Mistakes cost Panthers EWC win, lead to rare tie with New Holstein

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

CLAY HENNING of Plymouth drills a single in the third inning of Wednesday’s EWC baseball game against New Holstein. The Huskies’ catcher is Travis Boehnlein. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley CLAY HENNING of Plymouth drills a single in the third inning of Wednesday’s EWC baseball game against New Holstein. The Huskies’ catcher is Travis Boehnlein. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Panthers were off their game here Wednesday night as they managed only a 3-3 tie against upset-minded New Holstein.

PHS, the Eastern Wisconsin Conference baseball champion, committed a season-high five errors, failed to execute in key situations and collected only four hits. The EWC game was called after seven innings due to darkness. Because the Huskies start regional action Tuesday, July 9, the contest will not be completed.

The Panthers, 16-0-1 in the league (21-3-1 overall) are a No. 1 regional seed and received a first-round bye. They will play the Oostburg-Campbellsport winner on Thursday in the regional finals at the PHS field at 5:30 p.m. New Holstein (4-9-1 in the EWC), a No. 12 seed, will play at No. 5-seeded Howards Grove Tuesday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m.

PHS had a chance to grab a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth but sophomore Tyler Willeford was out trying to steal home which ended the frame. Willeford had led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and stole third base.

Both teams were retired in order in the seventh.

“We did things [mistakes] out of character. We had some mental and defensive mistakes. We had been really strong on defense of late,” said Panther head coach Butch Cain who team has been sharp – mentally and physically – most of the season.

“We didn’t execute bunts and we struck out too much. We have to learn from the things we didn’t do well.

“We competed hard but it just didn’t work out. We didn’t get the execution we needed to score more runs,” Cain said.

Several times the Panthers were unable to bunt successfully in order to advance runners into scoring position.

The Panthers took a 2-0 lead in the first. Clay Henning hit a leadoff single, stole second and later scored on Luke Held’s sacrifice fly. Zac Cain, who had walked and stolen second, moved to third on Held’s fly ball and scored on a wild pitch.

The Huskies made it 2-1 in the second. Mark Sippel walked and later scored on a throwing error by the catcher past third base when he was advancing to third on a wild pitch.

PHS extended its lead to 3-1 in the third. Henning laced a one-out single and stole second. He took third on Luke Hojnacki’s fly-out and scored when Cain followed with a double to left-center field.

New Holstein tied the game, 3-3, with two runs in the fifth. Adam Schmitz lined a one-out single and swiped second. Jason Brandt then ripped a triple to rightcenter which drove in Schmitz. Brant came home on a throwing error by the pitcher on a grounder by Travis Boehnlein.

The Panthers missed a golden opportunity in the bottom of the fifth to snap a 3-3 deadlock. Justin Picard drew a leadoff walk and Henning followed with a bunt single. The next PHS batter struck out on a sacrifice-bunt attempt but the third strike was a wild pitch which advanced Picard and Henning to second and third, respectively.

Husky pitcher Michael Voelker retired the next two batters to escape the jam.

Voelker, who did a nice job of mixing his fastball and off-speed pitches, went the distance and fanned 11 batters while allowing only four hits to go with five walks.

“Voelker kept us on our heels a little,” coach Cain said. “We were not able to attack like we would’ve liked. He pitched a very good game.”

Ryan Schieble started on the mound for PHS and pitched five innings. Schieble surrendered three runs (two earned) on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Cain threw the final two frames and allowed no runs on zero hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

“Ryan battled through some adversity. Zac came in kept them at bay,” said the coach.

Henning had a game-high three hits, two runs and two steals. Boehnlein paced the Huskies in hits with two.



Score by Innings
New Holstein............010 020 0 – 3 6 0
Plymouth..................201 000 0 – 3 4 5
Michael Voelker and Travis Boehnlein; Ryan Schieble, Zac Cain (6) and
Luke Held. 2B – Plymouth, Cain. 3B –
New Holstein, Jason Brandt.

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