Posted by Steve Elliott on Aug 17 2002 at 05:00PM PDT in 2019 Season
The Nationals and Cubs split the first two games of the Milwaukee County championship series on Saturday night. The Cubs took the opener 9-3, but the Nationals stormed back to take the nightcap by a score of 8-4. Though the Nationals managed 12 hits in game one, they failed to string them together. That fact, coupled with the opponents' solid defense, led to the opening game defeat. The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI single by Mike Wajerski. True to form, the Cubs matched it with a tally in the bottom half of the inning. After an RBI single by James Herkowski scored Jake Paige in the third, the Cubs scored twice to take a 3-2 lead. Joe Reisinger's RBI in the fourth scored Jake Koutnik to tie the game until the Cubs took the lead back with two in the fifth. The game, though, was decided in the sixth inning. The Cubs put the game away with 4 runs on three hits, three walks, and an untimely throwing error. When the dust cleared, the Cubs had a commanding 9-3 lead. Nick Kibler picked the team up in game two, pitching a complete game, eight hitter. Kibler kept the Cubs off balance with a hard slider and tailing fastball, giving the offense a chance to redeem itself. Down 2-0 in the third, the Nationals scored three runs on 5 hits, chasing the Cubs starting pitcher from the game. After an RBI single from Alex Franson, the Nationals scored twice. With Franson at third and Herkowski at second after a double, the Cubs' starter unleashed a wild pitch. Franson scored followed by Herkowski, who alertly took the plate from second after the catcher's throw to the pitcher covering the plate got past him to the middle of the infield. The Nationals added two more in the fourth. Jake Koutnik led off the inning with a home run and Mike Wajerski scored from first after a stealing second and advancing two more bases on a throw into short center field. Chris Marks' two run homer in the fifth made the score 7-2 and the team was on its way to a series split and deciding third game. Tonight's championship game begins a 7PM at Zirkel Field.


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