With first place on the line, the Brookfield Bulldogs and Lannon Stonemen played a game on July 3 that lived up to the billing as the Land O'Lakes game of the week.
Lannon scored twice in the bottom of the eighth and held on for a 5-3 victory that vaulted it over the Bulldogs and into first place in the Suburban Division. The Bulldogs bounced back on the Fourth of July with an 8-6 win over the Oconomowoc Five O's.
The Brookfield Blue Sox also split a pair of games last week, beating the Hartland Oilers, 2-1, on July 2 and falling, 8-7, to the Milwaukee Beavers on July 4.
Lannon jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning before Brookfield evened the score in the third. The game remained tied until the sixth when the Stonemen plated two to take a 3-1 advantage.
The Bulldogs answered with two in the seventh, but Lannon took the lead for good when Dan Wnuk and Dean Haase hit consecutive doubles in the eighth.
Greg Basthemer allowed three earned runs over eight innings, as two of the runs Lannon scored were unearned. Randy Sobczyk went 3-for-4 for Brookfield, while Dan Barwick, Jonathan Keane and Ryan Hinz each added two hits.
The Bulldogs led the Five O's, 8-1, after the top of the fifth on July 4, but Oconomowoc scored a run in the bottom of the fifth, four in the sixth and one in the eighth to trail 8-7 heading to the ninth.
Josh Lemke allowed two runs in five innings to earn the win. Anthony Andres was hit for three runs in just one-third of an inning, but Keane earned the save by pitching the final 32/3.
Mike Mierow went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. Scott Booth and Jeff Lueck each had two hits for the Bulldogs.
By beating Oconomowoc, the Bulldogs moved to within one-half game of Lannon for first place in the Suburban Division.
Ben Versnik, Aaron Hammond and Luke Erickson combined on a four-hitter against Hartland, with the Oilers' lone run being an unearned tally in the eighth.
The Blue Sox plated runs in the first and the sixth to take a 2-0 lead against Oilers starter Carl Mercier.
Will Johnson went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the Blue Sox. Steve Bartlien and David Jachym drove in Brookfield's runs.
Versnik scattered three hits and four walks to hold the Oilers scoreless for six innings for his first win. Hammond allowed just the unearned run over two innings, while Erickson struck out the side in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.
Brookfield's late comeback attempt fell just short against Milwaukee.
The Beavers scored two in the fourth and five in the fifth to pull ahead, 7-0. The Blue Sox plated four runs in the fifth and one in the seventh to get back in the game. Trailing, 8-5, Brookfield scored twice in the bottom of the ninth before Beaver reliever Alex Rejniak recorded the final out of the game.
Erickson went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, and Johnson, Johnny Arnold and Nick Rechlitz also added two hits apiece.
Arnold was hit for eight runs, five earned on 11 hits in a complete-game effort. The Brookfield ace fell to 6-4 on the season with a 1.79 ERA.
The Blue Sox sit in fourth place of the Suburban Division at 7-5 on the season, 21/2 games out of first place.
Four members of the Blue Sox and two Bulldogs were selected to the Land O'Lakes Western Division All-Star Game to be held July 9 at Village Park in Sussex.
Arnold was selected as the starting pitcher for the Suburban Division, while Blue Sox teammate Pat Tobiasz will start at first base. Bartlein was named a reserve at catcher and Tim Kahle a reserve infielder.
The Bulldogs will be represented by Andres and Dan O'Brien, who will start at designated hitter.