Nats Come Up Short in Bid for Wisconsin State League Championship
Game Two of the Wisconsin State League Championship Series shaped up early to be a pitchers' duel. Lombard's Andrew Mamlic and the Nat's Cody Griebling both cruised through three scoreless frames.
In the fourth, though, the Nats opened with consecutive singles by Matt Richer and Nick Schmidlkofer and each advanced on a passed ball to put runners on the corners with no one out. The next hitter, Max Widmar, fought of multiple pitches in a 9 pitch at bat before lining one through the box for what appeared to be a run scoring single. Mamlic had other ideas, however. He deftly snared the liner and the runners held. A short fly to center and liner to second followed, failing to plate either run and ending a promising rally.
The champion Orioles responded in the manner expected of a champion, taking that momentum and generating two runs with two outs in the bottom half of the frame. Series MVP Marcus Pingleton (5 hits - including a double, 2 triples, and HR) hit a drive to right center that carried and just cleared the wall over Huntzinger's glove for an HR. Colin Holderman and Anthony Drago followed with back-to-back doubles to put Lombard up 2-0.
The Nationals responded in their half of the fifth with 2 runs to tie the score. Chad Tindall walked, and Kyle Kalkopf and Brian Huntzinger singled to load the bases with one out. Matt Richer followed with a single for one RBI and Nick Schmidlkofer hit a sac fly to tie the score at two. After an intentional walk to Max Widmar, Jake Kolasinski followed with what appeared to be a game changing grand slam to left. Unfortunately for the Nats, the wind currents that carried Pingleton's drive a half inning earlier knocked down Kolasinski's drive and Alex Troop gloved it over the shoulder on the warning track to end the inning.
The game was quiet until the 7th when Lombard added a run on a scoring single by Keith Browning. Lombard then chased Griebling in the 8th when Pingleton doubled home Tutland and Jeff Schubert hit a sac fly.
The Natties didn't go quietly in the ninth. Down 5-2, Brian Huntzinger doubled to right center and Matt Richer followed with a ground rule double to right to make the score 5-3. Nick Schmidlekofer followed with a single to put runners on the corners, but that would be as far as Lombard would allow the Nats to go. Max Widmar hit a liner up the middle that was gloved by the SS who easily converted it into a game ending double play.
The Nationals 2015 season ends at 20-9 overall with Wisconsin State League North Division and Langsdorf Nite League Championships to their claim and a runner up finish in the Wisconsin Amateur Baseball Classic.