Field work

The Poynette Home Talent baseball team tries to make the field playable after rain stopped their game with DeForest last Saturday. Umpires deemed the field unplayable and the game was called after six innings with DeForest prevailing 5-4.

With the Home Talent Eastern Section playoffs fast approaching, every game is important for the Poynette Indians baseball team. The Indians were able to remain in the playoff hunt after splitting a pair of Eastern Section games last weekend.

Last Saturday, Poynette dropped a 5-4 heartbreaker to the visiting DeForest Deacons. The game was shortened to six innings because rain made the field unplayable.

“That was a frustrating loss,” Poynette player-manager Davy Tomlinson said. “We had a handful of scoring chances that we didn’t capitalize on, and the guys made a big effort to get the field ready but it didn’t work out.”

The Indians rebounded from the loss to hammer host Portage 14-2 on Sunday. Poynette was led by pitcher Anthony Mabrey, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning.

“That was as sharp as I’ve seen Mabrey on the mound,” Tomlinson said. “All four pitches were working, and he was able to keep some very good hitters at bay.”

The top four teams in the Eastern Section advance to the playoffs and the Indians are currently in fourth place with an 8-6 record. DeForest and Sun Prairie are tied for first place with 9-4 marks, while Monona (8-4) is third.

“After losing to DeForest, we will need to win our last two games to even have a chance at making the playoffs,” Tomlinson said.

The Indians will host Columbus this Sunday and travel to DeForest on Aug. 4 to close out the Eastern Section regular season. Both games will start at 1 p.m.

Poynette also played a Night League game last week. The Indians lost 9-5 to host Montello on July 18 to fall to 2-5 in Night League play.

The Indians will host Sun Prairie in a 7 p.m. Night League game tonight.

DeForest 5

Poynette 4

The Indians had a chance to take the lead before the game was stopped, but DeForest center fielder Julian Edwards made a great catch on a hard-hit ball by Kory Ryan with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom sixth inning.

DeForest jumped out to a 4-0 leads, starting with a three-run outburst in the first inning, which was highlighted by a home run by Mike Johnson. They added a run in the top of the second.

Poynette cut the lead in half with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Dylan Tomlinson came through with a two-run double.

The Indians’ Cody Matush delivered a run-scoring single in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to one.

The Deacons scored the eventual game winning run in the top of sixth inning, as Johnson had his second solo home run of the game.

Poynette cut the deficit to one on an RBI single by Jalen Knuteson in the bottom of the sixth, but they were unable to tie the game before the rain hit.

The Indians worked on the field for an hour before the umpires declared the field unplayable.

Poynette had just four hits in the game.

Johnson was 4-for-4 with two home runs to lead DeForest.

Alex O’Connor pitched all six innings for Poynette and had a strikeout and two walks.

Poynette 14

Portage 2

After struggling to hit the ball against DeForest, Poynette’s offense came alive against Portage. The Indians out-hit the Skeeters 15-4.

Poynette broke open a scoreless game with four runs in the top of the third inning. Mabrey and Rodney Curtis both had run-scoring singles, while Ryan drew a bases-loaded walk for the third run.

Portage scored its first run with the help of an error in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Indians blew the game wide open with a six-run explosion in the top of the sixth frame. Ryan highlighted the inning with a two-run double, while Knuteson added an RBI single. Steve Leiterman delivered a run-scoring sacrifice fly, while Davy Tomlinson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Also in the frame, Ryan Hutchinson scored on a wild pitch.

Poynette closed out its scoring with four more runs in the top of the eighth. Matush, Mabrey and Davy Tomlinson each had a run-scoring single, while a run scored on catcher’s interference with Knuteson at the plate.

Portage scored a run in the bottom of the eighth, but it was not enough to avoid the game ending early with the mercy rule.

Knuteson and Hutchinson paced the Indians at the plate with three hits, while Mabrey and Leiterman both had two.

Mabrey gave up just one hit over seven innings on his way to the win. He finished with five strikeouts and three walks.

“I was able to locate multiple pitches,” Mabrey said. “Through the last few starts, I’ve been having trouble with my change-up, but I was able to locate that well today and throw the breaking ball and fast ball on both sides of the plate.”

Knuteson pitched the final inning for Poynette.

Montello 9

Poynette 5

The Indians out-hit Montello 8-7 but it was not enough to avoid the Night League loss.

Poynette struck first with two runs in the top of the first inning. Leiterman scored on a wild pitch for the first run, Alex O’Connor followed with an RBI sacrifice fly.

Montello answered with two runs in the bottom of the first. It then took the lead with four runs in the bottom of the third.

The Indians cut the deficit to one, 6-5, with a three-run rally in the top of the fourth inning. After a run-scoring single by Knuteson, Davy Tomlinson and Leiterman both scored on wild pitches.

Montello added three insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth frame.

Kyle Bestul, O’Connor and Matush all pitched for the Indians. They combined for three strikeouts and nine walks.

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