Crusaders upend Tigers in regional opener

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


GAVIN WINTER, Howards Grove right fielder, attempts to catch a bloop hit by Sheboygan Lutheran’s Josiah Boyd in the third inning of Tuesday night’s regional baseball game. Boyd earned a single. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley GAVIN WINTER, Howards Grove right fielder, attempts to catch a bloop hit by Sheboygan Lutheran’s Josiah Boyd in the third inning of Tuesday night’s regional baseball game. Boyd earned a single. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOWARDS GROVE – Sheboygan Lutheran got strong pitching from senior Justin Landgraf and cashed in on sloppy defense by Howards Grove, paving the way for a 6-1 win over the Tigers in a regional baseball opener here Tuesday night.

The Crusaders, a No. 9 seed, advance to the finals Friday at Kiel at 5:30 p.m. Lutheran improved to 6-14. HG, seeded No. 8, ended their season at 9-13.

Score by Innings Sheb. Lutheran......011 022 0 – 6 11 3 Howards Grove.....001 000 0 – 1 4 5

Justin Landgraf and Tyler Landgraf; Brad Olson, Isaac Dirker (5), Matthew Bagnall (6) and Eric Reinemann. W – J. Landgraf. L – Olson. 2Bs – Lutheran, Kyle Theune; Howards Grove, Mason Valenstein.


BRAD OLSON, Howards Grove pitcher, fires the ball to a Sheboygan Lutheran batter in Tuesday night’s regional baseball opener. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley BRAD OLSON, Howards Grove pitcher, fires the ball to a Sheboygan Lutheran batter in Tuesday night’s regional baseball opener. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley The Tigers committed five errors and failed to execute on a few other plays on defense. Four of the runs scored by Lutheran were unearned.

Landgraf handcuffed the Tigers’ offense on just four hits. He recorded three strikeouts and walks each and surrendered one unearned run in notching a complete-game win. The Crusaders’ defense made several key plays on which helped keep the Tigers’ attack at bay.

“We did not play well but Lutheran made the plays needed to win,” said Tiger head coach Mark Weber.

“Landgraf gave up only four hits but a trio of Tiger pitchers gave up 11.”

The Crusaders broke the game open at 6-1 after scoring two runs in the top of the fifth and two more in the sixth. In the fifth, Tyler Landgraf plated a run with a groundout. The second run in the frame scored because of an errant pickoff throw by the pitcher.

In the Lutheran sixth, the first run came on a dropped fly ball. Alex Timm’s RBI single made it 6-1.

HG tallied its run in the third. Isaac Dirker led off and reached second on a two-base throwing error by the third baseman on a grounder. Noah Bramstedt followed with a bunt single which moved Dirker to third. Matthew Bagnall batted next and hit a bloop single which drove

Dirker.

Kyle Theune and Josh Pingel led the Crusaders in hits with three each, followed by Timm’s two. Lutheran didn’t have a batter with more than one RBI.

Bramstedt paced HG in hits with two.

Senior Brad Olson was the losing pitcher and went 4-2/3 innings. Olson gave up four runs (two earned) on nine hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

“With the game at 2-1 we thought we could climb into it and get the offense moving but it just didn’t happen for us in this one,” said Weber.

“Landgraf pitched well. We wish them success going into the game at Kiel this Friday.”


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