GAME OF THE WEEK (May 16–22)
SWAL BASEBALL: Fennimore 14, Mineral Point 13
FENNIMORE — Fennimore hung on for dear life.
A day after suffering an unexpected 10–8 loss to visiting Cuba City, Coach Brent Sheckler’s Golden Eagles bounded back with a wild 14–13 victory over visiting Mineral Point last Wednesday, a crucial win in the race for this year’s Southwest Wisconsin Activities League title.
Fennimore scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning and led Mineral Point 13–2 after two innings of play, but had to sweat out a few tense moments in the top of the seventh before securing its most important victory of the season.
Junior Trevor Wanek had a two-run single to begin the scoring. Sophomore Will Ahnen scored on a wild pitch, then Noah James singled to make it 4–0. Senior Dakota Govier hit a sac fly to cap Fennimore’s five-run first inning.
Wanek, junior Derek Kephart, and seniors Dakota Govier and Trevor Neuroth each had RBI base hits in Fennimore’s eight-run second inning.
Joey Dolphin belted a two-run homer in the top of the third as Mineral Point began chipping away. Freshman Liam Stumpf hit a two-run homer for the Pointers in the top of the fourth to make it 13–7. Point added single runs in the fifth and sixth to draw within four at 13–9.
Fennimore got an important insurance run back in the bottom of the sixth on a Neuroth RBI single.
Fennimore ace Maguire Fitzgerald (7–0), who was pulled after the second inning with the Golden Eagles holding a 13–2 lead — with the intent of saving him for Thursday’s SWAL game with Southwestern — was called up on to return to the mound close out the game.
Gunner Gorgen drew a one-out walk and Stumpf singled, but Fitzgerald struck out Justin Baehler for the second out of the inning.
But Isaac Lindsay drew a two-out walk and Dolphin bashed a grand slam over the left field fence to make it a one-run game.
Grant Bossert walked and Curtis Cox singled, but Fitzgerald got Stephenson to fly out to Govier at first base to end the game.
Neuroth finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Wanek (2-for-4), Kephart (2-for-2) and Fitzgerald (2-for-3) each had two hits in the win.
Fennimore improved to 15–4 overall and 10–1 in the SWAL with the win, while Mineral Point fell into second place at 12–4, 11–2.
A day later Kephart homered and senior Trey Hunt (3–1) tossed a three-hit, nine-strikeout shutout to lead the Eagles to a 9–0 win over Southwestern. Then, Fennimore clinched at least a share of the SWAL title with a 12–2 win over Boscobel on Friday.
Fennimore clinched the outright league title with a 2–1 victory over Riverdale on Tuesday as Fitzgerald struck out five in a complete game three-hitter to earn his seventh victory of the season.
Sheckler’s Golden Eagles will now have a first-round bye when the WIAA Division 3 regional playoffs begin this afternoon. Second-seeded Fennimore will host either third-seeded Necedah or sixth-seeded Boscobel on Tuesday afternoon.
Fennimore 14, Mineral Point 13
(from Wednesday, May 16 @ Fennimore)
Mineral Point 023 211 4 — 13 14 4
Fennimore 580 001 x — 14 12 2
Leading hitters — MP: Liam Stumpf 3x5, Justin Baehler 2x4, Joey Dolphin 2x5, Curtis Cox 3x3, Owen Stephenson 2x5; Maguire Fitzgerald 2x3, Trevor Neuroth 3x4, Trevor Wanek 2x4, Derek Kephart. 2B — F: Warren Adam, Fitzgerald. HR — MP: Stumpf, Dolphin 2.
W — Maguire Fitzgerald (6–0, 3.1IP, 7H, 6R, 5ER, 3K, 3BB). L — Cox (1.1IP, 9H, 13R, 5ER, 2K, 3BB).