Prep Baseball Report

D1 Sectionals: Janesville Craig Punches Ticket to State

Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Wisconsin/Illinois

JANESVILLE, WI - As expected, the top seeded Craig Cougars escaped the Janesville Sectional on Tuesday, and punched their ticket to state where they will match up in the quarterfinals with Milwaukee King. Here’s how the Cougars got there.

Madison West (4) 2
No. 5 Janesville Craig (1) 7

Craig came out of the gates fast and furious with five runs in the first two frames, much of it catapulted by one of the top seniors in the state, C Jacob Campbell. Campbell drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single in the first, later scoring on Tressin Kussmaul’s RBI single to left.

Campbell drove in another run with a booming triple to center in the second, followed by Luke Malmanger’s single to center that drove in Campbell.

Out to a 5-0 lead, Campbell’s day was far from over. In the fourth the Illinois commit launched a no doubter over the left field fence for a solo home run and a 6-1 Cougar lead. Campbell would add another RBI single in the sixth for good measure, falling just a double shy of the cycle but capping a huge 4-for-4 day with three RBI and three runs scored.

Meanwhile, RHP Mitchell Woelfle was cruising through the Madison West lineup, scattering just three hits that led to two runs. Woelfle’s only real hiccup came in the sixth where a pair of walks ignited a possible Regent rally, but again it was Campbell, this time putting his defense on display, extinguished the inning throwing out a would be base stealer at second.

Woelfle finished the seventh in order, sending Janesville Craig to the nightcap with a 7-2 win over Madison West.

Verona (3) 1
Janesville Parker (2) 2

In the second sectional matchup, Janesville Parker and Verona squared off in a good old fashion pitchers duel. Junior Casey Stone and Freshman Ryan Taylor were the stories, firing zero after zero at one another and both offenses came up empty, swinging early and often yet struggling to find any green space.

Parker scored once in the third as Carter Schneider led the inning off with a single. Two batters later, Jordan Bailey ripped a double to right that sent Schneider to third, later scoring on a wild pitch.

Parker tacked on an important insurance run in the sixth. Senior catcher Kade Bohlman’s one out double put himself in scoring position for senior Chase Hamilton who drove him in with a single.

Parker starter Casey Stone was working effectively all day by pounding the zone with a fastball/curveball combination that kept hitters off balance and got him into the seventh without allowing a run.

However, Verona would not go quietly and had their chance in the seventh. An infield error allowed the first baserunner aboard, and with two outs Tucker Teskey laid down a beautiful drag bunt that put the tying run at first base. With first and second and two men out, Connor McGowen drove a ball to the right center gap that easily scored one. As Teskey was rounding third, McGowen also took a big turn at first as the first baseman vacated the bag. As the throw came back onto the infield, the ball was cut between first and second putting McGowen’s big turn in jeopardy. McGowen couldn’t win the footrace back to first base, and Parker was able to tag him out before Teskey could score, capping a final score of 2-1 in favor of Janesville Parker, and a date with Craig in the Sectional Finals.

Janesville Parker (2) 5
No. 5 Janesville Craig (1) 7

Parker carried their momentum into the finals with Craig, jumping out to an early 5-0 lead in just two innings. The Vikings scored their first run of the game all after two outs in the first. Sam Garvoille coaxed the two-out walk followed by back to back singles as Chase Hamilton drove in Garvoille, putting Parker on the board, 1-0.

Parker strung together a big rally in the second with four hits in the inning that led to four more Viking runs. Kade Bohlman drove in a pair on a scorching double to left after Garvoille added an RBI single, putting Craig on the ropes in an early 5-0 hole.

Craig’s bounce back inning came in the third when they erased all five runs of the deficit to tie the game at 5-5. The first five batters of the inning would reach base safely and Noah Berghammer, Tressin Kussmaul, JJ Brennan and Clark Schmaling would drive in the runs. Schamling tied the game at five executing a perfectly placed safety squeeze.

Craig broke the tie in the fifth with just one hit in the frame as the base on balls became an issue for Parker. Three walks in the inning allowed Ross March to drive in a run on a double play ball that he beat out, and then some crafty 1st and 3rd work by the Cougars stole the seventh and final tally for Craig.

Parker put the tying run at first base in the seventh, but Noah Berghammer induced a flyout to left to end the game and send Coach Herbst’s squad to state.