Grafton baseball turns tables on rival

Black Hawks erase 3-0 deficit, sweep Port Washington Pirates after losing three to them last year
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
ozaukee Press staff

Grafton High School junior Nick Colker thought about it beforehand, then went out and pitched the gem he planned on anyway.

Colker faced off with Port Washington’s Brayden Thompson for the second time this season, and he led the Black Hawks to another win over their rivals on May 4, only this time in a different fashion in a 9-3 win.

Colker didn’t start with a 10-0 lead through three innings in a 10-3 win on April 14 in the cold and wind. This time, he fell behind 3-0 through the first three frames before the Hawks raged back on a warm evening.

“I had thought about it the night before. They’ve seen me already. In that game before I went six innings, so they’ve seen me enough,” Colker said.

“Nothing really changed. I still went out and did my thing.”

That entailed pitching to contact until he figured out Port’s hitters.

“From there, it was just making the right reads and locating pitches,” he said.

Colker scattered four hits and allowed two earned runs while striking out three and walking two in seven innings. He also got his first varsity hit and RBI.

“It was a great night all around for him. I’m happy for him,” coach Brian Durst said.

Port started out well. Patrick Lippe scored on an error in the first inning, then dropped a two-RBI triple to right field in the second. But that was all the Pirates would score.

“Grafton was tough because we jumped out early, but our defensive mistakes hurt us,” Port coach David Snieg said.

Brayden Thompson, who faced Grafton in the teams’ first meeting as well, cruised early.

“I thought Thompson came out and threw a great game. Shut us down for those first few innings,” Durst said.

The Hawks got the bats going in the third. Two walks and a two-RBI line drive to center field from Mason Lempke got Grafton on the board. An error later brought home Lempke and Ryan Quello.

The Hawks had the lead for good at 4-3.

They added two runs in the fourth inning and three in the fifth.

Johnathan Blaubach had two hits and an RBI, and Carson Faust had an RBI double to right center.

“It feels amazing. After last year, it couldn’t be better than that,” Faust said of sweeping Port.

“To finally just get over that hump and beat them twice just felt great. Our team has improved a ton since last year and I know we’re all really meshing together well,” leadoff hitter Hunter Schmitt said.

Lippe had two hits for Port. Thompson went four innings. Parker Appelbaum pitched the final two.

In other action in the past week, Port lost at Slinger last Friday, 8-5.

Aiden Swartwout went 3-for-4, and Nate Uselding and Colten Belzer each had a double. Uselding, J.D. Brahm and Aiden Drotzur each had an RBI.

Uselding went five innings and allowed five runs (three earned) and seven hits, whiffing one and walking two.

On Monday, Port earned its third victory of the season over its other rival, Cedarburg, at home in extra innings.

The Pirates literally walked off the Bulldogs. A bases-loaded walk to Thompson plated the winning run for a 6-5 final.

Knotted at 5-5 in the eighth inning, Drotzur walked, Sean Bongiorno singled and Appelbaum hit into a fielder’s choice.

Uselding was then walked intentionally. Thompson was not.

It wasn’t without drama. Thompson fell behind 0-2 before earning the key free pass.

It was Snieg’s first win over his alma mater and the Pirates’ first North Shore Conference win of the season.

“Always nice to get the win regardless,” the first-year coach said.

Thompson allowed four runs (two earned) and five hits in five innings, whiffing seven and walking three. Brahm allowed one unearned run and two hits in three innings, whiffing two.

Uselding went 3-for-3 with an RBI. Swartwout had a three-run double. Colton Schall had two hits with a double, and Appelbaum had two hits.

Port, 3-14 overall and 1-12 in the NSC, was to play at Homestead on Wednesday, host Whitefish Bay on Friday, play at Kewaskum on Saturday, host West Bend West on Monday, May 16, and play at West Bend East on Wednesday, May 18.

Grafton gets walked off by Cedarburg

Two days after beating Port Washington, Grafton lost at Cedarburg, 3-2, in 10 innings.

Bulldog Sam Moses, a lefty, hit a solo shot over the left-field fence on a 2-2 count to win the game, 3-2.

“It was emotional but a really entertaining game from a fan standpoint,” Durst said.

“It went back and forth with two pitchers who really performed well and worked out of trouble.”

Grafton’s Jack Sommers allowed three hits and one earned run in seven innings, whiffing six and walking three. It was his second straight quality start.

Cedarburg countered with Charlie Gwidt.

The Hawks stranded 10 runners, and the Bulldogs left some on the bases, too.

Grafton recovered quickly.

The Hawks knocked off Kettle Moraine Lutheran, 4-0, at home on Saturday.

“The most impressive part was our turnaround,” Durst said.

Blaubach went the distance, throwing 96 pitches. He allowed four hits, walked three and whiffed four.

“He gave the team a major boost on the weekend to bridge the pitching rotation,” Durst said.

The Hawks scored three runs in the fifth inning. Garrett Bonk singled, Vince Cameranesi sacrifice bunted and Quello singled. Michael Muecke and Maddox Durst each had RBI singles, and Lempke had an RBI groundout.

Grafton, 3-9 in the NSC and 7-10 overall, hosted Whitefish Bay on Monday, was to play at West Bend East on Wednesday, hosts Nicolet on Friday, plays two games in a Campbellsport triangular on Saturday, plays at Slinger on Monday, May 16, and hosts Homestead on Wednesday, May 18.

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