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Hogan’s heroics keep Hawks on top PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 16:16

Senior uses glove, bat to help Grafton baseball team secure pair of one-run wins

Regardless of what happened in the WIAA playoffs this week, Grafton senior Mike Hogan has a couple of baseball memories to last a lifetime.
In both of Grafton’s one-run victories last week, Hogan made the play to win the games, one with his glove and the other with his bat.
Against Pewaukee on Saturday, the Black Hawks jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings.
“We really took advantage of early opportunities,” coach Brian Durst said.
2ND BASE PORT s4070317159 4CPewaukee, on its senior day, battled back. Going into the seventh, Grafton nursed a 6-5 lead.
With two outs and the bases empty, the Black Hawks got a rally going. Caleb Horvath singled and stole second.

Noah Chopp followed with an RBI single for what turned out to be the game winner.
In Pewaukee’s half of the seventh, the first two players got on base and the Black Hawks didn’t execute defensively on a sacrifice bunt, loading the bases with no outs.
A single scored one run, cutting Grafton’s lead to 7-6.
Horvath then tightened up. He drew a comeback grounder and fired to Jack Pawlak at the plate for a force out, and struck out the next batter.
With two outs, the next hitter blasted a fly ball to deep left. Hogan took off on the chase.
“It was to the fence. It was over his shoulder,” Durst said.
“He reached back and the ball ended up in his glove. He jumped up in celebration. We followed and went out to get him and celebrated as well.”
Grafton, 14-8 overall, knocked off 17-6 Pewaukee.
“It was a really intense finish and a great way to go into the playoffs. Just showing once again that we can play with anybody,” Durst said.
Chopp started and went three-plus innings. He allowed three earned runs on four hits and struck out one while allowing no walks. Durst said he kept Chopp under 75 pitches so he would be available for the playoffs on Tuesday.
Donahue relieved and in two innings allowed two earned runs on four hits, while walking two. Horvath pitched the sixth and seventh, allowing one unearned run and two hits, hitting one batter and whiffing another.
“It was a great job by three of our senior pitchers,” Durst said.
At the plate, Chopp went 2-for-3 with a walk at the leadoff spot, including a clutch RBI in the seventh.
Haden Fisk went 2-for-3 with an RBI, walk and run scored. Matthew Tietz had a two-out, two-run single in the first inning and ended with three RBI, which included a bases-loaded walk.
“Tietz has really come on as a productive hitter for us in our lineup and had a really good game defensively at third base as well. It’s good to see his development as a junior,” Durst said.
Greendale 4, Grafton 2
One day before spoiling Pewaukee’s senior day, the Panthers put the damper on Grafton’s honorees on Friday, along with Mother Nature and the oddest way Durst has seen a game end in his coaching career.
In the top of the sixth inning, when the game was delayed by rain for the second time, Grafton put its tarp over the pitcher’s mound and home plate. With only one cloud overhead, Durst said it would be a fast-moving storm and Grafton’s quick-draining field would recover.
After the WIAA-required 30-minute waiting period, the rain began to dissipate. That’s when Durst saw Greendale’s bus start to pull away. The umpires had left as well, without calling the game or making it official.
Durst returned to the diamond with blue skies overhead.
“We ended up standing there watching a playable field. I was standing there with my coaches and no opponent to play,” he said.
He said he felt cheated out of the last two innings.
“You definitely wanted to have a chance to finish up what’s been started,” he said.
Fisk pitched all five innings for the Black Hawks, hitting a season high with seven strikeouts. He allowed three earned runs in scattering six hits while walking two.
In the third inning, Horvath drew a walk from the 9 spot in the order, and Chopp singled. After a fly out, Lucas Gosewehr drove a ball down the right-field line that a Panther couldn’t hold on to.
With the sunlight still filling the sky but thunder heard in the distance, the game was delayed.
Play started after 30 minutes, but the next round of the storm rolled in.
As skies drew darker and flashes of lightning picked up — worse conditions than what triggered the first delay — teams began the fifth inning.
“The situation really called for the game to be suspended at that point,” Durst said.
“We continued and made it through the end of the inning, but we gave up four runs,” he said.
“It was frustrating to see the opposition rushing to make sure they got the next pitch thrown to get an official game played at the expense of safety, especially having shut down the game after hearing thunder in the distance,” Durst said.
The game was suspended for good after teams went out to play the sixth inning.
Horvath scored both of Grafton’s runs.
“That made Saturday’s win that much bigger for us and really a continuation of our senior night,” Durst said.
Grafton 6, Port Washington 5
Grafton already beat Port by one run this season, and the July 3 game wasn’t setting up to be a repeat performance.
The Pirates scored two runs in each of the first two innings and took a 4-0 lead into the fifth.
The Black Hawks bounced back with three runs in the fifth and came all the way back from a 5-3 deficit in the bottom of the seventh.
Chopp led off Grafton’s final chance with a walk, and Pawlak singled for his third hit of the game. Gosewehr followed with his second hit, an RBI double.
“Not only was it a big hit, it put us in position to win the game,” Durst said.
That chased Port’s best starter, Zach Uselding. Pat Knowski came in and walked Fisk to load the bases.
Zack Merkle hit a sac fly to drive in one run.
With one out and runners on first and second, Hogan came to the plate.
“One of our seniors had his senior moment, just a great memory and a great moment for Mike Hogan,” Durst said.
“He’s a great kid and he’s worked hard to become an everyday starter on the varsity team.”
Hogan drove a ball over the shortstop’s head to score Gosewehr — and nearly his coach — from second base. He slid in just ahead of the tag.
“No way I was going to stop Gosewehr. I almost beat him down the line,” Durst said.
Port coach C.J. Koehler said it was a missed opportunity.
“It was a game where you felt like we were in control the whole game. But as they say in baseball, the toughest outs are the last three, and we couldn’t get the last three outs of the game.”
Port’s two runs in the first came when Cody Sadler was hit by a pitch, followed by a single by Marcus Schmit that moved Sadler to third. An errant pickoff attempt let Sadler score, and Nolan Mueller plated Schmit with a two-out single.
In the second, Lukas Burke singled and Knowski reached on an error. Nolan Large had a sac bunt to move up the runners.
Uselding reached on a fielder’s choice as Burke was thrown out at home from first base. Uselding then stole second and Sadler knocked two runs home with a single.
Port answered Grafton’s three-run rally with one in the sixth. Michael Murphy doubled, and Mueller singled him home for this third RBI of the game.
“Nolan Mueller had two big RBI at-bats for us that game. That was really good to see out of him,” Koehler said.
Mueller ended up 2-for-3 with three RBI. Schmit was 2-for-3 with a run scored, and Sadler 1-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored.
Uselding threw six-plus innings, allowing 10 hits while whiffing two and walking one.
“Uselding threw really well again for us. It was nice to get those early runs and play with the lead,” Koehler said.
For Grafton, Chopp went six innings and allowed two earned runs and seven hits, whiffing one and walking none. Donahue pitched the seventh, striking out two.
Grafton (8-14) received a No. 10 seed and was scheduled to play at No. 7-seeded Kewaskum in a WIAA regional game Tuesday, July 11. The winner was to play at second-seeded Germantown on Wednesday.
Port (4-18) was given a No. 12 seed and played at fifth-seeded West Bend East on Tuesday. The winner faced the winner of a game between fourth-seeded Homestead and 13th-seeded Brown Deer on Wednesday.

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