Panthers cruise to fifth straight regional title

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


AUSTIN STRUVE of Plymouth dives back to first safely as Cedar Grove first baseman Brett Simmelink awaits the pitcher’s pickoff throw in Friday’s regional baseball finals. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley AUSTIN STRUVE of Plymouth dives back to first safely as Cedar Grove first baseman Brett Simmelink awaits the pitcher’s pickoff throw in Friday’s regional baseball finals. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Panthers earned their fifth straight regional baseball championship with an 11-1 rout over visiting Cedar Grove-Belgium Friday evening.

PHS, the No. 2 seed, improved to 19-10. The No. 7-seeded Rockets ended their season at 9-15. The game was called after 4½ innings due to the 10-run rule.

“We played a complete game. Our pitching was strong. Defensively, we were sharp. We put the ball in play and we hit the ball hard,” said Panther head coach Butch Cain.

PHS was scheduled to face New Holstein in the sectional semifinals on Monday, July 18 at Carl Loebe Field in Plymouth. The other semifinal game at Loebe Field was Sheboygan Falls versus Kiel.


DEREK SCHWEIGER, Plymouth junior, fires a pitch to a Cedar Grove batter in Friday’s regional baseball championship game. Schweiger earned an 11-1 win. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley DEREK SCHWEIGER, Plymouth junior, fires a pitch to a Cedar Grove batter in Friday’s regional baseball championship game. Schweiger earned an 11-1 win. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley Junior left-hander Derek Schweiger pitched four strong innings to earn the win. Schweiger, who mixed up his pitches effectively, allowed one earned on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in four innings.

“We did what we had to do to get out of here in five innings and save some pitching arms,” said Schweiger. We hit the ball well up and down the lineup. It was a team effort.

“I brought a new pitch today – a curveball. All I had before was a fastball and slider. I needed a different change of speed. I kept them off-balance.

They were a pull-hitting team and I made them go the other way,” said Schweiger.

Jake Steinhardt threw a scoreless fifth for PHS. He gave up one hit and no walks while striking out one.

The Panthers took advantage of sloppy defense by the Rockets to score six unearned runs off starter Jason Von Heimburg. PHS jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first and were in control the rest of the way. Austin Struve led off with a single and took third on Jake Steinhardt’s base hit.

Schweiger followed with a grounder to the second baseman who misplayed it for an error which allowed Struve and Steinhardt to score which made it 2-0. Schweiger was credited with one RBI.

Jack Nytes, courtesy running for Schweiger, stole second base. Taylor Struve followed with an infield single, advancing Nytes to third. Joe Steinhardt’s groundout brought home Nytes. Will Birkholz drove in Struve with a sacrifice fly which gave PHS a 4-0 lead.

The Panthers busted the game open at 11-1 with a four-run uprising in the fourth. The key hits were a two-run single by Zac Kaiser and an RBI single by Schweiger. The other run scored on a wild pitch.

Schweiger led PHS in RBIs with four, followed by Birkholz and Kaiser with two each. Jake Steinhardt and Schweiger had a team-high two hits apiece.

Austin Struve, Taylor Struve, Nytes and Jake Steinhardt led PHS in runs with two each.

Cameron Kirst paced the Rockets in hits with two. Cedar Grove scored in the second on Adam Gonwa’s single which knocked in Kirst who had doubled and stole third.

The losing pitcher was Jason Von Heimberg who started and was charged with 11 runs (five earned) on eight hits with two walks and zero strikeouts in 3-1/13 innings.

“It’s pretty cool [going to the sectional] since I wasn’t on the varsity last year. I’m very proud of the team,” said Kaiser, one of only two seniors in the PHS squad.

“I knew we had a pretty good team. I’m not surprised we won the conference championship and are going to the sectional. Our defense has been spectacular and has really carried us along with good pitching,” said Kaiser.

“Everyone did their part [in Friday’s game],” said Cain. “We put pressure on them [with hitting and baserunning]. We had good discipline at the plate and ran the bases effectively.

“They have a good hitting lineup. Derek was around the plate and kept them off balance.

“One of our goals was to make it to the sectional. This is one step in the total process,” added Cain.


Most recent cover pages:














Copyright 2009-2018 The Plymouth Review, All Rights Reserved

Contact Information

113 E. Mill St., Plymouth WI 53073
Local: 920-893-6411 Toll Free: 1-877-467-6591
Fax: 920-893-5505


Women's Civic Society







Holiday Shop of Road America