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Meidl's sacrifice fly ends wild intra-city game

East nips West, 11-10, in 'Battle of Tosa' Saturday

July 2, 2012

It was an ugly, but certainly exciting game, as Wauwatosa East edged Wauwatosa West, 11-10, in a back-and-forth battle Saturday afternoon at Breitlow Field.

In the annual 'Battle of Tosa' baseball version, a packed house on a brutally-hot day watched the Red Raiders jump out to a 6-2 lead through four innings.

But then the fun started.

The Trojans came to life and scored five in the fifth to take a 7-6 lead.

The Red Raiders then scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to jump back on top, taking a 9-7 lead into the final inning.

Facing its last at-bat, Tosa West scored three times in the top of the seventh to take a 10-9 lead.

Not to be outdone, the Red Raiders scored twice in their final at-bat for an 11-10 win.

"It was a great baseball game," Tosa East coach Brian Karas said. "Both teams had a chance to fold up but stuck with it.

"They fought back, picked each other up when someone made a mistake."

Seventh inning

West's Mickey Morgan was safe on an error to start the seventh, Jake Boudreaux walked and Willie Belknapp moved both runners up on a ground out to second. Nick Orlowski then walked to load the bases.

John Syburg then was safe on a fielder's choice when he grounded to second and Orlowski was forced at second allowing Morgan to score and Boudreaux to go to third.

At that point, the game looked to be over when JJ Belknapp grounded to second, but a poor throw to first let Boudreaux score to tie the game and moved Syburg to third.

Ben Zachman then ripped a single to center scoring Syburg for a 10-9 lead.

Tosa East's seventh inning started like West's did, as Jacob Martin reached on an error by the third baseman.

Derek Wulff then put down a beautiful bunt on the first-base line and beat it out. Colin Trautschold then dropped a bunt down the third-base line and beat it out to load the bases.

Steffen Uhrich then grounded out to third, scoring pinch-runner Bobby Russ to tie the game and Wulff and Trautschold alertly moved up on the play.

Jonah Meidl then ripped a deep fly ball to center and when Austin Jones caught it, Wulff raced home with the winning run and was mobbed by a hysterically-happy Red Raiders team.

"I just tried to clam down," Meidl said about his approach in his final at-bat. "I wanted to look for a pitch and elevate it."

Raiders' fast start

West's Tyler Gross had a shaky first inning, as four walks and an RBI single by Bryce Kratzer and a huge two-out error by the rightfielder allowed the Red Raiders to take a 3-0 lead.

Jones doubled to lead off the second and Morgan singled him to third and stole second. After a pop-up out, Willie Belknapp's ground out to second scored Jones and Orlowski's single to left scored Morgan to cut the lead to 3-2.

Singles by Trautschold and Meidl and a huge two-run double by Ben Carpenter then gave East a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth.

West bats around

The Trojans then sent 10 men to the plate in the fifth inning when they scored five times to a take a 7-6 lead.

Tosa East didn't help itself with three walks and two key errors, while West got big hits from Jones and Syburg.

Jones opened the scoring with a two-run single, Morgan had a sacrifice-fly RBI and then Syburg had one of the biggest hits of the day.

The slim left-handed hitter took an outside pitch and slapped it down the left-field line, scoring two runs and giving West the lead.

East regains lead

With one out in the sixth, Uhrich singled to left and went to second on a wild pitch. He then scored on a triple by Meidl. Carpenter was safe on an error by the shortstop and advanced on a wild pitch. Kratzer then ripped a single to center scoring both runners for a 9-7 lead.

"We played well enough to win," Tosa West coach Chad Mateske said. "We did not executive to take control of game. We had chance to shut the door, didn't and they took advantage of it."

Karas said he feels his team is playing better the last few weeks.

"We're playing good ball," he said. "We're improving every day."

Pitcher hurt

Kratzer, the Red Raiders' star pitcher, had to leave the mound in the second inning when he felt pain in his right wrist and forearm. He moved to first base and Riley Poe came in to pitch.

Kratzer hopes to return for the start of the playoffs July 10.

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