Two out of three is very good —and in Wauwatosa East's case it's pitching and defense — but sooner or later the bats need to come to life or coach Brian Karas will be losing his hair and dealing with a lot of stress.
The Red Raiders allowed one run twice and tossed a shutout in their four games last week and finished 2-2, including 1-1 in Greater Metro Conference games. Their one klunker was a 15-0 loss to Sussex Hamilton.
'With the pitching and defense we have, unless we start driving in more runs, we'll find ourselves in a lot of these close games,' coach Brian Karas said. 'And if that's the case we need to execute much better. Part of developing consistency is doing the little things right all the time, and once you get that consistency you'll see the success.'
East began the week with a 2-2 GMC record and a 3-5 overall record.
Wauwatosa East opened the week by defeating Brookfield East, 4-1, on May 31 at Breitlow Field.
Jeff Mason tossed a complete game, going seven innings, allowing four hits, a run, two walks and four strikeouts. Mason helped himself with two hits, shortstop Spencer Michaelis had two hits, scored a run and drove in two, and second baseman Blake Kratzer singled and drove in a run.
East scored a run in the second when Mason singled to left and courtesy runner Jake Halstead scored on Kratzer's single to the right center gap.
The Raiders added two runs in the third when Michaelis ripped a two-run double to the right center gap for a 3-0 lead. In the sixth, Mason then ripped an RBI double down the left field line for a 4-0 lead.
'He (Mason) commanded the strike zone and despite the rain and wetness, the defense made all the plays behind him,' Raiders coach Brian Karas said. 'He has incredible composure for a sophomore on the mound.'
The Red Raiders dropped a 15-0 decision to Hamilton in a five-inning game on June 3 at Sussex.
'We just didn't put ourselves in a position to compete this night,' Karas said. 'It started with our pregame warm up and carried over into the game.'
'Offensively we only had one runner make it to third base (Halstead). We want to make sure that this night will be the low point in our season.'
Denny had two of the team's three hits.
East defeated Port Washington, 1-0, in their own Red Raider Wood Bat Invite in an eight-inning semifinal game.
Hits and runs were tough to come by for both teams, as Szohr had the first hard hit on the day for Tosa East in the bottom of the fifth. He had two strikes on him and lined one to the right-center gap.
'Konner is a guy who had his struggles last year but has had a very positive attitude this year,' Karas said. 'He made his adjustments and has really helped out the team for the past six games while we've been short-handed.'
Michaelis was the story of the game, tossing eight innings, allowing three hits, walking one and striking out 10.
'He had a very strong outing on the hill,' Karas said. 'He's a total baseball guy. Knows the game very well and plays the game the way it should be done. Out of the eight innings he pitched, seven of them he threw 13 or fewer pitches, which has been our message to our pitchers from day one.
'Our pitchers have the defense behind them, so see what the hitters can do. Along with that, he had six out of eight innings with the first two batters out.'
With the game scoreless, No. 9 hitter Halstead walked on a full count and moved to second on Denny's grounder to third. Port intentionally walked Serrano to get to first and second base. Michaelis drew a walk to load the bases and Aaron ripped a single just over the right fielder's glove to drive in Halstead.
Both teams scored a run in the first and then Pewaukee scored in the sixth for a 2-1 win.
Aaron Plaisted was the big story, pitching seven innings, allowing three hits, two runs, two walks and eight strikeouts and getting a heartbreaking loss.
The Raiders outhit the Pirates, seven to three, with Michaelis having the only multi-hit game. The Raiders lone score came off a first-pitch double to left field by junior Sam Rutkiewicz, who drove in Michaelis.
'Sam's a first-year varsity player who shows a lot of promise defensively and offensively,' Karas said, pointing out East has to improve their offense.
'Aaron deserved a better fate than what he got. Once he found his rhythm, he was very tough to hit. I was very proud of his composure throughout the game.'