SPASH Baseball Advances to Sectional
By Robert Whitmire
The SPASH baseball team got up in a big way early on Thursday, then hung on to pull out a 6-5 win over River Falls in the WIAA Regional final at Bukolt Park.
Joe Strigel crossed the plate in the bottom of the first inning to put the Panthers up 1-0. SPASH used the long ball in inning three with back-to-back solo shots over the left field fence by Jack Kelly and Cole Wright to put the Panthers up 3-0.
Jake Piotrowski rounded out the inning with a three run blast to center and SPASH seemingly had a commanding lead at 6-0.
River Falls mounted a serious threat in the fourth loading the bases with two outs. Gus Turner-Zick made a spectacular diving catch on a long ball to center to retire the side with no damage done.
The Wildcats loaded the bases once again in the top of the fifth with two outs before Dylan Trigg took the mound in relief of starter Legend Kieliszewski and struck out the first batter he faced to retire the side.
Falls lit up the board in the sixth inning scoring five runs on two hits, two walks. The Panthers committed three costly errors in the inning and the visitors were thinking come-back win.
Once again, with bases loaded in the seventh inning and one out, the Wildcats were unable to plate a runner allowing SPASH to escape with the win.
SPASH finished the afternoon with eight hits and stranded six runners. River Falls ended the day with nine hits three errors and a whopping fifteen runners left on base.
The winning pitcher was junior Legend Kieleszewski with the save going to Tyler Frafjord. Kieliszewski pitched d 4.2 innings, allowed five hits, struck out six and walked four.
SPASH Leading Hitters:
Joe Strigel – Double
Jack Kelly – Solo Home Run in the 3rd
Cole Wright – Solo Home Run in the 3rd
Jacob Piotrowski 2-3, 3 run Homer in the 3rd
Time of the game was one hour, 53 minutes.
The Panthers will play the No. 1 seed in the bracket, Eau Claire North, on Tuesday, June 6 at Bukolt Park. Game time is scheduled for 11 AM.
The winner of that game will play the winner of a 1:30 PM game between Eau Claire Memorial and Chippewa Falls. The sectional championship is scheduled for 4 PM on Tuesday.