Panthers’ stellar season ends in sectional semis

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


MATT RHUDE, Plymouth senior, fires a pitch to a Kewaskum batter in Monday’s sectional baseball semifinals. Panther third baseman Jake Richards is also shown. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley MATT RHUDE, Plymouth senior, fires a pitch to a Kewaskum batter in Monday’s sectional baseball semifinals. Panther third baseman Jake Richards is also shown. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley CAMPBELLSPORT – Head coach Butch Cain couldn’t be more proud of his Plymouth baseball team even though the Panthers’ bid for a state berth was spoiled by Kewaskum in the sectional semifi- nals here Monday.

The No. 4-seeded Indians (17- 9), behind Brett Boegel’s strong pitching, upset No. 1-seeded PHS, 4-0. The Panthers finished an outstanding season with a 24-4-1 record and set a school mark for the most wins in a campaign.

“Overall, we had a great season. We came up a little short of getting to state. It’s going to hurt for a little while,” Cain said.

“We feel we accomplished a lot. There were a lot of positive things.

“We feel terrible about this being our last game but when the guys look back at the season, they will feel great pride in what they accomplished. We’re [coaching staff is] proud of the guys. They left it all on the field,” the coach said.

The Panthers beat Kewaskum three times on their way to winning the Eastern Wisconsin Conference title with a 17-0-1 record but were outplayed Monday.

“Kewaskum did enough to win. They got timely hits and solid pitching and defense. Kewaskum played well,” Cain said.

“We have a better team but on this day they were better. Our guys played hard. We’ll try to come back and go farther next year [in the postseason].”

Boegel, a junior right-hander, used a good fastball and location to stymie a potent PHS offense. He had a good defense behind him which made several nice plays.

“Boegel did a nice job. He threw strikes and we elevated a lot of his pitches,” Cain noted.

The Panthers hit a combined 11 fly-outs and pop-outs.

Boegel walked only one, allowed just five hits and struck out two in going the distance.

“Brett pitched an excellent game,” said Indian head coach Doug Gonring. “He was throwing strikes and had them a little confused with his velocity, and he has a good enough curveball to change.”

Senior right-hander Matt Rhude also pitched well but took the loss. Rhude gave up three earned runs on only four hits with three walks, seven strikeouts and one hit batter in seven innings.

“Matt pitched a nice game. He had a good mix of pitches [fastball and curve],” said Cain. “He hit his spots and the defense made some plays behind him.”

Kewaskum grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth without the benefit of a hit. Chad Ray led off and struck out but reached first base when the third strike was a wild pitch. Matthew Ringwell followed with a sacrifice bunt which advanced Ray to second. A passed ball moved Ray to third and he scored on a groundout by Sammy Schlosser.

The Indians added three insurance runs in the seventh to go ahead 4-0. Nick Banks doubled over the left fielder which knocked in Jake Hardy and Ethan Vetter who had both singled earlier. Banks scored on an infield error.

The Panthers’ struggling offense was looking for a spark but was unable to execute. In the fifth, Luke Hojnacki led off with a single and moved to second on Rhude’s sacrifice bunt. Eric Leinen followed with a fly ball to the center fielder who doubled up Hojnacki who had tried to steal third.

In the PHS sixth, Clay Henning singled with one out, stole second and took third when the catcher made an errant throw. Jake Richards missed a suicide-squeeze bunt on an outside pitch and Henning was tagged out at home by the catcher.

The Panthers also lost a runner on the bases in the third after a rundown between first and second.

“We were just trying to make things happen. You just can’t sit back and wait. We were aggressive as usual but weren’t able to string together anything,” Cain said.

Held led PHS in hits with two. Banks had a team-high two hits for Kewaskum.

“We got great pitching and they got great pitching but we had the one big inning,” Gonring said.

“It’s hard to beat a team three or four times in a season. On any given day, anyone can beat anyone.”

Gonring thought his team responded very well to playing with a revamped lineup because two starters were missing.

KEWASKUM 4

PLYMOUTH 0

Score by Innings
Kewaskum...............000 100 3 – 4 4 1
Plymouth.................000 000 0 – 0 5 2
Brett Boegel and Dean Schlice;
Matt Rhude and Luke Held. W – Boegel. L – Rhude. 2B – Kewaskum, Nick
Banks.


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