By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

Mother Nature certainly wreaked havoc on the area last week – and that chaos extended to the summer baseball schedule.

East Troy’s Post 188 16U legion squad saw its summer season come to an end with two losses in the regional tournament last week.

Post 188 dropped a 7-0 decision to Beloit in the opening round, and then saw its season end two nights later in a 6-4 decision to Hartland.

Because of the rain and flooding that followed, the tournament schedule was in flux from the start, which played a role, according to East Troy coach John Wick.

“It sounds like sour grapes, but after the injuries last week, we were depleted,” he said. “The rain caused games to move times, and late Wednesday, they moved our game to 11 a.m., and we lost more players to work. We had to scratch to find nine bodies.”

In the opener against Beloit, a walk and error put East Troy behind in the third inning, followed by two hits in the fourth that extended Beloit’s lead to 2-0.

Beloit added two runs in the fifth and sixth innings to close out the game.

All totaled, East Troy left 11 runners on base.

“It was frustrating to leave so many guys on base, but even more so, we were unable to lay down three sacrifice bunts early,” Wick said. “We had our chances.”

The scheduling chaos continued in the finale Friday, as a regularly scheduled game with Hartland was moved from 5:30 p.m. To 1:15, which didn’t help, Wick said.

“I never got to have my starting group available,” he said. “Three kids couldn’t get off work at late notice. All would have been there both days at 5.”

East Troy built a 2-0 lead on a hit by Brady Barels and a wild pitch, before Hartland tied things at 2-2 and took a 4-2 lead into the sixth inning.

Post 188 battled back to even on a single by Brendan Sullivan, who then stole two bases and scored on a wild pitch.

But Hartland forged back ahead with two runs to close out the scoring – and end East Troy’s season. Post 188’s Joey Asby led off the seventh with a walk and stole second and third, but was stranded from there.

Despite the tough exit, there were positives that came from the regional, Wick said.

“Sullivan made great strides on the mound all season,” he said. “He will be fun to watch these next two seasons. Ben Gerber is a name baseball people in the area will get to know very soon. He plays all nine positions and excels everywhere.

“The circumstance behind our season ending is frustrating, but these guys are solid on and off the field. East Troy baseball is definitely headed in the right direction.”

Wick thanked a number of people who helped this summer, including Pete Gross, Kelly Lehman, Jeff Bakken, Jimmy Comfort, Rick Brandner and John Sullivan.

The hope for 2018 is the legion program can expand and build on what was put in place this summer, Wick said.

“With the youth programs rolling, we may have two legion squads next year,” he said. “I look forward to seeing where the coaches take these guys next summer.”

 
 

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