Monday night was a battle between two teams, the Waseca and Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton baseball squads, who wanted a win, and the game went down to the wire. Waseca ultimately held on to an early lead for a 6-4 win.
Zach Hoehn saved the game for the Bluejays in the sixth inning, striking out the Bulldogs last two batters with runners on base.
“We competed today. Offensively we were getting after it and we were smart on the base paths,” coach Kelvin Nelson said.
The Bluejays jumped out to a two-run lead after the bottom of the first inning. Tyler Klinger started on the mound for Waseca and pitched halfway through the top of the third.
Bulldogs Drew Born led off in the top of the third and hit a fly ball to the infield that Waseca dropped to let Born on base. Austin Westphal replaced Born as the pinch runner and was able to steal second but got gunned down, attempting to steal third. Klinger hit Jack Morsching with a pitch and then walked both Kobe Weimert and Kain Oliver to load the bases with one out on the board. Waseca decided to make a pitching change and Peyton Gehloff entered the game. Gehloff came up big and struck out Dalton Klampe and Paul Wood to get the Bluejays out of a jam and end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Tyler Klinger led off for Waseca and after the Bulldogs walked him, he was able to steal second a few pitches later. Hoehn hit a double to put runners on second and third base with Gehloff up to bat, who ripped a single of his own that put in two runs. Riley Sylvester came up to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly to right field that plated Gehloff and made the score 5-0. Bulldogs pitcher Drew Born was able to strike out Justin Azure and Dravyn Spiese to end the inning.
Waseca walked Bulldogs Paul Wood to begin the top of the fourth and then Jake Stork had a base hit that put runners on first and second. Drew Born struck out for JWP but Jack Morsching slammed a single to right field that plated Stork and Wood to get the Bulldogs on the scoreboard.
It looked as if Janesville was about to start a rally after Waseca walked the next two batters, and Dalton Klampe made good contact, but flew out to center field to end the inning. JWP was able to put runners again on first and third in the top of the fifth but Gehloff came up clutch to strike a batter out to record the third out and get the Bluejays out of another jam.
Hoehn came in the to replace Gehloff in the top of the sixth inning and Waseca recorded three quick outs to end the inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Spiese hit a single to get on base. Marcus Priebe hit a ground ball that helped Spiese advance up the bases to third, and then Fitzsimmons drove a single up center field to score him in and make the score 6-2.
During the top of the the seventh, Klampe led off with a single for the Bulldogs and then stole second base. He was able to get to third after a wild pitch to home plate. A JWP batter struck out and then Wood walked to put runners on first and third with one out. Jake Stork smacked a double that scored in Klampe and Wood to make the score 6-4, still with one out.
But Hoehn closed the door, striking out the next two batters and ending the Bulldogs’ late game rally.
Waseca advances to 3-15 on the season, and JWP sits at 2-13 overall. Seeding for the playoffs will be determined this week for both teams with first round games expected to start Thursday.