The DeForest Deacons were sitting pretty in the Home Talent Eastern Section playoff hunt after garnering a pair of thrilling victories a week earlier. But after a pair of tough losses last weekend, they are fighting for one of the final playoff spots with a game remaining.
DeForest had its five-game win streak snapped with a 9-2 loss to host Monona last Friday.
Then last Sunday, the Deacons were blanked by visiting Sun Prairie 6-0.
The top four teams in the section advance to the playoffs.
The Deacons are tied with Poynette for third place with a 9-6 record. Sun Prairie (11-4) and Monona (9-4) are in the top two spots in the Eastern Section. Montello (7-6) is the only other team in the playoff race.
DeForest will close out the regular season this Sunday by hosting Poynette at 1 p.m. The winner is guaranteed a playoff spot.
The Deacons fell behind early and was never able to recover.
The Monona Braves set the tone with four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Jordan Carlson opened the scoring with a two-run double, while Casey Seelow followed with a two-run single.
The Braves’ Vince Schmitz had a run-scoring single in the second inning to increase the lead to 5-0.
The lead grew to 8-0 in the bottom of the fourth frame. Carlson, Dan Genrich and Jonathan Switalla all had run-scoring singles.
DeForest scored both of its runs in the top of the sixth inning. Brett Vomhof drove in Dryden Van Schoyck with a single for the first run, while Tyler Kurt tagged and scored on a fly ball by Scott Estness.
Carlson closed out the scoring for Monona with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.
Kendall Frank, Vomhof and Kyle Trace each had two hits for DeForest.
Van Schoyck pitched seven innings for the Deacons and had 10 strikeouts and two walks. Estness pitched the final inning.
Beau Goff and Carlson paced the Braves with three hits each, while Schmitz and Seelow had two apiece.
Andrew Swanson, Corey Schmidt and Zac Najacht all pitched for Monona and combined for 12 strikeouts and a walk.
Sun Prairie 6
Sun Prairie pitcher Taylor Middaugh completely shut down the Deacons. He tossed a complete game five-hit shutout.
Middaugh finished the game with seven strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter.
The Redbirds gave Middaugh all the offense he would need with two runs in the top of the first inning. Justin Krebs plated the first run with a single, while Walker Jenkins had an RBI sacrifice fly.
Sun Prairie’s Aaron Schmidt had a solo home run in the top of the third to increase the lead to 3-0.
Schmidt struck again in the top of the fifth with a two-run home run.
The Redbirds closed out their scoring with a run-scoring single from Jaden Wilke in the top of the seventh.
DeForest didn’t have a base runner reach second base until the fourth inning. They had just one runner reach third base the entire game and that came in the final inning.
Mike Johnson had two of the Deacons’ five hits.
Shawn Held, Frank and Taylor Mack all pitched for DeForest and combined for 11 strikeouts and eight walks.
Jack Maastricht paced the Redbirds with three hits, while Carson Holin, Krebs, Jenkins and Schmidt had two each.