Panthers edge Falcons in pitchers’ duel

PLYMOUTH – Derek Schweiger of Plymouth outdueled Sheboygan Falls’ John Vander- Ploeg to earn a 3-1 victory in a Big East Conference baseball game here Tuesday evening.

Schweiger, who also defeated the Falcons Friday night, gave up one earned run on seven hits with three walks, two hit batters and five strikeouts.

“Derek kept them off balance and fought hard. He kept the ball down, used his fastball to keep them honest and used his breaker and change-up effectively,” said Panther head coach Butch Cain.

“I can’t say enough about his performances the last two times against Sheboygan Falls.”

Schweiger, with relief help from Jake Steinhardt, beat Falls, 6-4, on Friday.

The Panthers raised their third-place BEC record to 8-2 (10-7 overall). The Falcons dropped to 7-3 in the league (8-8 overall) and are in fourth.

VanderPloeg gave up three earned runs on only three hits with 10 strikeouts, three walks and one hit batter.

“VanderPloeg was tough. He used his slider effectively with two strikes and he had good con- trol,” Cain noted.

Falls took a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning. Vander- Ploeg led off with a single and moved to second base on Conor O’Dwanny’s sacrifice bunt. VanderPloeg advanced to third on J.T. Petrie’s single and scored on a wild pitch.

The Panthers answered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Isaac Fintak drew a leadoff walk and Will Birkholz was hit by a pitch. Austin Struve followed with a bunt single which loaded the bases.

Schweiger batted next and hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice which brought home Fintak. Taylor Struve followed with a double to right-center field which drove in Birkholz and Schweiger, giving PHS a 3-1 lead.

“Taylor put a good swing on an outside fastball. He came through in the clutch which was huge for us,” said Cain.

In the top of the seventh, Ryan Schmitt led off with a walk. After a strikeout, Sean Mattek lined into a 4-3 double play to end the game.

Austin Struve and Taylor Struve led PHS in hits with two each. VanderPloeg and Petrie paced Falls in hits with two apiece.

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