Tigers edge Rockets behind Bagnall’s pitching


JAKE FRITZ of Howards Grove gears up for a pitch in Monday night’s BEC baseball game versus Cedar Grove. Fritz later cracked a single in this at-bat. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley JAKE FRITZ of Howards Grove gears up for a pitch in Monday night’s BEC baseball game versus Cedar Grove. Fritz later cracked a single in this at-bat. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOWARDS GROVE – Senior Matthew Bagnall had another strong pitching outing as the Howards Grove Tigers edged Cedar Grove-Belgium, 3-2, in a Big East Conference small-school division baseball game here Monday night.

The contest was delayed almost two hours after a heavy rainfall. The Tigers upped their BEC record to 6-4 (6-4 overall). The Rockets dropped to 8-4 in league play (8-5 overall).

Bagnall notched the win with six shutout innings. By WIAA rule he had to be removed after six innings because he reached the 100-pitch count. The Rockets scored two runs in the top of the seventh before Mason Valenstein relieved and recorded the final two outs to earn a save.

“A very hard-fought game with HG having runners early but failed to cash in. I thought Bagnall pitched extremely well as he worked out of a few jams. His command, especially with two strikes, was solid,” said Tiger head coach Mark Weber.


MATTHEW BAGNALL, Howards Grove senior, winds up for a pitch to a Cedar Grove batter in Monday night’s BEC baseball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley MATTHEW BAGNALL, Howards Grove senior, winds up for a pitch to a Cedar Grove batter in Monday night’s BEC baseball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley Bagnall threw a no-hitter in a 15-0 win over Ozaukee on June 9. In Monday’s game, he allowed only four hits while walking four and striking out seven.

“His efficiency with location and speeds while staying low in the zone was exemplary,” said Weber.

HG grabbed a 2-0 lead in the fifth. Valenstein’s groundout plated the first run and the second one scored on an error.

The Tigers tallied the eventual winning run in the sixth. Noah Bramstedt drew a twoout walk and stole second and third. After a walk to Jake Fritz, Bagnall ripped a double which drove in Bramstedt to make it 3-2.

HG mustered only two hits but was issued seven walks and had three batters hit by pitches. The Tigers’ other hit was a leadoff single by Fritz in the first.

“I was pleased with our execution in the fifth as we scored two and added a big insurance run on Bagnall’s RBI in the sixth,” said Weber.

The coach thought Ryan Splittgerber made some good plays at third base in the seventh.

The Rockets were led on offense by Josh Weiss, Jason Von Heimburg and Mason Noll with two hits each. Von Heimburg had one RBI.

Rocket starting pitcher Tyler Kraus surrendered only one hit in five innings and had a no-decision. Kraus allowed two runs (one earned) and five walks to go with two strikeouts.


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