Tags: Feature Sports Story
Ace pitcher Cal Rohrman cruised along Sunday until falling victim to the big inning. (click for larger version)
|Skipper (click for larger version)|
July 17, 2012 | 03:49 PMWATERFORD — It was a week the Genoa City Senior Legion baseball team would soon like to forget.
Culminating with a 5-3 loss Sunday at Waterford, the Red Legs lost three of four games last week, with the three losses by a total of only five runs. Two of the losses were critical league games against Kenosha and Beloit.
Genoa City is now 23-10-1 and 2-4 in Region 7 action. Beloit and Janesville both lead the league at 7-3.
On Sunday, things were going well for Genoa City through 4 1/2 innings. Ace Cal Rohrman was pitching a gem, and Eric Skipper's first-inning RBI single gave Genoa City a 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth.
That's when things fell apart for Rohrman, who allowed four runs in the fifth off two back-breaking doubles.
"He was ahead 0-and-2 on two of the hitters and just could not finish them off," Genoa City coach Gary Cukla said.
Waterford built a 5-2 lead in the sixth before Jason Marquez, a Badger senior, relieved Rohrman. Marquez retired the next three batters.
In the top of the seventh, Genoa City mustered a run as Skipper scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 5-3. With the tying runs on second and third, Kevin Conrad (Wilmot) and Corey Crowder (Wilmot) both struck out to end the game.
Though wild at times, Waterford's pitcher only surrendered five hits on the day.
"Their pitcher was outstanding and had our guys hitting his pitches," Cukla said. "We have to be more selective when we are batting and go up there with a purpose in mind and not just swing the bat without knowing the situation. We have to use the whole ball park and not just try to pull everything. You limit what you can accomplish if you do this."
Skipper led the Red Legs with two hits and two RBIs.
Genoa City travels to Region 7-leading Janesville Wednesday before the home final Friday with Waterford and the regular-season finale Sunday in Kenosha at noon. Genoa City will host regionals, which begin July 25. The Red Legs earned a bye, and their first playoff game is Thursday, July 26, at 5 p.m., at Krisik Field in Genoa City.
Cukla said the team must improve its situational hitting.
"We have to get better in doing this and when we call a bunt, we need to be able to put the ball in certain areas," he said. "I know we can do this. We just have to want to do these little things that win ball games."
Genoa City 4, Burlington 2
On Friday night, Conrad's three-run blast in the first helped the Red Legs snap a five-game losing streak. It was the first baseman's first circuit clout of the season.
In the second, Skipper's RBI single scored Ian Weber (Badger), who doubled.
Skipper hurled a dandy on the mound, going seven innings and striking out seven while walking one and allowing one earned run. Of his 90 pitches, 60 were strikes, or two-thirds. He mixed speeds and kept the Burlington batters guessing all night.
"This victory could not have been possible without the pitching gem by Skipper," Cukla said. "Eric challenged the Burlington hitters all night with his fastball and curve and had some key strikeouts in key situations. He just throws strikes. He isn't overpowering, but he is smart."
Skipper induced 11 ground balls, and the infield turned a double play. Cukla said the infield defense was "great."
Genoa City tallied seven hits as a team.
Beloit 3, Genoa City 2 (eight innings)
On Wednesday in Beloit, the Red Legs were looking for revenge from a 12-1 loss to Beloit July 9.
The Red Legs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run single by Travis Stahulak (Badger).
But Beloit's pitcher settled down and only allowed four hits the rest of the way. Beloit scored single runs in the fourth and fifth to tie things at 2-2. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, a Beloit runner reached on an error, and a hit-and-run play put runners on first and third with one out.
On the next pitch, a suicide squeeze plated the winning run from third.
Rohrman was nearly untouchable on the hill, tossing a complete game with five strikeouts, three walks and only two earned runs.
"It was our fifth straight loss and the hardest one as Cal pitched a masterful game," Cukla said. "We as a team just could not support him enough with our bats to get this win. The effort is there. These guys give their all every night."
Kenosha 10, Genoa City 8
On July 10 at home, the Red Legs stormed back from a 5-1 deficit with seven runs in the fifth to take an 8-5 lead.
In the frame, Genoa City batted around and benefited from key hits from Cody Ropp and Stahulak which scored Conrad and Colton Andresen.
Trailing 8-7 with one out in the top of the seventh, Kenosha's three-run blast proved to be a fatal blow and gave the visitors an insurmountable lead.
Genoa City committed five errors in the contest, and Cukla said Marquez pitched well enough to win minus the three-run home run. Kenosha scored five unearned runs.
Skipper paced Genoa City's 10-hit effort with three base shots. Weber, Stahulak and Erik Kremers each collected two hits and two RBIs.