On to state

Panthers shot down Falcons to earn sectional crown, trip to WIAA summer baseball tournament Friday
Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


THE PLYMOUTH PANTHERS celebrate their sectional baseball title and a trip to state after a 12-2 win over Sheboygan Falls Monday night. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley THE PLYMOUTH PANTHERS celebrate their sectional baseball title and a trip to state after a 12-2 win over Sheboygan Falls Monday night. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – A very confident, focused Plymouth baseball team proved again why it’s the cream of the crop in the area as the Panthers dominated Monday’s sectional tournament at Carl Loebe Field en route to the school’s first state berth since 2006.

The No. 1-seeded Panthers routed Howards Grove, 10-0, in the first semifinal game of the day and then hammered No. 2-seeded Sheboygan Falls, 12-2, that night in the finals. Falls, 22-7, advanced to the finals with a 10-4 win over Campbellsport in Monday’s other semifinal game.

“It feels awesome. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little child,” said senior second baseman Jake Richards about the Panthers advancing to state.


JUSTIN PICARD, Plymouth senior, takes off for first after hitting a sharp grounder to the Sheboygan Falls first baseman in Monday’s sectional baseball finals. Picard reached on an error by the first baseman and later scored. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley JUSTIN PICARD, Plymouth senior, takes off for first after hitting a sharp grounder to the Sheboygan Falls first baseman in Monday’s sectional baseball finals. Picard reached on an error by the first baseman and later scored. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley “Now, we’re finally going to state and we just have to seal the deal and win it.”

“We’re excited but not that excited. We’re not done yet. Our ultimate goal is to win the state chamby pionship,” said senior shortstop Clay Henning.

“We fell short last year [losing in the sectional semifinals] and I think that helped drive us this year.”

PHS improved to 28-4 and will face Brookfield Central (26-6) in the state semifinals Friday at Kapco Park in Mequon. The Panthers have won 12 in a row.

In the finals, the Panthers roughed up Falcon ace Nate Heili who pitched a no-hitter against PHS for a 5-1 win on July 1. Plymouth’s potent attack exploded for 10 runs (nine earned) off Heili on 10 hits. The senior right-hander, who took the loss, struggled with his control as he hit four batters, had four wild pitches and walked two in only three innings before being relieved at the start of the fourth.

“We’re excited and happy [to be going to state]. One through 15 have really played well together throughout the year,” said Panther head coach Butch Cain.

“The guys’ dedication and offseason work paid off, and getting to state is the fruition of that. Our goal was not just to get to state but to go down there and win it.

“It was a big crowd [in the sectional finals] and excitement. Our guys wanted to go out there and show they’re a good team for the community. They wanted to make one final statement that they’re the best team in the conference,” said coach Cain.

PHS won the Eastern Wisconsin Conference with a 17-1 record and Falls took second. Falls gave the Panthers their only EWC loss.

The Panthers took control of the game from the get-go as they grabbed a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Henning greeted Heili with a sharp single on the first pitch, stole second base and moved to third when Tyler Willeford hit an infield single. Zac Cain, the No. 3 batter, lashed a two-run double down the left-field line.

One out later, Cain scored on Richards’ double into the left-centerfield gap to make it 3-0. Cole Karczewski’s two-out single drove in Richards which capped off the first.

The Panthers’ onslaught continued in the second frame with three runs to build a 7-0 lead. Justin Picard led off and reached first on an infield error. Picard later scored on Henning’s base hit.

Willeford’s single knocked in Henning. A hit batter and a walk loaded the bases with two away. Matt Olig was also plunked by a pitch which forced in Willeford for the seventh run.

PHS blew the game with three runs in the third to make it a 10-1 contest. All three runs came with two outs. Willeford came home on a wild pitch, Luke Held had an RBI double and Luke Hojnacki finished the spurt with an RBI single.

The Panthers won by the 10-run rule after tallying twice in the sixth on Henning’s sacrifice fly and Willeford’s single which made it 12-2 and ended the game.

PHS pounded out 12 hits, led by Willeford and Cain with three each. Henning added two. Henning, Cain and Willeford had a team-high two RBIs apiece.

Willeford paced his team in runs with three, followed by Cain and Henning with two each. Willeford also led in steals with a pair.

Heili led the Falcons’ bats with three hits and Jacob Brading had two. Erik Klemme and Nick Peterson had one RBI each.

Cain was the winning pitcher – starting and throwing five strong innings. The junior right-hander gave up one run (earned) on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

“Zac had good rhythm, concentration and determination,” said coach Cain.

“He had confidence in his pitch selection with Luke Held [senior catcher]. Zac changed speeds well.”

“We didn’t play well as a team and Plymouth put the ball in play,” said Falcon head coach Ryan Fladvid. “We struggled early and things snowballed.

“Heili struggled but he has been our leader for four years and quite a competitor.”

“Our guys were aggressive and had great discipline at the plate,” said coach Cain.

“Clay set the stage [with leadoff single] and everyone followed suit the rest of the game. We got Heili out of his comfort level and rhythm. We swung at our pitches and not his pitches.”

“We knew we could hit him [Heili]. We knew he always comes with the fastball first and everyone came out swinging,” said Zac Cain.

SHEBOYGAN FALLS 2

PLYMOUTH 12

Score by Innings

Sheboygan Falls....001 001 – 2 7 2
Plymouth................433 002 – 12 12 0

Nate Heili, Nick Peterson (4), John Vanderploeg (6) and Ross Krist; Zac Cain, Jake Richards (6) and Luke Held. W – Cain. L – Heili. 2Bs – Plymouth, Cain, Held, Richards. 3B – Sheb_ oygan Falls, Heili.


Most recent cover pages:














Copyright 2009-2018 The Plymouth Review, All Rights Reserved

Contact Information

113 E. Mill St., Plymouth WI 53073
Local: 920-893-6411 Toll Free: 1-877-467-6591
Fax: 920-893-5505


Wittkopp's Funeral & Cremation Services