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Baseball: Shawano toppled by Oconto Falls in nonconference play

Hawks show fight in later innings
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By Morgan Rode sports@newmedia-wi.com


Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Steve Hoffmann completes a swing after singling in Monday’s nonconference loss to Oconto Falls at Memorial Park in Shawano.

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Ian Reinders delivers a pitch during the middle innings of Monday’s nonconference loss to Oconto Falls at Memorial Park in Shawano.

The Shawano Community High School baseball team came up on the wrong end of a 16-6 nonconference clash with Oconto Falls at Memorial Park in Shawano on Monday, but the team showed plenty of resiliency.

Facing a 13-2 deficit and down to their final strike in the fifth inning, the Hawks (1-7) scratched across a couple of runs and were able to extend the game to a full seven innings.

“That might have been something positive for our guys,” Shawano coach Rob Wolff said. “Seeing that we could put up runs — we’ve been struggling to score runs this year so far, just putting hits together.”

Shawano’s fifth inning rally came with several starters cheering on some of the players that started the game on the bench.

Seniors Steve Hoffmann and Collin Buerman each reached base with one out despite the ball not leaving the infield. After a strikeout for the second out, senior Seth Westphal walked to load the bases.

Junior Wylee Springborn got down in the count but was able to put the ball in play. A throwing error allowed Hoffmann and Buerman to score and ensured there would at least be a sixth inning as Oconto Falls (2-3) no longer led by 10-plus runs.

After Springborn had reached, sophomore Zach Erdmann singled home Westphal to make it 13-5. A strikeout ended the frame, stranding the bases loaded.

Westphal took over on the mound in the sixth and worked around a two-out walk to ensure the game would last seven innings.

Sophomore Kaleb Lowney and Hoffmann each walked for the Hawks to open their half of the sixth before senior Mason Dingeldein delivered a RBI single.

Shawano committed three errors in the top of the seventh to allow Oconto Falls to extend its lead to 16-6.

Erdmann and senior Jake Grignon walked to open the Hawks seventh, but three straight outs ended the contest.

“I don’t have the magic words and I don’t know what to say anymore,” Wolff said. “We’re just struggling — offensively, defensively, pitching, it’s just rough right now and I’m hoping maybe one game will get us going and get us out of this funk. We are just stuck right now.”

Shawano got a runner on in the first and second innings, but only had six batters bat as a caught stealing and lineout double play wiped out the baserunners.

Oconto Falls scored once in the first inning and twice in the third off Shawano starting pitcher Karson Rades, a senior. The Panthers used a three-run fourth to go up 6-0.

After Shawano scored twice in the fourth to make it 6-2, Oconto Falls opened up a big lead with a six-run fifth.

“We just have to have a short memory and just move on to the next game, forget what happened in the past,” said Shawano senior Kris Krause, who had two hits in as many at-bats and also pitched. “Just move on and keep fighting and don’t remember any of the mistakes you make. Obviously you want to get better, but if you don’t remember them (the mistakes), they can’t haunt you.”