Kiel outlasts PHS; teams share BEC title

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


AUSTIN GOEHRING of Kiel slides into home with the go-ahead run as Plymouth catcher Will Birkholz attempts a tag in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s baseball game. Nick Walsh singled in Goehring who scored from second. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley AUSTIN GOEHRING of Kiel slides into home with the go-ahead run as Plymouth catcher Will Birkholz attempts a tag in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s baseball game. Nick Walsh singled in Goehring who scored from second. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – It’s probably fitting that the Plymouth Panthers and the Kiel Raiders share the first Big East Conference Conference baseball championship after they engaged in two tightly contested games since Friday.

Kiel bounced back from a tough 5-4 loss to PHS in eight innings Friday to earn a share of the BEC’s overall and large-school division titles with a wild 13-11, eight-inning win over host PHS Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday’s game was the completion of the second game of Friday’s doubleheader which was suspended after 5½ innings due to darkness

The conference crown is the Raiders’ first since 2004 when their shared the Eastern Wisconsin Conference championship with Plymouth. PHS has won four con- ference titles in a row.


JOE STEINHARDT, Plymouth second baseman, tags out Kiel’s Trace Woepse in a rundown between first and third in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s baseball game. Woepse was caught off first when catcher Will Birkholz fired the ball to first baseman Derek Schweiger (34). – Review photo by Greg Ceilley JOE STEINHARDT, Plymouth second baseman, tags out Kiel’s Trace Woepse in a rundown between first and third in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s baseball game. Woepse was caught off first when catcher Will Birkholz fired the ball to first baseman Derek Schweiger (34). – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PHS (18-10 overall) and Kiel (17-9) finished 16-4 in the BEC.

Kiel pushed across two runs in the top of the eighth to seize a 13- 11 lead. Austin Goehring belted a one-out double and then Jonathan Meyer was hit by a pitch. Nick Walsh followed with a ground single to right field which knocked in Goehring and gave Kiel a 12-11 lead.

Meyer advanced to second on Walsh’s hit and took third on the right fielder’s throw home. Walsh advanced to second on the throw. Meyer came home on Eric Weber’s suicide-squeeze bunt. Weber was retired on the bunt and earned an RBI.

PHS put two runners on in the eighth with two outs on walks to Will Birkholz and Joey Osieczanek, respectively, but the game ended when Sam Miller lined out to the first baseman.

The Panthers missed a golden opportunity to win the game in the last of the seventh. Miller drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on Austin Struve’s ensuing sacrifice bunt. Jake Steinhardt was then intentionally walked.

Miller moved to third on a passed ball and Steinhardt took second on defensive indifference. With one out, Meyer, escaped the jam by striking out Derek Schweiger and Taylor Struve, the Panthers’ Nos. 3 and 4 batters, respectively. Schweiger had started his at-bat by attempting a suicide squeeze but the bunt was fouled off.

Meyer, the winning pitcher, fanned the side in the sixth which was where the game resumed following the suspension. Meyer, displaying a good fastball, finished the game with six strikeouts in only three innings. He allowed no runs on no hits with four walks.

The first five innings were a see-saw battle. PHS took a 5-0 lead in last of the first, ignited by Miller’s two-run single.

Meyer slugged a grand slam in the third which highlighted a six in run Raider explosion, giving them a 7-5 lead. Meyer also hammered a solo homer in the second.

PHS came back three times the rest of the way to tie the game.

“I’m proud of them. I told my players after the game that they earned this conference championship,” said Raider head coach Brad Mey.

“Jonathan pitched real well and got out of some jams. We had chances in the eighth and capitalized on them,” said Mey.

“We had opportunities to pull it out but unfortunately we weren’t able to,” said Panther head coach Butch Cain. “They had key hits.

“I congratulated our team on being co-champions. It has been a team effort all season.

“We battled [in Tuesday’s game]. We put ourselves in position to win the conference [outright] championship but we weren’t quite able to get it done,” said Cain.

Miller, a sophomore, led PHS in hits with three. The Panthers had only five hits but walked 15 times and scored five unearned runs.

Kiel banged out 11 hits, led by Goehring with three. He belted a three-run homer in the fourth which gave his team a 10-7 lead. Carter Voelker and Meyer added two hits each.

Meyer drove in a team-high five runs and Goehring, four.

Jack Nytes was the losing pitcher in relief. He allowed earned two runs on three hits with three walks and one strikeout in 2-2/3 innings.

The Panthers earned a No. 2 seed for regional play and will host Cedar Grove-Belgium Friday in the finals at 5:30 p.m. at the PHS field. Kiel is seeded No. 1 and will entertain Sheboygan Lutheran Friday at 5:30 p.m. in a final.


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