Grafton baseball team wastes no time impressing by scoring shutout wins over first two opponents
How do you make a good impression on the opening weekend of the baseball season?
If you’re the Grafton Black Hawks, you waste no time putting away a pair of nonconference foes with a steady dose of timely hitting, stingy pitching and steady defense.
The combination added up to a pair of 10-0 victories, including a five-inning home win over Shorewood on Friday and a six-inning win at Sheboygan Falls on Saturday.
“It was a great way to start the season,” Grafton coach Brian Durst said. “We got two wins, and we had the chance to use a lot of guys and give some of them their first varsity experience.”
The Hawks struck quickly against Shorewood, scoring eight runs in the first inning on just four hits. The Greyhounds helped out by committing three errors and issuing two walks, as Grafton sent 11 batters to the plate.
After a bases-loaded walk brought in one run, a dropped fly ball made it 3-0. Adam Lukas followed with a two-run double and scored on a single by Will Birch to make it 6-0.
Bryan Sternig capped the surge by tripling in a run and scoring on an errant throw on the same play.
“It was nice to see us come out strong,” Durst said. “The big first inning set the tone for the game.”
Although the Greyhounds regrouped to play competitively the rest of the way, they were unable to generate much offense.
Grafton starter Nate Koehler pitched four scoreless innings, allowing only three hits, striking out four and walking none. Bryce Fisk worked a perfect fifth inning.
The Hawks got single runs in the fourth and fifth to win on the mercy rule.
A two-out, RBI double by Adam Lukas made it 9-0. In the fifth, pinch hitter Jonathan Dobberfuhl doubled. Pinch runner Ben Mason moved to third base on a sacrifice by Sternig and scored the winning run on a base hit by Brad Parsons.
Against Falls, Grafton grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third inning and steadily pulled away.
After scoring four times in the third, the Hawks added two runs in both the fifth and sixth.
The fourth-inning outburst included an RBI single by Sternig, two-run double by Choo Weisflog and a bases-loaded walk to Will Birch.
In the fifth, Nate Lukas drove in a run with an infield single and scored on an errant throw to make it 8-0.
A bases-loaded, two-run single by Sternig in the sixth capped the scoring.
Grafton’s nine-hit attack was led by Sternig, who went 3-for-5 with three RBI. Weisflog was 2-for-4, and Parsons was 1-for-2 with three runs scored.
Nate Lukas pitched the first four innings for the win. He allowed two hits, struck out four and walked three. His brother Adam worked the final two frames, allowing one hit and striking out four.
“It was a really good win for us,” Durst said. “We hit the ball well, and Nate Lukas did a great job against a tough Sheboygan Falls lineup.”
This week, Grafton was scheduled to face Brookfield East in a nonconference game Tuesday. The Hawks will open North Shore Conference play with 5:30 p.m. games at home Thursday against Port Washington and at Whitefish Bay on Friday.
Next week, Grafton has 5:30 p.m. league games on the road against Nicolet on Monday and at home against West Bend West on Tuesday.