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Aurora

Badger pounds Panthers in playoffs



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June 02, 2010 | 08:12 AM
Badger senior pitcher Jake Hodgeman didn't want Tuesday's playoff opener against Racine Park to be his last game wearing the red and black.

So, Hodgeman, like any good leader would, did something about it.

He allowed just one run over six innings and scattered five hits to help propel the Badgers to a 9-2 blowout win at Jonas Field. Hodgeman was able to cruise up and down the Park lineup thanks to an early 6-0 Badger lead.

The local boys scored two in the first and four in the second. Clint Andresen started the game with a walk, and the next three batters followed with singles. Hodgeman, Will Swanson and Laramie Wieseman each smacked RBI singles in the first two innings. Hodgeman enjoyed the early lead.

"I went in there thinking I was going to pound the mitt," he said. "My guys were backing me up when I made a mistake. I felt loose and smooth. You don't have that pressure to control the game when you have that lead. It was amazing."

Badger dominated despite the loss of all-conference catcher Colter Beck, who is unavailable for the entire postseason due to an out-of-school suspension. But senior Alec Storms, who was Hodgeman's catcher during their sophomore seasons, filled in nicely behind the plate. Badger coach Aaron Zweifel commended Hodgeman and Storms.

"They've played a lot together, and they have a real good rapport," Zweifel said. "Alec called a great game. He was blocking and working hard back there. For him to step in the way he has, it has been awesome. We were having great at-bats, and Hodgeman was throwing strikes. It was a great start to the tournament."

Badger (13-10), seeded sixth in the Badger Sectional, will now travel to Kenosha Bradford (18-5) Friday for a 4:30 p.m. first pitch. The Red Devils are seeded third.

Badger edged Bradford, 6-5, back on April 19. Colton Andresen threw two solid innings in relief, and it is likely Clint will start Friday. Zweifel said his team is confident despite the tough matchup with the Red Devils.

"Our guys aren't going to be intimidated going down there," he said. "Our confidence and our chemistry has improved since then. Overall at the plate, guys are having a better approach. They know what they're looking for. They know it just takes one."

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