Port, Saukville advance in Lakes tournament after scoring first-round upsets
Upset-minded efforts paid postseason dividends for Port Washington and Saukville in Land O’ Lakes baseball Sunday.MICKEY PRUEFER started on the mound and contributed three hits at the plate but couldn’t prevent the Grafton Express from losing to Port Washington, 5-3, on Sunday. Photo by Sam Arendt
Both teams scored road wins over higher-seeded opponents in the opening round of the Northern Division playoffs, with Port defeating Grafton, 5-3, and Saukville knocking off West Bend, 6-1.
In the other first-round playoff contest, Plymouth edged Thiensville-Mequon, 5-4.
All three games were rescheduled after being postponed by rain Saturday.
Sixth-seeded Saukville took advantage of shoddy fielding by West Bend (No. 3), which committed seven errors. The miscues made all of the Saints’ runs unearned.
Trailing, 1-0, Saukville pulled away for good by scoring four times in the third inning. Tony Wheaton drove in two runs with a single.
The Saints added single runs in the fifth and seventh.
Casey Johnson pitched a complete game for the win, allowing only three hits.
West Bend starter E.J. Sexton also went the distance, striking out 10.
Seventh-seeded Port scored an even bigger upset by ending the season for Grafton (No. 2).
Justin Behm’s two-run homer in the top of the ninth snapped a 3-3 tie and advanced the Lakers to the semifinal round.
Grafton trailed, 3-2, before tying the game on Mickey Pruefer’s RBI single in the eighth.
Behm and Pruefer each finished with three hits.
This week’s semifinal games will start with Saukville traveling to Plymouth (No. 5) for a 7:30 p.m. game Thursday.
On Saturday, Aug. 20, Port will play a 1 p.m. road game against top-seeded Cedarburg, which received a first-round bye.
The semifinal winners will meet in the division final at noon Sunday, Aug. 21, on the home field of the higher-seeded team.
As the regular-season champion, Cedarburg must lose twice to be eliminated. If Cedarburg loses Saturday, it will host the winner of the division final at 4 p.m. Sunday.
The tournament winner will represent the division in the league’s grand championship playoffs.