Grafton edges North Shore rivals

Victories over Cedarburg and Port Washington keep baseball team in third place in tight league standings

GRAFTON’S MATTHEW TIETZ bunted against Port Washington on Friday. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

After nipping two nearby rivals, Grafton High School’s baseball team dominated a strong opponent in a nonconference game last week.

The Black Hawks on Saturday knocked off Brookfield Central, 12-4, behind pitcher Ian Walton and a key hit by a freshman.

Walton went 5-2/3 innings, scattering seven hits and walking three while striking out one. He allowed three runs (two earned).

“He did a nice job for us to eat up the bulk of the innings we needed,” coach Brian Durst said.

The Hawks broke the game open with seven runs in the third inning.

After a groundout, Lucas Gosewehr was hit by a pitch and Sam Bulgrin walked. Freshman Evan Wagner worked to a full count, fought off a couple of pitches and knocked a line drive to right center to plate the inning’s first run. It was his first varsity hit and RBI.

“It was an exciting moment,” Durst said.

Later in the inning, Jacob Aleknavicius had an RBI double, Jack Pawlak and RBI single and Goswehr a two-RBI single. A wild pitch and sac fly scored the other two runs.

Against Port Washington on Friday, the Hawks scored three runs in the second inning in a 4-2 victory.

After two Hawks were hit by pitches, Matthew Tietz laid down “an excellent sacrifice bunt” that led to an error and one run, Durst said. Josh Merkle grounded out to score another, and an error scored the third.

In the third inning, Tietz had an RBI groundout.

Aleknavicius allowed one earned run on six hits, whiffed three and walked two in six innings.

Pawlak pitched the seventh and has saved all of Grafton’s seven NSC wins.

Port scored on a Nolan Mueller RBI single in the first inning, and Michael Murphy had a two-out RBI single in the fifth.

“We had runners on every inning but one and we just weren’t able to get the big hits in that game,” coach C.J. Koehler said.

Pirate Zach Uselding threw 73 pitches in six innings. Murphy was 3-for-4.

At Cedarburg last Thursday, the Hawks hung on, 10-9.

The game ended with the bases juiced. After a walk to start the seventh, Pawlak relieved Zach Merkle and got a strikeout, allowed a single, walk and then got another strikeout. Three straight singles plated two runs, but a fly out ended it.

“I took a deep breath,” Durst said.

In his first game back from an ankle injury, Zach Brandenburg started and went five innings, allowing seven runs (three earned), walking four and whiffing three.

The Hawks scored four runs in the first and fourth innings, and one in the second and seventh.

Merkle hit a three-run homer to left, and Jake Garncarz got on base five times.

Grafton was set to play at West Bend East on Tuesday, Port on Wednesday, Kewaskum on Thursday and Whitnall and Greenfield in Whitewater on Saturday. It hosts Nicolet on Monday, July 2, and West Bend West on Tuesday, July 3.

Port Washington loses eight in a row

The Pirates’ defense has let the team down as errors have been leading to runs. Walks and hit batsmen haven’t helped.

Port on June 20 lost to West Bend West, 8-0. West scored six runs in the first inning on one hit.

On June 21, Port lost, 11-0, to Kewaskum in a five-inning no-hitter by Andrew Neu.

After the Grafton loss, Port lost, 10-3, at Waukesha North on Saturday. Noah Prom went 2-for-3.

On Monday, Port lost to Whitefish Bay, 11-7.

Port got five runs in the third inning on one hit, a bunt by Uselding.

Bay scored five in the seventh to pull away. Port had seven walks, hit two batters and made six errors.

Marcus Schmidt went 3-for-4 with three RBI.

Port was to host Grafton on Wednesday, Homestead on Thursday, play at Wauwatosa East on Friday, at Germantown on Saturday, at Cedarburg on Monday, July 2, and at West Bend East on Tuesday, July 3.

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