Parker, Craig lose in sectional baseball semifinal games
BELOIT Heading into Tuesday's sectional, Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker had a chance to play each other for a berth in the WIAA Division 1 state baseball tournament.
Both city teams were playing their best baseball of the season the last two weeks and were one game away from facing each other for the third time this season—this time with much more on the line.
Unfortunately, Stoughton and Beloit Memorial never got that memo.
Parker lost 6-4 to Stoughton in the first game of the Beloit Sectional on Tuesday and the host Purple Knights scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to clip the Cougars, 6-5.
Stoughton won the sectional title with an 11-4 win over Beloit.
Although both Craig and Parker rallied from early deficits, shaky defense and too many free passes put an end to their seasons.
Craig allowed three unearned runs, while Parker pitchers walked nine Stoughton batters.
"We can't put that many guys on base and expect to win," Parker coach Brian Martin said of the walks. "We outhit them 10-5 and played great defense, but time and time again this year, we hurt ourselves with too many walks.
"But I'm proud of how these kids battled the last two weeks. We struggled during the regular season, but they really got after it the last couple of weeks and played very good baseball. It's a shame it had to end."
Parker fell behind 3-1 in the second inning but battled back to take the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth. Cullen Osmond, who had three hits for Parker, drove in the tying run, and the Vikings took a brief lead as Logan Coulter scored when a pitch hit Tyler Brooks with the bases loaded.
Stoughton took the lead for good with two in the bottom of the inning on Zach Bower's single to right. Stoughton added an insurance run in the fifth on Zach Nyhagen's leadoff triple and a Chris Lund sacrifice fly.
Parker, which left 12 runners on base, left the bases loaded in the fifth and had two on in the sixth before Conner Osmond flew out to deep right to end the threat. Parker went down 1-2-3 in the seventh as Stoughton reliever Dane Schultz worked three scoreless innings to earn the save.
Craig also fell behind early but rallied thanks to a three-run sixth. Beloit took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second and pushed the margin to 5-0 in the third with three unearned runs.
The Cougars chipped away with single runs in the fourth and fifth before tying the game with three in the sixth. Charlie Platts' two-out RBI double was the big hit in the inning as he drove in Alex Marro with the tying run. Marro and Ryne McKee also had RBIs in the inning.
Beloit won it with a run in the seventh. Freshman Austin Grover started the inning with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jayson Pemberton bunted Grover to third and Andres Oselio's sacrifice fly to center field ended the game.
"Defensively, we needed to make plays early and we did not do that," Craig coach Vic Herbst said. "And they (Beloit) executed very well at the end.
"I give our kids credit, though. They could've folded up the tents when we got down 5-0 and they didn't. We swung the bats pretty well, and our pitchers did a good job. Beloit just made a couple more plays than we did."
STOUGHTON 6, PARKER 4
Parker (ab-r-h-rbi)—Bailey, ss, 5-0-0-1; Coulter, dh, 4-1-1-0; Cu. Osmond, rf, 4-1-3-1; Powers, p-1b, 3-0-2-1; Hill, cr, 0-0-0-0; Brooks, cf, 2-0-1-0; Theisen, c, 4-0-1-0; Co. Osmond, lf, 3-1-2-0; Pingel, 3b, 3-0-0-0; Greene, 1b, 3-0-0-0. Totals: 31-4-10-2.
Stoughton (ab-r-h-rbi)—Gerber, c, 3-2-0-1; Bower, 3b, 2-0-2-2; Burnell, ss, 1-0-0-0; Johnson, cr, 0-0-0-0; Volk, 1b, 1-0-0-0; Rosowski, p, 3-0-0-1; Krantz, cr, 0-0-0-0; Zacharias, lf, 3-0-0-0; Nyhagen, dg, 3-1-2-0; Lund, cf, 1-2-1-1; Schultz, 2b-p, 1-1-0-0; Byrne, bb, 0-0-0-0. Totals: 18-6-5-5.
Janesville Parker 100 300 0—4
Stoughton 120 210 x—6
E—Stoughton 3. LOB—Parker 12, Stoughton 8. DP—Parker 2. SAC—Pingel, Burnell. SF—Lund. SB—Gerber, Lund. 2B—CU. Osmond, Powers, Nyhagen. 3B—Nyhagen.
BELOIT 6, CRAIG 5
Craig (ab-r-h-rbi)—Graham, 3b, 4-0-2-1; Hoag, lf, 3-1-0-0; Campbell, cr-rf, 1-1-0-0; Blomgren, ss, 4-0-0-0; Hughes, 1b, 4-1-2-0; Olson, cf, 4-1-2-1; A. Marro, dh, 3-1-1-1; Frey, p, 0-0-0-0; R. Marro, c, 2-0-2-0; McKee, 2b, 1-0-0-1; Platts, rf, 2-0-1-1. Totals: 28-5-10-5.
Beloit (ab-r-h-rbi)—Pemberton, 2b, 2-1-1-0; Oselio, 1-1-0-1; Whalen, plf, 3-0-0-0; Schober, cr, 0-1-0-0; Caple, dh-p, 1-1-0-0; Grahn, lf, 0-0-0-0; Druding, 1b, 3-1-2-2; Cabrera, rf, 2-0-0-0; Mickey, c, 2-0-0-1; O'Neill, 3b, 3-0-0-0; Grover, cf, 2-1-1-0. Totals: 19-6-4-5.
Janesville Craig 000 113 0—5
Beloit Memorial 113 000 1—6
E—Craig 2. LOB—Craig 6, Beloit 4. DP—Beloit 1. SAC—McKee, Cabrera, Oselio, Mickey. SF—Oselio. SB—Olson, Oselio, Schober. 2B—Platts, Druding 2.