The consensus among local high school baseball coaches is that the Brookfield Central baseball team is much better than its record says it is.
However, the Lancers entered the week at 3-19 overall and 2-13 in the Greater Metro after yet another week of close losses to quality competition.
'At times you would think you are going to turn things around, but somebody has to step up and do the job,' Lancers coach Jeff Bigler said. 'I don't know what a 3-19 team looks like, but we're a solid baseball team. We know how to play the game. We play the game the right way.'
West Allis Hale
Brookfield Central snapped its seven-game losing streak and earned its second Greater Metro victory of the season June 20 with a 7-2 win over West Allis Hale.
After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, Central answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Michael Hauser plated a run with a ground out, and M.J. Houdek followed with an RBI single.
With the bases loaded and nobody out in the second, Hauser singled to left to put the Lancers up 4-1. Central scored again in the second when Joe DuBois scampered home on a wild pitch.
The Lancers added to their lead on an RBI single by DuBois in the third and an RBI double by Jonathan Osman in the fifth.
Hauser drove in three runs and went all seven innings on the mound. The right-hander allowed two earned runs on five hits, walking four and striking out six.
A six-run fourth inning by the Hilltoppers did the Lancers in on June 21, as Marquette used one big inning to send Central to a 6-2 loss at MATC South.
Central jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second when Dillon Sehmer followed a two-out double by Justin Stollberg with an RBI single to left.
Adam Baade had held Marquette scoreless for three innings before the Hilltoppers broke through in the fourth. Jack Dwyer hit a solo home run with one out, but Baade had a chance to escape the inning with the game tied.
With two outs and a runner on second, Baade walked Joe Gilpin and allowed a single to Ryan Hecht to load the bases. Jeremy Schultz then singled to left to score two and give Marquette the lead. The Hilltoppers added three more runs to take a 6-1 lead on a two-run double by Joe Acker and an error.
The Lancers cut the deficit to 6-2 in the sixth when Jacob Sandy doubled and scored on a fielder's choice hit into by Houdek, but Hilltoppers starter Jack Shemanski didn't allow Central to get back into the game.
Baade took the loss, allowing five earned runs over 41/3innings. Schneider pitched 12/3scoreless innings of relief.
Stollberg, the Lancers' ace who suffered an elbow injury in April, made his first start and third appearance of the season June 23 in Central's 4-2 loss to Franklin.
On a pitch count of 50, Stollberg struck out three and walked two before coming out of the game with two outs in the third. The left-hander allowed a double and walked two in the second before working out of trouble with a shallow fly ball to right field and a strikeout.
'We have a little more pep in our step when we know we have a college pitcher on the mound,' Bigler said. 'Justin isn't as sharp as he needs to be yet. That's expected.'
Central struggled to put much together against Franklin starter Takoda Metoxen, who is committed to the University of Memphis. The Lancers collected just two hits and struck out 12 times.
DuBois took over for Stollberg on the mound and kept the game scoreless through five innings.
With one out in the sixth, Kyle Lewis singled, stole second base and scored on an error to put Franklin up 1-0. DuBois appeared to have Drew Reinick struck out to end the inning, but the umpire ruled that the Sabers' first baseman checked his swing. One pitch later, Reinick hit a three-run home run off the left-field foul pole.
'It is the same lesson we've had time and time again,' Bigler said. 'It was the big inning. It just piles up on us. We play good baseball. Then we don't make a catch or a play at third base, and it turns into a home run. It snowballs on you.'
Two walks and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for the Lancers with nobody out in the sixth. A one-out sac fly by Houdek got Central on the board, but that's all it could muster thanks to a pair of strikeouts.
Central brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh but scored just once on a ground out by Nathan Denofre.
New Berlin West
In a back-and-forth affair on June 24, Central rallied to tie the game in the top of the seventh before New Berlin West walked off with a 10-9 win.
The Vikings jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Aided by two New Berlin West errors, Central answered with six runs in the second to grab the lead.
After New Berlin West scored three times in the bottom of the sixth to take a 9-7 lead, Osman drew a walk to start the seventh for Central, and Jacob Sandy followed with a single. Consecutive ground outs scored Osman to pull the Lancers to within one. A two-out passed ball then allowed Sandy to score with the tying run.
With runners at second and third with one out in the seventh, Nick Paget singled to left to win the game for the Vikings.