Falcons deal Panthers first EWC loss

by Steve Ottman Review Co respondent

SHEBOYGAN FALLS – The Sheboygan Falls Falcons handed the Plymouth Panthers their first Eastern Wisconsin Conference baseball defeat of the season season, 8-0, here Friday night.

Sophomore John VanderPloeg threw a one-hit shutout. Vander- Ploeg struck out six batters and walked one while facing just 22 batters (one over the minimum) for the win.

“John had great command tonight,” said Falcon head coach Lance Smith.

“We’re starting to play better at the right time of the season. The team has become more energetic and is starting to come around now.”

The loss was only the second for the Panthers in EWC play over the past three years. PHS leads the league with a 13-1 record (17-5 overall). Kewaskum, which plays at PHS Saturday at approximately 2 p.m., holds down second place at 12-3.

The Falcons improved to 7-7 in the EWC (12-11 overall).

With the Falcons leading 1-0 after the first inning, they raked Plymouth for seven runs in the bottom of the second inning and that was all of the support VanderPloeg needed.

Falls sent 10 batters to the plate in the second – chasing Panther starting pitcher Jake Steinhardt who had beaten the Falcons twice this season. Sean Mattek singled to start the inning. Connor O’Dwanny reached on a throwing error and Luke Burgard walked to load the bases.

Ryan Schmitt drew a walk for an RBI and Ross Krist hit an RBI single to make the score 3-0. Another throwing error by Plymouth caused two more runs to score and the Falcons’ lead grew to 5-0.

Kyle Peterson blasted a two-run triple to extend the lead to 7-0. JT Petrie hit a deep sacrifice fly to make it 8-0.

The only hit by PHS was a oneout single in the second by Matt Olig.

“Falls built some early momentum and we were never able to put enough runners on base to make a run,” said Panther head coach Butch Cain.

“It’s a long season and this was a game where we didn’t do enough to put ourselves in a position to score.

“Sheboygan Falls made plays and VanderPloeg was able to mix in enough of his pitches to let his defense work and we weren’t able to square up on the ball like we need to. He kept us off balance,” Cain said.

Krist and Peterson had two hits and two RBIs each to lead the Falcons’ offense.

Steinhardt took the loss and went only 1-1/3 innings. He gave up six runs (three earned) on five hits with two walks and one strikeout.

Derek Schweiger was strong in relief for PHS – allowing no runs and zero hits with one walk and two strikeouts in four innings.


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