Panthers fall to Huskies in sectional semis

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


SAM MILLER of Plymouth rips a single in the second inning of Monday’s sectional baseball game against New Holstein. The catcher is Nolan Beirne. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley SAM MILLER of Plymouth rips a single in the second inning of Monday’s sectional baseball game against New Holstein. The catcher is Nolan Beirne. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – Josh Burg’s three-run double sparked a four-run outburst in the fourth inning which propelled New Holstein past the Plymouth Panthers, 7-3, in the sectional baseball semifinals Monday afternoon at Carl Loebe Field.

The No. 3-seeded Huskies went on to defeat top-seeded Kiel, 10-4, in the sectional finals Monday night which advanced them to the state tournament.

The state tourney will be held Friday at Kapco Park in Mequon. NH will face Menomonee Falls in the semifinals at approximately 2 p.m., following the Milwaukee Marquette- Oak Creek game at 11:35 a.m. The finals are set for Friday at 6:05 p.m.

PHS, a No. 2 seed, ended an excellent season with a 19-11 record. The Panthers were the Big East Conference co-champions and captured the program’s fifth straight regional title.


HOLDEN REILLY, Plymouth shortstop, fires the ball to first to complete a 1-6-3 double play in the third inning of Monday’s sectional baseball game versus New Holstein. Brady Halbach (2) is forced out at second. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOLDEN REILLY, Plymouth shortstop, fires the ball to first to complete a 1-6-3 double play in the third inning of Monday’s sectional baseball game versus New Holstein. Brady Halbach (2) is forced out at second. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley “Winning the conference championship was our first goal and we were able to attain that, and we played well in the regional. We ran into a hot New Holstein team,” said PHS head coach Butch Cain.

“I’m really proud of our young team. The guys really came together this year.”

The Panthers lose only two seniors off this year’s team. All but four team members this season were underclassmen.

The Huskies grabbed a 2-0 lead on PHS in the top of the first inning on Burg’s RBI single, followed by Brady Halbach’s run-scoring double.

NH made it 3-0 in the second on Justin Weber’s RBI single.

The Panthers clawed back with two runs in the bottom of the second and one in the third to pull even at 3-3. In the second, catcher Will Birkholz drew a two-out walk and was lifted for courtesy runner Jack Nytes. Holden Reilly then walked.

Freshman designated hitter Matt Pohl followed with a two-run double which sliced the Huskies’ lead to 3-2. Sam Miller batted next and hit a ground single. Pohl tried to score from second on the hit but was thrown out at home by right fielder Trent Winkel who rifled a strike to catcher Nolan Beirne.

The Huskies had another key defensive play earlier in the second. Second baseman Owen Olson robbed Joe Steinhardt of a single with a diving stop of a smash. The out was the second one of the inning.

In the PHS third, Jake Steinhardt hit an infield single and advanced to second when the second baseman made a throwing error on the hit. Derek Schweiger followed with a line-drive single which drove in Steinhardt.


JAKE STEINHARDT, Plymouth first baseman, attempts to tag New Holstein’s Josh Burg on a pickoff throw from catcher Will Birkholz in Monday’s sectional baseball game. Burg was safe at first. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley JAKE STEINHARDT, Plymouth first baseman, attempts to tag New Holstein’s Josh Burg on a pickoff throw from catcher Will Birkholz in Monday’s sectional baseball game. Burg was safe at first. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley The Huskies broke the game open with their four-run fourth. Burg’s double came with two outs and gave his team a 6-3 lead. Halbach then drilled a single to knock in Burg.

Justin Weber earned a completegame win – holding PHS hitless and scoreless over the final four innings, keyed by keeping the ball down and having good command of his pitches. Weber allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

The losing hurler was starter Schweiger who was tagged for three runs (all earned) on five hits with one walk and a strikeout in only 1-1/3 innings.

Jake Steinhardt relieved Schweiger in the second and went 2-2/3 innings. He gave up four runs (all earned) on five hits with one walk and one strikeout. Nytes, a freshman, closed out the game with three shutout frames – surrendering no hits and one walk to go with two strikeouts.

Jake Steinhardt led PHS in hits with two and Pohl had a team-high two RBIs.

Halbach paced NH in hits with three, followed by Olson and Burg with two apiece. Burg led in RBIs with four and Halbach had two.

“I liked our discipline at the plate. The last two weeks we’ve been putting the ball in play more, and when you do that you have a shot,” said NH head coach Scott Neu.

“Weber dug in [pitching] after the third inning. Nolan Beirne’s experience at catcher [working with Weber] was huge.

“I was happy with our overall performance,” added Neu.

“I thought we gave a good effort. Mentally, we weren’t as prepared as we should’ve been for the game,” said Jake Steinhardt, a junior.

“New Holstein took advantage of all of your mistakes. I thought we did good pitching but when we made mistakes they took advantage of those mistakes – hitting to the opposite side and getting a hold of ones when we were leaving pitches up. We tried to work low. It just wasn’t our day”

Cain thought Nytes pitched well and did a good job of keeping the ball down.

“If you leave the ball up, eventually the odds are against you and you can get hurt,” said Cain.

“We answered back real well in the second inning but didn’t string together enough hits in the other innings. I give New Holstein credit. They had a few more timely hits than we did.

“Our guys competed well on the hill. We had some untimely walks [allowed],” said the PHS coach.

“We fought until the end. We had a never-say-die attitude.”

KIEL-NH GAME

A six-run explosion in the top of the third fueled the Huskies’ rout over Kiel. NH banged out 11 hits in the contest, led by Burg, Halbach and Charlie Schnell with two each.

Halbach and Schnell had a teambest three RBIs apiece. Olson was the starting and winning pitcher.

Jonathan Meyer paced the Raiders in hits with two. Meyer had an RBI. Nick Walsh, who started on the mound, took the loss.


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