WHITEHALL – The bats of the Lancaster varsity baseball team picked an unfortunate time to cool off last Tuesday afternoon, as the Flying Arrows were limited to five hits in an 11-4 season-ending loss to Aquinas in D3 sectional action.
Leading up to last week’s sectional semifinal contest, Lancaster’s bats were red hot, as the Flying Arrows averaged 10 hits in their previous four games, including 12 against Fennimore in their regional final victory.
Aquinas, on the other hand, had little trouble putting the ball in play, and finished Tuesday’s contest with 12 hits, eight of which came in the first two innings.
It was the quick start of the Blugolds that Lancaster had a hard time matching, as they fell behind, 7-0, after the first two innings.
Aquinas used five hits to score four runs in the top of the first inning, then used three hits, two walks and one hit by pitch to score three more runs in the top of the second.
The Blugolds increased their advantage to 8-0 with one more run in the top of the third, forcing Lancaster to score some runs or face the possibility of early elimination.
The Flying Arrows responded in the bottom of the third with two runs on one hit and three walks, getting a two-run single from junior Jordan Reuter, that scored Tanner Reuter and Isaiah Place, both of whom reached base on walks.
The Blugolds added one more run to their total in the top of the fourth, and with a 9-2 lead, limited Lancaster to one hit in the bottom of the fourth and no hits in either the fifth or sixth innings.
Two runs by Aquinas in the top of the seventh gave the Blugolds a comfortable lead of 11-2 going into the bottom of the seventh, where Lancaster chipped into the deficit with another two-run single by Jordan Reuter.
Reuter’s hit in the bottom of the seventh was the team’s only one of the inning, as they were again able to capitalize on three walks drawn by Quinten Kreul, Tanner Reuter and Drew Reuter.
Of Lancaster’s five hits, Jordan Reuter had two to go along with four RBIs, while the Arrows drew six walks and struck out only three times.
Lancaster left a total of six runners on base in the seven-inning contest, while Aquinas left seven runners stranded.
Taking the loss on the mound for the Arrows was senior Tanner Reuter, who in the first 4.1 innings gave up nine runs, six earned, off 11 hits, while striking out two batters and walking three.
Larry Moore III pitched the final 2.2 innings, in which time he allowed two unearned runs off one hit, while also issuing one strikeout and no walks.
In 6.1 innings of work, winning pitcher John Savoldelli allowed four earned runs off four hits, striking out three batters and walking six.
The Flying Arrows concluded the 2017 season with an overall record of 17-8 after going 5-5 in a very tough Southwest Wisconsin Conference.
The Blugolds (19-10) advanced to this past Wednesday’s D3 state semifinal, where they took the field against Cumberland (18-6). The other D3 state semifinal had Iola-Scandinavia (17-6) taking on Laconia (12-11).
Coach Rick Place loses eight seniors from this year’s squad in: Mack Mundy, Brandon Mergen, Will Uppena, Drew Reuter, Tanner Reuter, Quinten Kreul, Larry Moore III and Mark Burkholder.
Aquinas 11, Lancaster 4
(D3 sectional semifinal from Tuesday, June 6)
La Crosse Aquinas 431 100 2 - 11 12 1
Lancatser 002 000 2 - 4 5 6
Leading hitters - A: Brandon Merfeld 2x4, Jess Ondell 2x5, Jake Savodelli 2x4, Sean Dee 2x4, C.J. Nolte 2x3; L: Jordan Reuter 2x4. 2B - Dee (A), Merfeld (A). W - John Savoldelli (6.1IN,4H,4ER,3K,6BB). L - Tanner Reuter (4.1IN,11H,6ER,2K,3BB). Other pitchers - L: Larry Moore III (2.2IN,1H,0ER,1K,0BB).