Written by MITCH MAERSCH
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 17:20
Standout pitching gives Warriors edge in game that keeps CG-Belgium from outright CLC championship
Not having a shot at a Central Lakeshore Conference title didn’t keep the Ozaukee baseball team from playing one of its best games of the season last Friday.CEDAR GROVE-BELGIUM pitcher Josh Ruppel waited for a throw that arrived too late to keep Ozaukee’s Doug Grimm from sliding home for a run. Photo by Sam Arendt
The performance also turned the Warriors into spoilers.
Sparked by outstanding pitching from starter Alex Janke and reliever Patrick Kroening, Ozaukee blanked Cedar Grove-Belgium, 2-0, in a makeup game and prevented the host Rockets
from winning an outright league title.
Cedar Grove-Belgium finished 14-4 and had to share the crown with Sheboygan Lutheran/Kohler.
The Warriors wound up 10-8, good for fourth place.
“We probably played our best game of the year,” said Ozaukee coach Bob Kiefer, whose team was 2-1 against the Rockets this season.
“Alex went out and pitched a great game. He did what he had to do. And Pat Kroening came in and finished up with a strong inning for us.”
Janke, a senior right-hander, allowed only two hits in working the first six innings. He struck out nine batters and walked one.
Kroening saved the shutout with a perfect inning of relief.
The Warriors got just enough offense by scoring single runs in the second and third innings. One run scored on an error, and the other came in on an RBI single by Travis Whitford.
“We didn’t hit well, that’s for sure,” said Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Mike Ruppel, whose team lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
The Rockets’ lone hits were a double by Luke Kaat in the seventh inning and a Zach Feind single in the fifth.
“Alex Janke did a real nice job of keeping us off balance,” Ruppel said.
Overshadowed by Ozaukee’s success was a strong performance by Cedar Grove-Belgium pitcher Josh Ruppel. The junior gave up five hits, struck out 15 but walked five.
“It really was a pitchers’ duel. Both pitchers really did a nice job,” coach Ruppel said.
“Ozaukee just did a better job of not putting runners on.”