Port Washington baseball fever is hot so far

Pirates start 3-0 on a walk-off and historic comeback

PORT WASHINGTON PITCHER Marcus Schmit readied to fire a ball against Slinger on Monday. The Pirates won, 4-3, on a walk-off RBI single by Rob Ross. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

They’re not the Milwaukee Brewers, but the Port Washington High School baseball team’s young season is already filled with excitement.

The Pirates on Monday pulled out a walk-off 4-3 victory over North Shore Conference opponent Slinger for their third straight victory to start the year.

“We had another fun one tonight,” coach C.J. Koehler said.

Tied at 3-3 entering the seventh inning, the Pirates had the top of their batting order up. Freshman Patrick Lippe led off with a single, and Marcus Schmit executed a sacrifice bunt. After Schmit was thrown out at first, the Owls tried to catch Lippe after he rounded second base, but the ball went into center field.

Two intentional walks brought Rob Ross to the plate. On a two-strike count, the junior laced a line drive to right field to win the game.

Ross went 2-for-2 with two runs and an RBI. Beau Fleischmann went 2-for-3, and Lippe went 2-for-4 with one run.

Schmit started and went four innings, allowing two hits, no walks and no earned runs. Fleischmann pitched two scoreless innings and Xavier Deal allowed one run and one hit in one inning.

“We played a really good game of baseball,” Koehler said.

The Pirates scored one run in the second inning on a Fleischmann RBI single. The Owls answered with unearned runs in the third and fourth inning on the Pirates’ only two errors of the night.

The Pirates scored one in the fourth inning on a Joe Yandry pinch-hit RBI single.

“That was a huge hit by him,” Koehler said.

They took a 3-2 lead in the sixth on a two-out error on a ball hit by Fleischmann.

The Owls tied the game in the top of the seventh before Port’s final heroics.

It was the second straight thriller that could have gone either way for the Pirates.

On March 27, the Pirates nearly lost at Kettle Moraine Lutheran courtesy of the 10-run rule before coming all the way back to win, 12-10.

Port was down, 10-1 heading into the sixth inning. Fleischmann stabbed a ball at first base that kept the game going.

In their half of the sixth, the Pirates scored eight runs to close the gap to one.

Schmit walked on a full count, Nolan Mueller singled and Ross walked to load the bases. Deal hit a hard ball that led to an error and one run.

Dylan Hovey then knocked a single up the middle to plate two runs — “great swing on the ball,” Koehler said — and Fleischmann and Lippe each followed with an RBI single. Adam Baierl then laid down a perfect bunt, but the Chargers got Fleischmann out at third. Schmit doubled off the fence for two more runs, and Mueller, in his second at-bat of the inning, singled in Schmit.

“We had talked to the guys in the fourth or fifth inning, our motto this year is don’t waste a rep,” Koehler said. “They didn’t back down, they didn’t stop. We were able to get a rally going.”

Down 10-9 with two outs in the seventh, Hovey hit a double, and Fleischmann hit an RBI double to tie the game. Lippe then had an RBI single and Baierl hit an RBI double.

“It’s something they’ll never forget. Coming back, 10-1, it doesn’t happen that often,” Koehler said.

Schmit started and went two innings, allowing four runs due to some errors. Yandry pitched one inning, and KML found the gaps. Hovey followed with four shutout innings to go along with two hits and two RBI.

“He had the game of his life,” Koehler said.

Against Lomira in the season opener on March 26, the Pirates scored five runs in the first and four in the fourth in a 12-4 win.

Lippe, in his first high school game, started with a hit and stole second. He went 2-for-3 on the day.

“He set the tone for us right away,” Koehler said.

Schmit reached on a bunt in the first inning and George Klassen reached on an error. Ross had an RBI single and went 2-for-3 in the game.

In the fourth, Mueller started with a single and Deal followed with a double to get the rally going.

Klassen, a junior who throws 90-plus mph and has committed to play at Purdue University, started and with 1-2/3 innings before leaving with an injury. Fleischmann followed with 3-1/3 shutout innings.

Ethan Bornhoefer threw the final two innings and allowed one run.

Koehler said he hopes to get Klassen back this week. He and Deal had played club ball in summer but now can play with the high school team since the WIAA moved baseball to spring.

Klassen is expected to be the Pirates’ ace and is “a very nice addition to the program,” Koehler said.

 Then comes Schmit, a senior “whom we trust,” Koehler said, and Yandry, who threw good innings last year as a freshman.

Fleischmann will eat up some innings, as well as Bornhoefer, a sophomore. Deal can pitch as well, and Hovey will be in the mix.

“Our pitching depth this year should definitely help us out,” Koehler said.

In the lineup, Lippe will lead off.

“He’s very advanced at the plate as a freshman,” Koehler said.

Schmit, a three-year varsity player, will hit No. 2. He earned all-conference honorable mention honors last year.

Klassen will hit No. 3.

“He’s vicious. He attacks the baseball,” Koehler said. “That’s something special to have in our order.”

Mueller will hit next.

“You can see he’s made a good maturation process this year,” Koehler said.

Deal will hit. No. 6 and already has five hits on the season.

A mixture of guys will fill the No. 7 through No. 9 spots. Eli Buczek, Conner Hoida and Yandry are in the mix.

Lippe will play shortstop and move to second base when Klassen isn’g pitching. Ross will be at third base. Yandry and Fleischmann are seeing time at first base, and Hoida is at second.

Mueller is catching, replacing all-conference honorable mention Michael Murphy, who graduated.

Port also lost honorable mention pitcher Zach Uselding to graduation.

Schmit will patrol center field and be a team leader. Buczek will play left and Deal will play right.

Port was to play at Slinger on Wednesday and Milwaukee Riverside on Friday. It hosts New Berlin Eisenhower on Saturday and West Bend East on Monday. It plays at East on Wednesday, April 10.

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