Prep Baseball Report

WIAA Playoffs: Union Grove takes D-2 Carthage Sectional

Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Wisconsin/Illinois

The Carthage D2 Sectional was one of the more highly anticipated sectional of the day. Of the four teams, No. 5 Whitefish Bay, No. 10 Union Grove, No. 23 Greendale and Grafton, four of the teams are currently ranked in the state’s Power 25.

The day started off with a pitchers duel pitting Grafton against No. 5 Whitefish Bay.

Grafton 1
No. 5 Whitefish Bay 2

The Blue Dukes have made their season around winning close games, and they did it again in the Sectional Semifinals. The No. 5 team in the state had their hands full with Grafton’s junior Oklahoma commit, LHP Tommy Lamb who finished with 12 strikeouts over 6.1 innings pitched.

Trailing 1-0 wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth that Whitefish Bay would get their first hit off of Lamb. Owen Jonas singled sharply up the middle and was driven home on an RBI single by Jake Lukach to tie the game at 1-1 after five.

Blue Dukes Evan Provancher matched Lamb into the sixth, then in the seventh Grafton really had Whitefish Bay on the ropes. Grafton got their first three batters on base  to load the bases with no outs, and after a line out to right and a line out to left, Grafton failed to tag from third to advance the go ahead run. Jake Flemming, who came on in relief of Provancher, induced a ground ball to second base to end the inning and strand the bases loaded.

In the bottom half, the Blue Dukes got the inning started with a Brady Marget single to center. Lamb would have to be lifted in the inning due to pitch count, and with a runner at third and two outs it was up to senior Nathan Ebersole. Ebersole then rolled a slow roller to the left side of the infield and a throwing error led to the game winning walk-off run.

No. 10 Union Grove 7
No. 23 Greendale 1

In the second game the Carthage Sectional, it was all Union Grove and senior Luke Hansel. Hansel stayed ultra competitive on the mound for 6.2 innings, striking out eight while scattering six hits. His only blemish cam in the sixth when Sam Swittel’s RBI single got Greendale on the board. By then, the Broncos had already mounted a seven run lead.

Hansel followed up a Nick Williams two RBI single in the Bronco half of the third with a bases loaded double that drove in a pair, leading to a six run rally. The Madison College commit finished with two hits and two RBI while scoring once.

No. 5 Whitefish Bay 2
No. 10 Union Grove 9

In the Sectional Championship, Union Grove’s RHP Jake Zimmerman carried the momentum from Hansel outing into his own complete game victory. Zimmerman scattered five hits leading to two runs over seven innings, striking out four.

The Broncos offense was again led by Luke Hansel who drove in three on two hits. Hansel put the Broncos on the board in the first with an RBI single through the left side of the infield, scoring Owen Erickson.

Whitefish Bay took a brief 2-1 lead in the second, but Union Grove quickly answered with a pair of their own in the bottom half to take a 3-2 lead.

A three-run fourth and three-run sixth provided plenty of cushion for Zimmerman and the Broncos. Owen Erickson finished with two hits and three runs scored, while Michael Jocius drove in two on one hit in the third. Nick Williams, TJ Manteufel and Jack Clark all added RBI’s for Union Grove.

With the Sectional Championship, Union Grove punched their ticket to Grand Chute, WI and will take on the Barbaboo Sectional champs, McFarland on Wednesday, June 5 in the state semifinals.

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