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North falters late in Lakes showdown PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 14 July 2010 15:45
Through eight innings, the Northern Division team appeared headed for a victory in a Land O’ Lakes all-star baseball game at Howards Grove last Sunday.

Unfortunately for the host Northern squad, fortunes turned in the ninth inning when the Western Division stars scored three times and pulled out a 5-4 win at Memorial Park.

Although the North took a 4-2 lead into the top of the final frame, the West quickly rallied. After a bases-loaded walk forced in a run,
Scott Carberry’s two-run single gave the West its first lead of the game.

The North — whose roster featured players from seven teams, including Saukville, Port Washington and Grafton — built a 3-0 lead before the West fought back.

In the first inning, Grafton’s Jordan Clark reached on an error, moved to third base on singles by Saukville’s Cole Granrath and Tony Wheaton and came home on a passed ball to make it 1-0.

The North stretched the lead to 3-0 in the fourth when Chris Gallun was hit by a pitch and scored on a homer by Thiensville-Mequon teammate Brady Bingham.

The West answered with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, setting the stage for the ninth-inning dramatics.
Ernest Castro, a member of the Brookfield Bulldogs, finished with two hits, including a homer, and was named the game’s most valuable player.

Wheaton and Bingham each had two hits for the North.

Elected as North’s co-players of the game were Bingham and starting pitcher Casey Johnson, a Saukville player who worked three scoreless innings.

Grafton reserve outfielder Mike Pruefer appeared in his first all-star game, becoming the third generation of his family to do so. He was preceded by two other Pruefers — his father Mickey and grandfather Don, the latter of whom was elected to the league’s Hall of Fame in 2002.

In the other Land O’ Lakes all-star game Sunday, the Eastern Division defeated the Southwest, 12-6.

In the only Northern Division game played last week, Cedarburg defeated host Port Washington, 11-4, on July 7.

The win improved the Mercs’ first-place record to 12-0.

Cedarburg grabbed a 4-0 lead in the third inning and stretched the margin to 10-0 before Port scored in the eighth inning.

Steve Hopfensperger pitched the first seven innings for the win. He scattered six hits and five walks and struck out 12.

The Mercs took control in the third on a two-run single by Robby Proehl and Paul Hanschke’s RBI double. Hanschke added a two-run double in the sixth.

The Lakers, who slipped to third place with a 7-4 record, spoiled the shutout by scoring three times in the eighth. After an error and wild pitch led to the first two runs, Chad Zutter singled in another.

Cedarburg was led by a four-hit effort from Proehl, and Hanschke had three hits.

Port’s offensive leaders were Zutter with three hits and Chris Laurishke and Brad Young with two apiece.

This week, division play was scheduled to resume with a full slate of games.

In 7:30 p.m. contests Wednesday, Grafton was to play at Port Washington while Plymouth hosts Saukville.

On Friday, Port will host Howards Grove at 8 p.m.

In another local game Sunday, Saukville will host Grafton at 1 p.m.
 
Star-bound Rockets: PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 14 July 2010 15:43

Cedar Grove-Belgium’s Jacque, Paulus to join state’s best in Football Coaches Association All-Star Game on Saturday

Two Cedar Grove-Belgium High School standouts will be among the state’s football elite Saturday, July 17, when they play in the annual Wisconsin Football Coaches Association’s Small School All-Star Game in Oshkosh.

Linebacker Spencer Jacque and defensive lineman Wayne Paulus, who both graduated this spring, will be members of a South squad that includes 46 players from schools in divisions 4 through 7.

The South will take on the North stars at 2 p.m. in Titan Stadium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Cedar Grove-Belgium head coach Chris Zablocki will be one of six assistants for the South squad, which is headed by Ken Taylor of Watertown Luther Prep.

The same day, the Large School All-Star Game will have South and North teams from schools in divisions 1 through 3 squaring off in the stadium at 7 p.m.

Jacque and Paulus were both three-year starters and helped the Rockets win Central Lakeshore Conference titles and make deep runs into the WIAA Division 5 playoffs each of the past two seasons.

Under Zablocki, Cedar Grove-Belgium took state runner-up honors in 2008 and reached the state quarterfinals last fall.

The 6-foot, 205-pound Jacque was one of the Rockets’ most versatile players and a all-conference first-team linebacker. In addition to leading them in tackles with more than 100 stops, he was their second-leading rusher as a fullback who averaged more than 10 yards per carry.

Jacque plans to play football at UW-Whitewater this fall.

Paulus (6-4, 270) was a unanimous first-team choice as both a defensive end and offensive lineman in the coaches’ all-conference voting. He was the Rockets’ top pass rusher.

Paulus will play football this fall at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minn.

No other players from the Ozaukee Press coverage area were chosen for the all-star rosters.

The Large School South team will include four North Shore Conference players — Homestead’s Lucas Speaker (linebacker), Justin Barber (offensive lineman) and John Laihinen (defensive end) and Whitefish Bay’s Brian Kroll (defensive back).

The annual WFCA All-Star Games raise money for patient care at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

 
Player shortage ends CG-B baseball season PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 17:31

Injury to one of nine members on shorthanded team leaves Rockets without enough manpower to continue

The Cedar Grove-Belgium Rockets have played their final baseball game this summer.

Although the team started the season with 14 players in May, the number dwindled as several members quit in recent weeks.

When an injury during a home game last week left the Rockets with only eight players — and no prospect of fielding a full lineup — they had no choice but to forfeit the rest of the season, head coach Mike Johnson said Monday.

“It’s really unfortunate for the players who wanted to continue, but we can’t keep going this way,” said Johnson, who guided the Rockets to a 4-7 overall record through June 28.

“I feel really bad. The players we had did their best, and the coaches did their best.”

Johnson said the team had several reserves until late June. However, when more team members quit following a 7-2 loss at
Howards Grove, the Rockets were down to nine players.

During the third inning of a 2-1 win over Oostburg on June 28, freshman Christian O’Donnell was hurt when he stepped on the foot of the Oostburg first baseman.

Johnson said O’Donnell’s injury was eventually diagnosed as a broken foot, sidelining him for at least six weeks — and effectively ending the year for the Rockets.

Ironically, the Central Lakeshore Conference game was also one of the high points of the season for Cedar Grove-Belgium, which got a no-hitter from sophomore pitcher Josh Ruppel.

After O’Donnell’s injury, the Rockets continued the game with eight players and hung on for a win that gave them a 4-6 conference record.

Under WIAA rules, teams are allowed to compete with fewer than nine players but must have that many to start a game. 
Johnson said he conferred with athletic director Dan Coopman, who contacted the WIAA about the shortage of players. With
regional tournaments scheduled to begin July 16, WIAA officials asked the school to make a decision on the team’s future as soon as possible.

With no prospect of adding players, the outcome was clear, Johnson said.

“It’s extremely tough to make a decision like this, but we had no alternative,” he said.

The Rockets began the season with only two seniors on their roster, which was made of primarily of sophomores and freshmen.

Starting with a June 30 game against Elkhart Lake, Cedar Grove-Belgium will forfeit its final six regular-season games.

Johnson, who was in his fourth season as the Rockets’ head coach, said he is unsure about the baseball program’s future or if
he would return next year.

Coopman could not be reached for comment.

 
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