Pitcher Elliot Bednar played a crucial role for the Park High School baseball team Saturday.
But it almost did not happen.
Bednar overcame a hand injury and delivered two big hits, including a game-winning triple in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Panthers beat Kewaunee 7-5 in a nonconference game at Horlick Field.
Bednar, who injured his glove hand in practice earlier in the week and sat out Friday’s game against Kenosha Tremper, started on the mound for Park (2-15) and Park coach Tim Glidden used a designated hitter in his place to start the game.
“The story of the day was Elliot Bednar,” Glidden said. “He woke up (Saturday) morning and wasn’t even sure if he was going to be able to play.”
Kewaunee, coached by former long-time Park coach Dan Spranger, took a 5-1 lead after five innings. In the sixth, the Panthers, and ultimately, Bednar, got going.
The Panthers opened the sixth with a double by Matt Kirchoff. After a one-out walk by Joe Espinoza, Bednar came in to bat for himself and hit a double to drive in both runners. Carter Eschmann followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home pinch-runner Brandon Hunter.
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In the top of the seventh, Bednar left the mound with two outs because he reached his pitch limit. Riley Johnson came in and got the final out with a runner on third.
That set up the final decisive at-bat for Park.
Braden Roushia kicked off the inning with a double to right field and advanced to third when Johnson reached base on a fielder’s choice. Roushia scored the game-tying run on a sacrifice fly by Jacob Pederson.
After Espinoza walked again to put runners on first and second base, Bednar had his moment – “every kid’s dream,” Glidden said – hitting a triple to right field to bring home both runners for the walk-off win.
“We just kept telling our guys to keep fighting and get to the next pitch,” Glidden said. “They did just that.”
Bednar finished with six strikeouts and he issued two walks.
“I am extremely impressed with the resilience of these guys in our program,” Glidden said. “It’s been a tough year and we’ve been mismatched in almost every game, but they show up every day. They continue to work and their craft and have a great time doing it. ”
Prior to the game, Glidden said the Panthers volunteered at Sprint Into Summer, a local event promoting children’s literacy.
- Spranger, who became the Storm’s head coach in 2016, spent 16 years in the Racine Unified School District and was a head coach at Park in baseball and girls basketball.
- Prior to the game against Park, Kewaunee played St. Catherine’s (1-13) at Horlick Field and won 14-5. No further information was available.
UNION GROVE 13, HORLICK 6: The Broncos outplayed the Rebels in a nonconference game Saturday at Union Grove.
Union Grove (13-5) outhit Horlick 14-6 and scored eight runs in the first two innings. The Rebels answered with four combined runs in the third and fourth innings, but could not catch the Broncos.
Nathan Williams went 3 for 4 with a triple and four RBIs to lead Union Grove. First baseman Landon Dessart had two hits, including a double, and scored three runs; right fielder Ty Geschke hit a triple with two RBIs; Josh DeGroot had two hits and scored two runs; and Brady Clark had two hits.
Williams pitched the first three innings for the Broncos with two strikeouts and three walks and Owen Nowak finished the game, striking out seven.
Third baseman Kaleb Steinmetz went 1 for 3 with a triple, an RBI and two runs scored, and right fielder Caden Burbey hit a home run to lead Horlick (7-10). Center fielder Tanner Isaacson added a double.
Horlick’s pitching duo of Adan Martinez-Ponce and Blake Fletcher combined for two strikeouts and five walks.
RACINE LUTHERAN-PRAIRIE 7, MARTIN LUTHER 0: Camdin Jansen had a standout performance with three triples in the LPs’ Metro Classic Conference victory over the Spartans Saturday at Greendale.
Jansen went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Lutheran-Prairie (7-8, 3-8 MCC) opened up the first inning with two runs and scored four additional runs in the second inning to extend the early lead over Martin Luther (4-12, 3-9 MCC).
“Our bats really came through early in the game,” LPs coach Jeff Wilson said. “All of our runs in the first two innings came with two outs.”
Several players contributed offensively – center fielder Ben Tietyen hit a double, scored two runs and stole a base; shortstop Julian Morales went 2 for 2 with an RBI; Jayden Jaramillo hit a triple with an RBI; Kaden Crawford had two hits and a RBI; and Jason Schmierer went 2 for 3 with a double.
Schmierer pitched five innings and struck out six batters while walking three.
“Jason threw a solid game for us, getting us out of jams a couple of times,” Wilson said.
Riley Gavigan pitched the final two innings to complete the shutout, Lutheran-Prairie’s second of the season and first since a 5-0 season-opening win over Whitefish Bay Dominican.
MUSKEGO 10, CASE 0: The Eagles struggled to find offensive momentum in a five-inning nonconference loss Saturday at Muskego.
“When it comes down to it, we just aren’t making the routine plays,” Case coach Frankie Jaramillo said. “We give good teams extra outs and they’re capitalizing on them. We just need to learn how to compete. ”
Case (3-13) had just three baserunners and two hits, by Bryce Rybarik and Dean Moore.
Collin Jaeger, Ryan Passehl and Mateo Fuentes combined for five hits, three strikeouts and four walks on the mound.
WAUWATOSA WEST 15, CATHOLIC CENTRAL 11: Olivia Doolittle led the Lady Toppers in their nonconference loss to the Trojans Saturday at the Lomira Tournament.
Doolittle, a freshman, went 2 for 5 in the leadoff spot in the batting order with a double, two RBIs, two runs scored and three stolen bases.
Catholic Central (9-5) held an early 7-3 lead over West (2-20) with seven runs in the first three innings, but the Trojans’ six-run fourth inning put them ahead to stay.
Paige Kerkhoff went 2 for 4 with a triple, RBI and two stolen bases; Addi Schwenn went 1 for 3 with a triple, two RBIs, two runs scored and two steals; Molly Brauer reached base three times (two walks) and had three steals; and Rosie Hein went 2 for 4 and scored two runs.
Autumn Weis pitched the first three innings with eight strikeouts, four walks and no earned runs. Doolittle closed out the game in the circle with one strikeout and 12 walks.
LODI 5, HORLICK 0: The Rebels were shut out for the sixth time this season in a nonconference match Saturday at Lodi.
Horlick (3-11) held up defensively and contained the Blue Devils (6-4) to just one goal in the first half, but Lodi scored four goals in the second half, including three in the final eight minutes of the match.
The Rebels have struggled on offense this season and have scored just two combined goals in their last three matches.
Track and field
PRAIRIE: Senior Sebby Babu set a school record in the 400 meters and the Hawks boys had three other top-three finishes at the West Allis Hale Invitational Friday.
Babu won the 400 by more than a second in a personal-best time of 51.39 seconds. He also anchored Prairie’s third-place 4×800 relay that also included senior Jack Lopez, junior Nolan Boerner and senior Jayce Jaramillo (9: 39.23).
Lopez was also third in the 400 (53.26) and freshman Will Schaefer was third in the 3,200 (12: 39.75).
On the girls side, the Hawks had three runner-up finishes and one third place.
The 4×100 relay of sophomore Ava Collier-White, sophomore Sophia Burch, junior Mya Kennedy and junior Makiyah Thompson (52.55), and the 4×200 relay of freshman Izzy Baumgardt, Ava Collier-White, Burch and Thompson (1: 52.98), finished second , as did freshman Carly Lopez in the 800 (2: 31.91). Senior Camden Perry was third in the 100 meters (13.19).
The boys (42 points) and the girls (50 points) both finished ninth.