Coming off six perfect innings of relief Friday July 12 when Cottage Grove defeated Monona, starting pitcher Al Dimmig was given the ball Sunday as the Firemen hosted Montello at Fireman’s Park. Dimmig would later say he didn’t have his best stuff, but he pitched a complete victory as Cottage Grove defeated the Granite-Jaxx 6-2 in Home Talent League baseball action.
The win improved the Firemen’s record to 6-7 with three games remaining.
Dimmig got some support right away from the offense as Cottage Grove put up three runs in the first inning.
Tristan Herber led off with a base hit, Graham Schroeder-Gasser walked and Paul Patten pounded a double to drive home Herber. After Schroeder-Gasser scored from third on a sacrifice fly by Anthony Bortz, Donnie Bryant unleashed a double to get Patten home.
Cottage Grove padded its lead with three more runs in the sixth as Bryant doubled again and scampered home on Daniel Karlin-Kamin’s base hit.
Jacob Cates drove home Karlin-Kamin with a double into the left field corner. Cates said he got a good swing on an inside fast ball.
“I hit it hard. I’ve been driving the ball lately, and I had a couple of hard hit balls today,” said Cates, a former player for the now-defunct Marshall team which folded after last season. “I got a good approach at the plate and was able to score a run there.”
Mitch Kelsey added the Firemen’s fourth hit of the inning to drive in Cates for a 6-0 lead.
Dimmig allowed just one Montello hit through the first six innings, but the Granite-Jaxx scored twice in the seventh as the first three hitters recorded a base hit, walk and infield single to load the bases. One out later, a base hit drove in two Granite-Jaxx runs. The bases were reloaded on another single, but Dimmig ended the inning with no further damage.
Montello had two more hits in the eighth and one in the ninth but couldn’t get closer.
Dimmig allowed eight hits in nine innings, struck out five and walked two. Karlin-Kamin, the team’s normal starter, did not pitch because of problems with his arm. Dimmig said he didn’t learn until 10 minutes before the game he was going to start.
“I was just trying to be ready when I was called,” he said. “The off-speed was pretty good, and the fast ball could’ve been better. I didn’t have my best stuff, but as the game was going on, I thought I was getting stronger.”
Cates, the Firemen’s catcher, thought Dimmig threw a strong game.
“Being my first year with the team, I’ve put in enough work with Al this year that he trusts what pitches I’m calling, and he works hard,” Cates said. “The big thing was keeping Montello off balance. When your fast ball is not on, you use your other pitches and make sure they aren’t hitting the ball hard.”
Bryant led the Firemen’s 10-hit attack with three hits, including his pair of doubles. Schroeder-Gasser had two hits in three at-bats for Cottage Grove.
After a three-game skid in which the Firemen scored only six runs, the team has scored 35 runs in its last four games, three of them victories.
Cottage Grove is on the road Sunday to play the struggling Portage Skeeters with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. A playoff team last season, Portage has a record this year of 4-9 with six losses in its last seven games. Poynette blasted the Skeeters on Sunday 14-2.
Monona 10, Sun Prairie 4
Kian O’Brien, Taylor Carlson and Beau Goff each had three of the team’s 14 hits as the Braves improved their record to 8-4 with a win at Ashley Field in Sun Prairie.
The game was tied 2-2 after four innings before Monona scored twice in the fifth, and once in the sixth and seventh to open a 6-2 lead.
The Red Birds came back with two runs in the eighth inning, but the Braves put together a four-run rally in the ninth.
Carlson had a home run for Monona, and O’Brien had both a homer and a triple. Vince Schmitz also added two hits and Goff batted in three runs.
Starting pitcher Dan Genrich threw a complete game victory with five strikeouts and 11 hits allowed in nine innings.
Monona plays at home Friday against DeForest with the first pitch scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The Deacons and Red Birds are tied for first in the Eastern Section with a record of 9-4. Monona trails them by a half-game.
Lake Mills 4, McFarland 3
Greg Riese had two hits and Nick Schreiber pitched nine strong innings with 14 strikeouts, but the Muskies lost to the Grays at Campus Field in Lake Mills.
The Grays led 4-1 before McFarland scored twice in the eighth inning to make it a one-run game. But that was all the offense the Muskies could manage as they lost their fifth game in a row to fall to 3-9.
McFarland plays a doubleheader at home Sunday against Evansville with the first game scheduled for noon. Evansville has a record of 8-5 and is deadlocked with Fort Atkinson for the fourth playoff spot.