes and took advantage of seven Parker errors to improve to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the Big Eight.
"People that came to watch these two teams play saw an entertaining game," Herbst said. "Neither side was crisp defensively, but I liked the way we swung the bats.
"I liked our approach at the plate. We were more aggressive and made their pitchers work. We put really good swings on their fastballs."
Craig led 2-1 in the fourth before pushing across four runs to make it 6-1. Alex Marro doubled to begin the rally and Wyatt Olson's two-run single capped it off.
Parker (1-2, 1-2) got within two runs in the bottom of the fourth thanks to Collin Powers' three-run homer.
The Vikings tied the game in the fifth on Powers' RBI single, but the Cougars responded with five in the sixth to take control. Hughes and Olson had RBI singles, and three Parker errors helped open the floodgates.
"We were able to battle back but weren't able to keep it within striking distance because of our poor defense," Parker coach Brian Martin said. "It's not an excuse, because everybody is in the same boat, but there is such a big difference between practicing indoors and practicing outdoors, which we haven't been able to do.
"Unfortunately for us, they were just a little bit better than us tonight and were able to take advantage of our mistakes."
Hughes, coming off offseason shoulder surgery, picked up the win. The right-hander went five innings, allowing five earned runs and striking out five. Sophomore Nick Blomgren pitched the final two innings for Craig, striking out three and allowing an unearned run.
Craig hosts Madison East today, while Parker is at Madison La Follette.
CRAIG 12, PARKER 7
Craig (ab-r-h-rbi)—Graham, 2b-ss, 4-1-4-0; Hoag, lf, 4-1-1-1; Blomgren, ss-p, 3-3-0-0; Hughes, p-1b, 4-1-3-3; Schmoldt, cr, 0-1-0-0; Olson, cf, 5-2-3-3; R. Marro, c, 5-0-3-3; McKee, cr-2b, 0-1-0-0; Campbell, rf, 5-0-0-0; Faust, 3b, 3-0-0-0; A. Marro, 1b, 5-2-1-0. Totals: 38-12-15-10.
Parker (ab-r-h-rbi)—Theisen, ss, 3-1-0-0; Bailey, 2b, 4-0-0-0; Brooks, cf, 4-2-1-0; Greene, p-1b, 3-2-2-1; Coulter, rf, 4-1-2-0; Powers, c, 4-1-2-4; Nauer, cr, 0-0-0-0; Osmond, lf, 3-0-0-0; Benway, 1b, 2-0-1-0; Brewster, p-2b, 2-0-0-0; Pingel, 3b-p, 2-0-0-0; Stalker, ph, 1-0-0-0. Totals: 32-7-8-5.
Janesville Craig 200 405 1—12
Janesville Parker 100 321 0—7
E—Craig 4, Parker 7. LOB—Craig 7, Parker 5. DP—Parker 1. SB—Graham 3, Olson 3, Schmoldt, Hoag. 2B—Hoag, Hughes, A. Marro, Greene, Coulter 2. HR—Powers.