One-run loss in tussle with Greendale leaves Grafton baseball team with 2-2 record for first week of season
A near miss last Saturday left the Grafton High School baseball team with a split decision in its first four games this season.
After winning two of their first three games, the Black Hawks capped the week with a 3-2 home loss to Greendale in nonconference play.
Sophomore Nate Lukas pitched well for Grafton, turning in a complete-game effort that included eight strikeouts and only one walk. However, the Black Hawks were unable to muster enough offense against a pair of Greendale pitchers.
After Greendale scored twice in the top of the third inning to build a 3-0 lead, Grafton got on the board in the bottom of the frame.
Will Birch started the rally with a walk but was retired when Kevin Scholz hit into a fielder’s choice. After Choo Weisflog drew another walk, Al Nennig and Beau Benzschawel delivered back-to-back RBI singles to cut the Black Hawks’ deficit to 3-2.
Grafton’s best scoring chance the rest of the way came in the sixth, when it put runners on second and third bases. However, the threat ended with two strikeouts.
“Nate pitched a gem and gave up only one earned run,” said Grafton coach Brian Durst, whose team committed four errors.
“He was sharp from the get-go, but we didn’t give him much run support.”
Aside from the sixth inning, the Black Hawks had only two hits.
Durst singled out the defensive work of catcher Tim Grams, who had 10 putouts and two assists. Included in his heads-up work was starting a 1-2-3 double play in the third inning.
The loss left Grafton with a 2-2 record heading into North Shore Conference play this week.
“We played pretty well and had some good wins,” Durst said of the opening week, which included four games in as many days.
“We got all 14 players on our active roster meaningful playing time, which was the main purpose.”
Grafton 3, Kiel 0
The Hawks scored two runs in the fifth inning on the way to a road win last Friday.
After Weisflog singled to start the rally, he moved to third base on a flyout and scored on Nennig’s ground-rule double. Benzschawel doubled home Nennig to make it 2-0.
Nennig singled home an insurance run in the seventh.
Nennig got the win in his first pitching start of the season. He worked five innings and allowed only one hit, a two-out single by David Esswein in the fifth. Nennig struck out five and walked four.
Nathan Koehler pitched two hitless innings for the save.
Grafton 9, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah 1
An eight-run fourth inning propelled the Hawks to a road win May 24.
The game was scoreless through three innings. However, Grafton sent 13 batters to the plate in the fourth, collecting five hits and five walks.
The rally included a two-run single by Weisflog.
Freshman Bryce Fisk earned the win in his first high school start. He pitched 3-2/3 innings, striking out three and walking five.
Grams, Lukas and Weisflog each had two hits.
Wauwatosa West 8, Grafton 4
Mistakes cost the Hawks in a season-opening loss on the road May 23.
Three Grafton pitchers allowed a combined seven walks, and the Hawks committed three errors.
Although Grafton held a 4-2 lead in the top of the fifth, West answered with a four-run rally in the bottom of the inning. A three-run triple by Tyler Gross was the key blow.
The Hawks were limited to four hits, one each by Robbie Doring, Scholz, Weisflog and Nennig.
This week, Grafton open its NSC schedule against West Bend East on Tuesday and will play 5:30 p.m. games Thursday at Whitefish Bay and at home Friday against West Bend West.
Image Information: SOPHOMORE NATE LUKAS pitched a complete game but took the loss in Grafton’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of Greendale last Saturday. Photo by Sam Arendt