Falcons edge Tigers in nine-inning battle

SHEBOYGAN FALLS – John VanderPloeg’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Sheboygan Falls Falcons a dramatic 2-1 win over the Howards Grove Tigers in the opener of Friday’s baseball doubleheader.

VanderPloeg drove in Kyle Peterson who had walked with one out and moved to second base on Ryan Schmitt’s single.

The Falcons cruised to a 12-4 in the nightcap to up their Big East Conference record to 9-4 (10-9 overall). HG slipped to 5-10 in the BEC (5-10 overall).

Isaac Dirker pitched a strong game for the Tigers in game one but got a no-decision. The sophomore allowed one earned run on six hits with five walks, a hit batter and two strikeouts in 8-2/3 innings.

Brad Olson relieved Dirker, who had thrown 120 pitches, in the ninth with two outs and took the loss. Olson gave up one earned run on two hits with one walk and no strikeouts.

“We played a great game against SF in the first one,” said Tiger head coach Mark Weber.

Austin Elsing earned the win in relief of VanderPloeg. Elsing gave up one run (unearned) on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts in three frames.

VanderPloeg hurled an outstanding game. He fanned 12 batters in only six innings and allowed no runs on just two hits with two walks.

The Tigers scored their run in the seventh on Mason Valenstein’s suicide squeeze bunt which plated Matthew Bagnall who had singled earlier.

Falls’ Ross Krist and Ryan Schmitt had a game-high two hits each. Austin Elsing’s bases-loaded walk brought in the Falcons’ other run which came in the third.


Peterson’s five RBIs powered the Falcons to their rout in the nightcap. He also shared the team lead in hits with VanderPloeg at three apiece.

The Falcons banged out 15 hits. Luke Burgard contributed two. VanderPloeg had three RBIs and Ross Krist, two.

HG rapped out nine hits, led by Eric Reinemann and Dirker with two each. Bagnall had a team-best two RBIs.

Peterson was the winning hurler in relief. He allowed no runs on one hit with two walks and a strikeout in three innings.

Olson was the Tigers’ starting pitcher and got the loss. He gave up six runs (four earned) on nine hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts in 3-2/3 innings.

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