Panthers double their pleasure

SHEBOYGAN – The Plymouth Panthers swept a doubleheader from Sheboygan Lutheran, 6-1 and 14-4, here Tuesday to move to 3-0 in the Big East Conference baseball race.

PHS improved to 3-3 overall. The Crusaders fell to 0-3 in the BEC (0-3 overall).

In the opener, junior Jake Steinhardt and freshman Michael Troka combined on a four-hitter, with Schweiger posting the win and Troka earning a save. Steinhardt allowed one earned run on three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in four innings.

Troka closed out the game with three scoreless frames, gave up one hit and two walks with one strikeout and a hit batter.

PHS had just six hits but took advantage of four Crusader errors which led to five unearned runs.

The Panthers scored two runs in the top of the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. Steinhardt’s RBI triple gave PHS a 2-1 lead and Derek Schweiger drove him in with a single to make it 3-1.

PHS added three insurance runs in the seventh on three walks and two Lutheran errors.

Steinhardt led PHS in hits with two. Austin Struve scored a teamhigh three runs and Steinhardt had two.

The losing pitcher was starter Jordan Landgraf who surrendered three runs (one earned) on six hits with no walks, five strikeouts and a hit batter in five innings.

“Our pitchers did a nice job. They kept the ball down in the zone and had a decent curve. Our defense worked well behind them,” said Panther head coach Butch Cain.

“Offensively, we capitalized on some errors and had some timely hits.”


A six-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth gave PHS an 11-4 cushion in the nightcap. The big hit was a three-run double by freshman catcher Will Birkholz.

Steinhardt and Taylor Struve contributed RBI singles in the PHS fourth. The Panthers had three hits and drew four walks in the frame.

The Panthers banged out 10 hits and had nine batters with at least one hit. Holden Reilly led in hits with two. PHS walked nine times and had two hit batters.

Birkholz paced PHS in RBIs with three, followed by Reilly and Taylor Struve with two each. Austin Struve scored a team-high three runs and Steinhardt and Isaac Fintak had two apiece.

Reilly earned the win in relief of starter Troka. Reilly, a sophomore, came on in the first and held Lutheran to one run in five innings after the Crusaders had grabbed a 3-0 lead against Troka. Reilly gave up one earned run on three hits with no walks and five strikeouts.

“Reilly did a great job. He commanded the strike zone and kept the ball down in the zone and had a good breaking ball,” said Cain.

“Everybody stepped up. It was a team effort.”

Alex Timm and Josh Pingel had a team-best two hits each for Lutheran. Timm led in RBIs with three.

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