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Rockets get 2 big wins
Andy Chitwoods complete game five-hitter provided one of two key Rockets wins.

Jon Killoy’s three-run homer proved the “dagger” as the Richland Center Rockets topped the previously unbeaten Sauk Prairie Twins, 7-4, at North Park Sunday afternoon.

The win capped one of the Rockets’ most impressive weekends in some time. On Friday night, Richland Center clobbered Lodi, 8-1.

With the two-game sweep, the Rockets improved to 4-4 in the Home Talent Sunday League action.

For the Rockets, the pitching, the hitting and the defense combined for the wins.

Andy Chitwood threw a complete game to earn the win over Lodi, and James Oelke notched the win Sunday with relief help from John Walsh.

Ironically, the Rockets fell behind, 1-0, in each game before unleashing the offense. It was an offense which produced 13 hits against Lodi and 11 against Sauk Prairie

Lodi took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Branden Coy scored on Jared Ryan’s two-out double, but Lodi never came close to scoring again. No other Lodi runner got past second base as Chitwood retired 19 of the next 21 hitters he faced.

Chitwood allowed five hits and a walk while fanning seven.

The Rockets’ attack came to life with three runs in the fourth. They sealed the win with three more runs in the seven and two in the eighth. 

Alex Mortimer had four hits including a double. Killoy, Chitwood and Cody Jump each had two hits while Todd Wienkes, Chris Schildgen and Charles McBain III each had two rbis.

Jump singled home Aaron Beranek in the fourth inning, and Wienkes’ two-out single plated Chitwood and Jump. 

Chitwood helped his own cause with a hit scoring Mortimer in the seventh, and McBain’s hit scored both Beranek and Chitwood.

Schildgen drove in Brody Tyler and Killoy in the eighth.

Sauk Prairie leadoff man Al Stoffels opened Sunday’s game with a home run over the leftfield fence against Oelke. But the Rockets responded with seven runs before Sauk Prairie scored again.

Wienkes started a three-run third inning with a walk. With two outs, Killoy singled. Mortimer singled home Wienkes with the tying run. Walsh singled in Killoy and Beranek singled in Mortimer.

In the fourth, the Rockets tacked on four more runs – again after two outs. Oelke, Wienkes, and Travis Jacobson each singled to account for one run. Then Killoy capped the outburst with a towering shot which carried over the rightfield fence. 

Sauk Prairie loaded the bases with no one out in the fifth and scored twice. In the seventh, the first the Twins scored again, and Rockets’ manager Shaun Ruhland summoned Walsh to relief. 

Walsh escaped the jam retiring three hitters in a row. 

The Twins threatened again in the eighth and ninth. In each inning, they brought the tying run to the plate before Walsh retired the side – the final two outs coming on a grounder to third baseman Rob Hemling who stepped on third and threw to first for a game-ending doubleplay. 

West Middleton leads the West Division of the HTL Northern Section with a 6-1 record while Sauk Prairie is now second at 5-1. Richland Center is third with a 4-4 mark – one-half game ahead of Reedsburg and Mazomanie, each of which is 3-4. Plain is 1-4.


The Rockets will host Wisconsin Dells Friday at 7:30 and Plain Saturday at 6 p.m.