9/13/2015 - Fort Atkinson 4, Monona 3
Posted September 14, 2015
Home Talent League playoffs: Verona, Ashton and Fort Atkinson in final three
There was plenty at stake during Sunday’s Home Talent League final four game in Ashton.
Verona, after losing its opening game of the playoffs, had to win to have a chance at claiming the baseball championship, while defending champion Ashton could claim back-to-back titles with a victory.
Kyle Nelson scattered four hits as Verona shut out Ashton 4-0, extending the season two more weeks.
Fort Atkinson, a 4-3 winner over Monona in 11 innings, will travel to Ashton next week with Verona awaiting the winner.
“We played Verona baseball today,” said manager Nick Krohn, whose team beat Monona last week. “We got great pitching from Nelson, played solid defense, and scored enough runs to win the game.”
Verona scored in the fourth inning on a bases-loaded groundout by Cole Kroncke.
Verona added two more in the fifth and one in the eighth.
Justin Scanlon and Derek Burgenske drove in the fifth-inning runs while Danny Koss had an RBI single in the eighth.
The rest was up to Nelson.
He allowed just two runners to reach second base, walking three and striking out 10 in nine innings.
“I have never pitched in games like this before,” Nelson said. “This is the first time I have pitched in the playoffs and it is amazing. I had all three of my pitches working today and had great defense to go with it.”
Ashton manager Dave Adler knew his team had its best shot of winning a second straight championship at home in front of a huge crowd on Sunday.
“We had our chances today, but give Verona and Nelson all the credit,” Adler said.
“You don’t win games when you don’t score. We’ve been here before and we know what we need to do.”
Verona 000 120 010 — 4 8 0
Ashton 000 000 000 — 0 4 1
Pitchers — (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Nelson (W; 9-4-0-3-10); Kevin Peternell (L; 7-5-3-2-7), Miller (2-3-1-0-0).
Leading hitters — Verona — Scanlon (2x5); Ashton — Keeler (2x2).
2B — Keeler.
Fort Atkinson 4, Monona 3 (11)
Lucas Smithyman drove in the go-ahead run with a RBI single in the top of the 11th inning as Fort Atkinson rallied past host Monona to clinch a spot in the final three.
Fort Atkinson trailed 3-0 heading into the ninth inning before scoring runs on an error, a hit by pitch and a fielder’s choice to send the game to extra innings.
Fort Atkinson starter Frank Raff allowed three runs and struck out eight in nine innings of work and Nick Raether went 4-for-5 with a double.
Aaron Schmidt, Robert Parman and Beau Goff each had two hits for Monona, which went ahead 3-0 after scoring twice in the sixth inning.
Fort Atkinson 000 000 003 01 — 4 13 1
Monona 000 102 000 00 — 3 10 3
Pitchers — (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Raff (9-8-3-2-8), Koepke (W; 2-2-0-0-1); Schmidt (8-12-1-0-5), Petty (2-0-0-0-1), Najacht (L; 1-1-0-0-0).
Leading hitters — Fort Atkinson — Smithyman (2x5), Wallace (2x5), Raether (4x5), Crandall (3x5); Monona — Schmidt (2x5), Parman (2x5), Goff (2x5).
2B — Wallace, Raether; Goff.
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