After a long regular season of baseball, the DeForest Deacons and Poynette Indians had their Home Talent playoff lives come down to the final game. They locked horns in a win-or-go-home game in DeForest this past Sunday.
There would be no dramatic finish, as the Deacons put together one of their best games of the season in a 16-3 victory.
“It hurts because you know going into the last game that it is on you and it’s win or go home,” Poynette player-manager Davy Tomlinson said. “We failed to come through.”
DeForest racked up 24 hits and scored in every inning.
“They hit everything,” Tomlinson said. “It didn’t matter who was pitching and where the pitch was, they hit it hard. We were throwing good pitches, but they did a great job of hitting it hard. They earned this one.”
With the win, DeForest earned the fourth seed in the Eastern Section playoffs. They finished tied with Montello for third place during the regular season with a 10-6 record. Montello won the tie-breaker for the third seed.
Sun Prairie (12-4) and Monona (11-5) claimed the top two spots in the section.
Poynette missed out on the playoffs by a game after finishing 9-7.
“Everybody was fighting for the same thing and we were hoping to make a run,” Tomlinson said. “We were in the third or fourth spot for most of the season. It is hard to rate the season right after getting knocked out, but I’m proud of these guys. There were a lot of games we came from behind. These guys never give up and always play hard.”
The Deacons will face top-seeded Sun Prairie in the first round of the playoffs. The game will be played in Waterloo at 1 p.m.
Montello will play at Monona in the other semifinal game.
Sunday’s game started with Poynette scoring a run in the top of the first inning. Jalen Knuteson and Anthony Mabrey walked to open the frame. Then with two outs, a single to right field by Aaron Krigbaum scored Knuteson.
“That was encouraging because we got a couple guys on and got a clutch hit by Aaron,” Tomlinson said.
DeForest answered in a big way with four runs in the bottom of the first. Shawn Held opened the bottom of the first with a double and then Michael Johnson, Kendall Frank and Julian Edwards had consecutive singles. Held scored on a hit by Frank.
The Deacons grabbed the lead on a run-scoring sacrifice fly by Jack George.
Tyler Kurt provided the big hit in the bottom of the first with a two-run double.
The Indians’ Ryan Hutchinson led off the top of the second with a home run to right field.
“He is really improving and doing a great job,” Tomlinson said about Hutchinson.
DeForest took complete command of the game with a five-run outburst in the bottom of the second inning.
Edwards drove in the first three runs with a towering home run to left field.
Brock Allen drove in the other two runs in the bottom of the second with a double to center field.
The lead grew to 11-2 in the bottom of the third after a two-run double by George.
Poynette closed out its scoring with a run in the top of the fourth, as Steve Leiterman came in on a ground ball by Dylan Tomlinson.
In the bottom of the fourth, DeForest got an RBI double from Johnson and run-scoring single from Frank to go up 13-3.
The Deacons pushed another run across the plate in the bottom of the fifth, as Kurt came home on a ground bally by Held.
DeForest wrapped up its big offensive day with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Kurt delivered an RBI double, while Kyle Trace contributed a run-scoring single.
Kurt finished the day 5-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs to pace all batters.
Johnson, Frank, Edwards and George each had three hits for the Deacons, while Allen had two. Edwards was just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
DeForest pitcher Garret Kertz pitched all seven innings and tossed a four-hit gem. He had six strikeouts and three walks.
“Kurtz threw and excellent game,” Davy Tomlinson said. “He kept us off-balanced.”
Hutchinson led Poynette with two hits. Mabrey and Krigbaum had the only other hits.
Mabrey, Alex O’Connor and Kyle Bestul all pitched for the Indians. They combined for three strikeouts and five walks. Mabrey took the loss.
Wisconsin Dells 7
In a Night League make-up game on July 29, visiting Wisconsin Dells used a six-run third inning to knock off Poynette 7-4. The loss knocked the Indians out of Night League playoff contention.
“We just weren’t able to get out of the third inning and that hurt,” Tomlinson said.
Poynette had momentum early after scoring three runs in the bottom of the second inning. After a run-scoring by Hutchinson, O’Connor belted a two-run base hit.
Wisconsin Dells erased the deficit in the big third inning.
Both teams closed out their scoring with a run in the fourth inning. Poynette scored on an error.
Hutchinson and O’Connor led the Indians with two hits each.
Rodney Curtis and Bestul both pitched for Poynette. They combined for three strikeouts and five walks.
Sun Prairie 6
The Indians closed out their Night League schedule with a heartbreaking 6-5 extra-inning loss to host Sun Prairie on Aug. 1.
“Extra-inning losses are always tough, especially when you squander multiple scoring opportunities,” Tomlinson said.
Poynette finished 3-7 in Night League play.
Trailing 3-0, Poynette took its only lead with a five-run outburst in the top of the fourth frame.
Sun Prairie tied the game in the bottom of the fifth and scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.
Leiterman, Curtis, Krigbaum and Austin Gray each had two hits for Poynette.
Bestul and O’Connor split time on the mound for the Indians and combined for 11 strikeouts and 11 walks.