Tigers end BEC play with twinbill sweep

HOWARDS GROVE – The Howards Grove Tigers closed out their regular baseball season in strong fashion with a doubleheader sweep over Kohler/Christian, 11-3 and 11-2, here Friday night.

The Big East Conference wins give the Tigers a final league record of 9-11 and improved their overall mark to 9-12. HG tied for second in the BEC small-school Division with Oostburg. Random Lake won the division with an 11-9 record.

In the opener, the Tigers banged out 12 hits, led by freshman Nic Koenig and sophomore Isaac Dirker with three each. Zac Stauss contributed two hits.

Dirker paced HG in RBIs with three, followed by Jed Goedeke, Eric Reinemann and Gavin Winter with two apiece. Koenig scored a team-high three runs.

Matthew Bagnall allowed only three hits in six innings en route to the win. The junior gave up three earned runs, five walks, two hit batters while striking out five. Ryan Splittgerber finished up and pitched a 1-2-3 seventh with two strikeouts.

“Games one and two took a while for us to get the offense started but we were able to mount leads in both. Bagnall pitched well in game one and freshman Ryan Splittberger finished for him to win, 11-3,” said Tiger head coach Mark Weber.

Micah Chrisman led K/C in hits with two. Joe Bugbee had a teamhigh two RBIs.


In the nightcap, the Tigers combined 13 hits and seven K/C errors to run away with an 11-2 win. Stauss keyed the HG attack with three hits. Jake Fritz, Matthew Bagnall and Koenig collected two hits apiece. Stauss also had a team-best three RBIs.

Four of the Tigers runs were unearned as a results of K/C’s defensive struggles.

Koenig was the winning pitcher – allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with three walks, a hit batter and seven strikeouts in 4-1/3 innings. Brad Olson threw the the final 2-2/3 frames and gave up no runs on one hit with zero walks and two strikeouts.

Bugbee and Brady Stefanczyk paced K/C in hits with two each.

K/C fell to 1-18 in the BEC (1- 19 overall).

HG will host Sheboygan Lutheran in a regional first-round game Tuesday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.

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