After three straight blowout losses, the Wauwatosa East baseball team was at a crossroads in its season.
The Red Raiders responded by winning four straight games, notching conference wins over West Allis Central, Brookfield Central (twice) and Oak Creek.
Tosa East dropped two consecutive games to end its week, leaving it at 7-9 overall and 6-6 in conference play. The Red Raiders are in seventh place in the Greater Metro, four games behind conference leader Oak Creek.
West Allis Central
The Red Raider bats broke out in a big way June 13 with a nine-run fourth inning on their way to a 10-0 victory at home.
Senior Danny Scallon responded to his new leadoff role nicely by going 3-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and two stolen bases. Junior Ricky Serrano had two hits and three RBIs, including a big two-out single to drive in two. Mike Lockhart ended the night early in the fifth with an RBI single up the middle, giving East a 10-run margin.
'I really liked our offense,' coach Pete Schwichtenberg said. 'We have been driving the ball all year long, and it finally showed up as we were able to find gaps. Danny Scallon really impressed at the plate. He not only was flying around the bases, but he also had a great two-strike approach. We really executed also with two outs to find a way to clutch up and just keep the line moving.'
On the mound, Sean Denny controlled the game by commanding the strike zone and allowing only a bunt single in the first inning. He walked three and fanned three.
'Sean Denny was excellent on the hill tonight,' Schwichtenberg said. 'He has had some tough games as of late, but really locked in pounding the zone and getting ground ball outs.'
Tosa East swept the Lancers by 4-3 scores, starting with a nine-inning win — in the first game — which was suspended from earlier in the spring with the scored tied at 3-3.
Tosa East jumped on the Lancers right away and scored in the top of the ninth. He then retired BC in the bottom of the inning.
Jeff Mason led off the final rally with a sharp single to left. After a Sean Murphy single, Blake Kratzer's infield single put the Raiders in front. On the mound, Plaisted fanned five in five inning, and Issac Martin pitched four innings.
'Our offense stayed hot from the start when they jumped out in the first inning,' Schwichtenberg said. 'Jeff Mason has been stinging the ball all year, and we had a lot of confidence in getting a run in with him leading off the top of the ninth inning. Issac Martin pounded the zone with the lead and was able to seal the game in the bottom of the inning.'
In the regularly scheduled game that followed, it looked as if the Lancers would bounce back.
Central's Adam Baade singled, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Hauser in the third for a 1-0 lead. But East tied it in the bottom of the inning and took the lead, 2-1, in the fifth. MJ Houdek doubled, Dillon Sehmer was safe on the pitcher's error, and John Schneider tripled in both runners for a 3-2 Central lead.
However, Tosa East came from behind with a run in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game on a groundout and then win it with an RBI single by Spencer Michaelis in the bottom of the eighth to once again send BC home with a loss.
'In the past we have had times where we have struggled to battle back late, but today we showed confidence and a no-quit attitude,' Schwichtenberg said. 'I could not be happier for Spencer for walking that off. The kid has been a big-time part of our team for the past three years, and he came up huge for us.'
On the mound, Mason went six innings with four strikeouts, and Martin went two innings to get the win.
After collecting the walk-off hit against Brookfield Central, Michaelis led Tosa East with his arm June 16, tossing a three-hit shutout to lead the Red Raiders to a 3-0 victory over first-place Oak Creek.
'Spencer was locked in on the mound,' Schwichtenberg said. 'He had everything going from the start and was able to command the zone real well.'
Tosa East scored its three runs in the third inning, with two coming in on a single by Rutkiewicz. The Red Raiders collected just four hits, but the Knights committed three errors.
Michaelis walked three and struck out two over seven innings.
Tosa East saw its four-game winning streak come to an end with a 2-0 loss at Brookfield East on June 17.
The Red Raiders collected just one hit against Spartans pitcher TC Swittel, who struck out six and walked four in his seven innings of work.
Martin was the tough-luck loser for Tosa East, as he worked six strong innings in his first start of the season. The lone runs of the game came on a two-run single by East's Danny Butler in the second inning.
'Issac Martin had his first start tonight and impressed,' Schwichtenberg said. 'When he can command the zone, he is very tough to hit. He deserved a better fate.'
The Red Raiders' comeback attempt fell short in a 7-4 loss to Waukesha North on June 18 at Frame Park.
Tosa East fell behind, 7-1, after three innings but cut the deficit to three with three runs in the fifth and had the tying run at the plate in the sixth and seventh.
'We had some tough breaks early and put ourselves in a big hole,' Schwichtenberg said. 'Our fight in the last few innings was very good. We had the tying run on base in each of the last two innings, but just couldn't finish. It was too little too late.'
Denny was 3-for-3 against the Northstars, while Serrano added a two-run double.
Tosa East has a busy week ahead, with three Greater Metro games and two nonconference contests.
The Red Raiders are scheduled to face Sussex Hamilton on June 20, play at West Allis Hale on June 21 and host Marquette on June 23 in conference play. Tosa East will then welcome Brown Deer to Breitlow Field on June 24 before facing Tosa West at 3:30 p.m. June 25. All games start at 5:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.