Split decision for Pirates in twin bill

Foiled rally in nightcap leaves Port baseball team with one win against Kiel

A late rally left the Port Washington baseball team tantalizingly close to scoring a doubleheader sweep last Saturday.

After pounding out a 16-9 win in the opener of a nonconference twin bill against Kiel, the host Pirates were edged, 4-3, in the second contest.sports3
Port trailed, 4-0, in the nightcap before mounting a comeback that started with a two-run sixth inning. Both runs scored when a ball hit by Michael Murphy was misplayed for an error.
The rally continued in the bottom of the seventh, which began with Pat Knowski drawing a walk.
After Kale Knaub singled, Cody Sadler’s bunt hit loaded the bases. Matt Wozniak hit into a force out at the plate, but Knaub scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-3.
Zach Uselding then tried to bunt in a run, but when the ball was popped up, pitcher Trent Nickel made a diving catch and threw to first base for a game-ending double play.
“It was a tough break. We could have very easily won both games,” Port coach Ryan Finnerty said.
“But it was really encouraging to see us come back the way we did.”
The Pirates made things interesting despite managing only two hits off a pair of Kiel pitchers. Nick Walsh worked the first six innings for the win.
Sadler took the loss after pitching two innings in relief of starter Jake Huebner, who struck out two and walked seven in five innings.
Finnerty said he was particularly impressed with his team’s aggressive play In the first game, the Pirates overcame an early 2-0 deficit with a seven-run second inning and tacked on three runs in each of the third, fourth and sixth innings.
Although Port finished with only five hits, it benefited from the wildness of three Kiel pitchers, who combined to issue 12 walks and hit six batters. The Pirates also stole seven bases.
“We put the take sign on a lot when we were at the plate, and we stayed aggressive on the bases,” Finnerty said.
Steady defense also aided Port, which didn’t commit an error.
Knowski pitched a complete game for the win. He allowed nine runs but scattered 12 hits, struck out four and walked two.
Jack Kinzer went 2-for-3 with a double and drove in three runs to lead the Pirates.
The doubleheader left Port with a 4-14 season record that included a 1-2 mark in three North Shore Conference games last week.
“We’re playing much better,” Finnerty said. “Our confidence is back, and we’re making plays now, which wasn’t happening earlier.
“We’re playing tremendous defense, and our pitching and hitting are coming around.”
West Bend East 6, Port 3
The Pirates fell short in a June 16 conference game that didn’t have any scoring until the fifth inning.
Port scored three late runs but was outhit, 10-6.
Wozniak was 2-for-4 for Port with an RBI.
Zach Uselding took the loss. He pitched six innings, walking three and striking out none.
The Pirates fell to 1-10 in NSC play. East improved to 2-8.
Grafton 4, Port 3
Grady Bauer’s bases-loaded single in the seventh inning gave the host Black Hawks a comeback win in a North Shore game June 14.
After the teams battled to a 3-3 tie through four innings, both sides failed to score until the final frame.
Noah Chopp singled to start the rally, and Connor Neeck and Evan Agnew drew walks to load the bases.  Port then brought in an outfielder for a five-man infield, but Bauer foiled the strategy with a two-strike hit.
“It took a lot of resilience to win that game. Port played well and made us work for it,” Grafton coach Brian Durst said.
Bauer, Chopp and Ben Mason each had two hits for the Hawks. Knaub was 3-for-4 to lead Port, and Knowski had two hits.
Drew Brandenburg won a complete-game pitching duel with Josh Rintelman.
Brandenburg gave up eight hits, struck out six and walked none. Rintelman allowed 10 hits, walked five and struck out one.
Port opened last week with a 4-1 home win over Nicolet.
This week, the Pirates were scheduled to continue NSC play with games against West Bend West on Monday and Kewaskum on Tuesday and play road games against Whitefish Bay at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Wauwatosa West at 5 p.m. Friday.
Port will then host 5:30 p.m. league games June 27 against Homestead and June 28 against Cedarburg.

Image Information: ZACH USELDING deliverd a pitch during the Port Washington baseball team’s game against West Bend East. Photo by Sam Arendt



Click Here to Send a Letter to the Editor

Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


User login