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Hawks: Team has mixed results in league play PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 17:14


The Grafton High School baseball team may not have come out on top Monday, but coach Brian Durst found encouragement in giving the state’s best team a run for its money.
The Black Hawks grabbed a two-run lead at home over West Bend West before the undefeated Spartans came back to claim their 12th North Shore Conference victory, 4-2.
“It was a really well-played high school baseball game, a great game for the fans to watch and also a great game for both teams to be in,” Durst said.
“West hasn’t had many challenge them this year.”
Grafton’s Haden Fisk was back from injury and threw four shutout innings, including stranding a runner at third base and two more after the leadoff hitter reached.
GRAFTON SLIDE s2062617164 4CIn the bottom of the fourth, Grafton plated its two runs. Jack Pawlak led off with a single, and Fisk moved courtesy runner Ryan Hogan to second on a sacrifice bunt. Zack Merkle walked and Lucas Gosewehr followed with an RBI double to left. John Kluck walked to load the bases, and Drew Donahue hit an RBI sac fly.
The Spartans then got their bats going, tying the game in the top of the fifth.

“West did what they do better than anybody, and that is immediately come back with runs after you score against them,” Durst said.
Fisk walked the No. 9 hitter to lead off the inning, and the next two batters singled to score one run. After another walk, a bases-loaded squeeze bunt by Logan Rupnow tied the game.
“We minimized the damage, but an inning when there’s two walks — especially one to the leadoff hitter — West does a great job cashing in on those opportunities,” Durst said.
 West scored two more in the top of the seventh. Fisk gave up a single to lead off the inning and was pulled due to pitch count.
After a walk, a Spartan laid down another bunt and Grafton made its only error of the game on the play that cost a run. After relief pitcher Caleb Horvath got a fly out, West bunted again and the next hitter had an infield single for an RBI.
“Without putting the ball in the outfield, they were able to put up two more runs,” Durst said.
Pawlak went 3-for-3 in the game, Merckle 2-for-2 with a run scored and Gosewehr 1-for-3 with a double and RBI.
Fisk struck out five and walked four in six-plus innings.
“We definitely know that we have the ability to play with anybody and to compete with the top team in the state. We had two really strong games against them. Both were won by West late in the game,” Durst said.
West won an earlier meeting, 6-0, but the game was 1-0 heading into the fifth inning.
West Bend East 8, Grafton 3
Grafton allowed a six-run fourth inning last Friday on the road.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Black Hawks seemed to have things going, but a potential leadoff triple was canceled by a close call at third base. The next hitter was called out in a bang-bang play at first base, Durst said.
“I just had a feeling that things weren’t going to go our way,” Durst said.
After two solid relief appearances, junior Ian Walton earned a start. He went 3-1/3 innings, walking one batter.
“We ended up being a little sloppy in that fourth inning,” Durst said.
Donahue allowed one run in relief.
“He kept us in the game. That’s all you can ask for out of your pitching staff,” Durst said.
Noah Chopp went 2-for-4 to lead the Black Hawks.
Grafton 5, Cedarburg 3
One day after a 14-0 shellacking by Nicolet, the Black Hawks bounced back at home June 20.
Cedarburg scored one unearned run after two outs in the top of the first off Chopp, but Grafton kept its composure and answered with two runs in its half.
Chopp led off with a single, Horvath bunted him to second and Pawlak and Gosewehr followed with RBI singles.
Grafton added three runs in the second. Chopp was hit by a pitch, Horvath singled and Pawlak had another RBI single. Fisk had a sac fly and Gosewehr hit his second RBI single.
Those runs held up the rest of the game. Chopp allowed three runs (two earned) in 6-1/3 innings, striking out four and walking one.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases and scored one run in the seventh, but Horvath didn’t allow any more damage.
Pawlak went 2-for-3 with two RBI and walk, and Gosewehr went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI. Kluck was 2-for-2 with a double and hit by pitch, and Chopp went 1-for-2 and was hit by two pitches.
“We needed a bounceback from the night before,” Durst said.
This week, Grafton (5-8 in the NSC and 6-9 overall) was scheduled to host Kewaskum (3-9 NSC) on Tuesday and play at Whitefish Bay (3-9) on Thursday and at Homestead (7-6) on Friday.
On July 3, the Hawks will host Port Washington (2-11).

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