Panthers clinch outright division crown

by Craig Hoffman
Tri-County News


BEN PICARD, Plymouth second baseman, tags out New Holstein’s Brad Schroeder attempting to steal second in Thursday’s baseball game. Shortstop Joe Steinhardt backs up the play. Catcher Will Birkholz made the throw. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley BEN PICARD, Plymouth second baseman, tags out New Holstein’s Brad Schroeder attempting to steal second in Thursday’s baseball game. Shortstop Joe Steinhardt backs up the play. Catcher Will Birkholz made the throw. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – Plymouth shut the door on a late New Holstein rally as the Panthers held on for a 5-3 baseball victory over the Huskies Thursday evening at the PHS diamond.

The win clinched the outright Big East Conference large-school division title for the Panthers who were co-champions each of the previous two years. PHS upped its conference record to 16-2 (19-5 overall). All games in the BEC determine the large-school and small-school division standings.

“Winning our conference [division] is always one of our primary goals. This year’s championship was made possible by the team’s consistent ability to have balance on the mound, at the plate and in the field,” said Panther head coach Butch Cain.

“The guys should be proud of how they came together to do what it took as individuals to make our team better.”

Trailing 5-3 entering the final inning, Brady Thelen singles to start the NH charge. With one out, Brad Schroeder singled up the middle sending Thelen to second and chasing Panther starting pitcher Aiden Reilly from the game. In came Ben Picard.

Teddy Schnell slashed a shot at Picard that he knocked down and was able to throw Schnell out at first, but putting the tying run at second base. Casey Schrage then belted a fly ball to center that was caught by Taylor Struve to end the threat and the game.

The Huskies jumped on Reilly for two first inning runs with Randy Smith belting a two-run single to left scoring Brad Schroeder and Schnell.

Plymouth answered back with a single run in the second and three in the third for a 4-2 lead. Joe Steinhardt’s two-run double keyed the third inning.

NH got one back in the fifth when Owen Heus doubled and came home on Kadyn Judkins base knock.

PHS made it 5-3 in the sixth when Matt Pohl tripled and scored on Aiden Reilly’s single.

Pohl led the Panthers’ attack with a pair of triples. Also contributing two hits were Holden Reilly, Taylor Struve and Steinhardt. Steinhardt led in RBIs with two.

Reilly scattered nine hits in getting the win. He allowed three earned runs and three walks to go with three strikeouts.

“Aiden trusted his defense in being around the zone most of the evening, then Ben Picard worked a clean two-thirds of an inning,” said Cain.

“We had only a late miscue on defense which fortunately did not come back to hurt us.”

NH head coach Chad Feucht said mental errors proved fatal.

“We were right there with them,” he said.

“But we didn’t execute a bunt that got us a runner picked off and some other things we didn’t execute and you can’t do that against a team like Butch Cain has.”

He added, “Still, we fought back and were just one hit from tying it.”

NH dropped to 9-9 in the large-school division (11-11 overall).

Schroeder led NH in hits with three.

Schnell went the distance for NH – scattering 11 hits and striking out four while allowing no walks.


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