High school baseball: Verona rallies in last inning to beat Craig
JANESVILLE—An up-and-down season continued Saturday for Janesville Craig’s baseball team.
One day after an impressive win over Middleton, the Cougars gave one away against Verona.
The Wildcats scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning thanks to four walks, a hit by pitch and one costly error in rallying for an 8-6 Big Eight Conference win at Riverside Park.
Craig held a 6-2 lead and was three outs away from victory but could not close it out.
“I’m sick to my stomach,” Craig coach Vic Herbst said. “There’s no excuse for that. But when you don’t make the plays and put men on base, that’s what can happen.
“It’s frustrating because a win today would’ve capped off a pretty good week for us. Now we have to regroup and be ready to go Monday.”
With the game tied 1-1 in the fourth, Craig scored three runs to open up a 4-1 lead. The runs scored on a passed ball and back-to-back walks with the bases loaded.
The Cougars made it 6-2 with two runs in the sixth. Alex Faust scored on a wild pitch, and Kevin Brandt’s sacrifice fly scored Charlie Platts.
“I thought we were in pretty good shape at that point,” Herbst said. “All we need is for our pitchers to throw strikes in the seventh and get three outs.”
Instead, Verona sent 10 batters to the plate in the seventh and scored six runs on only two hits. Ryan Pinnonen’s two-run double made it 8-6 after three walks and a hit by pitch set the table.
Craig got a two-out, pinch-hit single from Chase Nyborg in the seventh but left him stranded at first.
Herbst used four pitchers who combined for nine walks.
“What’s surprising is that we’ve done a good job all season of throwing strikes and not walking too many,” Herbst said. “Obviously, the walks came back to bite us today.”
Craig hosts Madison Memorial on Monday at Riverside Park.
VERONA 8, CRAIG 6
Verona (ab-r-h-rbi)—Flora, cf, 2-1-0-0; Rogowski, ss, 4-1-2-0; Rortvedt, c, 2-1-0-0; Moynihan, p, 3-1-0-1; Knueppel, rf, 1-1-0-0; Roeling, 1b, 4-1-1-0; Ulacer, dh, 3-0-0-0; Toman, lf, 0-0-0-0; Pinnonen, 3b, 3-1-2-3; Granick, 2b, 3-1-1-0; Armstrong, p, 0-0-0-0. Totals: 25-8-6-4.
Craig (ab-r-h-rbi)—Olson, cf, 2-0-1-1; Cox, 2b, 2-0-1-2; Blomgren, c, 3-0-0-0; Brandt, 1b, 2-1-1-1; Graham, ss, 3-0-0-0; Marro, dh, 4-0-1-0; Christianson, rf, 3-1-0-0; Nyborg, ph, 1-0-1-0; Faust, 3b, 2-2-0-0; Platts, lf, 3-2-1-0. Totals: 25-6-6-4.
Verona 010 010 6—8
Janesville Craig 001 302 0—6
E—Verona 2, Craig 2. LOB—Verona 7, Craig 8. DP—Verona 1. SAC—Graham, Olson. SF—Rortvedt, Brandt. 2B—Pinnonen, Roeling, Cox.
IP H R ER BB SO
Moynihan 5 4 4 3 4 7
Armstrong (W) 2 2 2 2 3 1
Perkins 4 1/3 2 2 2 6 5
Stearns 1 2/3 3 2 2 1 1
Cramer 0 0 2 1 2 0
Hoffarth (L) 1 1 2 0 0 3