Prep Baseball Report

No. 9 Blue Dukes rally for extra-inning win over Grafton, Lamb

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

WHITEFISH BAY, Wis. – It was an inauspicious start for one of the top-ranked juniors in the state. Grafton’s southpaw ace Tommy Lamb (Oklahoma commit) fired in two strikes in his first two pitches of the ballgame at Cahill Park and Whitefish Bay’s senior lead-off hitter Patrick Nau smashed the third pitch to deep left-center field and he raced into third for a triple.

He came around to score in the next at-bat on a routine groundball to shortstop and the Black Hawks opted to secure their first out of the game rather than attempt to catch Nau on his way home, granting the Blue Dukes the early 1-0 lead in the first frame of the game.

But, after that, Lamb settled in comfortably. He pitched over a little trouble in the third inning but retired 10 in a row after that and it allowed Grafton to hang around long enough to pull out the lead.

Things were quiet on both sides from the second inning to the fifth when Grafton rallied for the first time against WFB’s starter Owen Jonas. The senior Jonas had been effective through his first four frames of work, but ran into trouble in the fifth after surrendering back-to-back one-out walks. Shortstop Nathan Ebersole (Madison JC) picked up Jonas in relief after that and, after a sacrifice bunt pushed the runners to second and third, faced Adam Schnell with two down. The senior outfielder returned a fastball right back up the middle that trickled into shallow center and, all of a sudden, the Black Hawks snagged the 2-1 lead.

Again, Lamb was dealing at this point and he made quick work of the Blue Dukes in both the fifth and sixth frames – setting down the middle of their lineup in the process. Ebersole comfortably made sure that Whitefish Bay’s one-run deficit did not get any larger and he got the chance to help revive the Blue Dukes’ offense in the bottom of the seventh, too.

After a groundout left WFB with two outs to work with in the ballgame, Jake Lukach smashed a single the other way into left field. In Ebersole’s turn at the plate and he grinded out a walk, which was followed by an infield single into the hole at shortstop off the bat of Brady Counsell to load the bases. Lamb’s outing ended at this point and Grafton called on talented freshman righty Hunter Schmitt to escape the jam. With one out and the bases packed, Jack Stecker grounded a sharp grounder to second but it wasn’t handled clean enough for the Black Hawks to turn two, which allowed the tying run to score. Grafton chose to reload the bases on an intentional walk to Nau and Schmitt pushed the game to extras after getting Ben Otero (Viterbo College) to ground out immediately to end the threat and keep the Black Hawks alive.

In the eighth, Ebersole pitched over a two-out single to hand the game back to Whitefish Bay’s bats and the Blue Dukes took advantage. Freshman three-hole-hitter Michael Lippe (Louisville) avoided chasing anything out of the zone and earned a five-pitch walk to stoke his team. He stole second in the next at-bat and a wild pitch pushed him to third with one out. And, with Jonas in the batter’s box, the game ended abruptly when a subtle Schmitt balk forced Lippe home to secure Whitefish Bay’s come-from-behind, walk-off win – their 12th straight.

The Dukes have a commanding lead in the North Shore Conference and will travel to Grafton next on Thursday. For the Black Hawks, they’re now 11-8 this spring and but only have two games left on the calendar, Thursday’s rematch and a game on Monday with Living Word Lutheran.


+ LHP Tommy Lamb, Grafton: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 ER
+ SS/RHP Nathan Ebersole, Whitefish Bay: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 R
+ OF Jake Garncarz, Grafton: 2-for-4
+ OF Patrick Nau, Whitefish Bay: 1-for-3, 3B, BB, R