JEFFERSON — Tyler Butina allowed one earned over six innings and the top-seeded Jefferson baseball team knocked off third-seeded Lakeside Lutheran 10-2 in a WIAA Division 2 regional final at Fischer Field on Wednesday, June 16.
The Eagles (22-6) win their first regional crown since 2018, when this crop of seniors were first-year players in the program. The ‘18 group finished a win shy of a state title.
Butina earned the decision, striking out three and walking three while giving up five hits and two runs.
“He was able to grind,” Jefferson baseball coach Greg Fetherston said of Butina. “He got behind most hitters, but he’s so good at locating his fastball he could battle back. A big lead helps put pressure on the other side. He was pitching in and out. Proud of the way he grinded to get through there. We want all of our pitchers to get deeper into pitchers counts.”
Jefferson’s bats were lively, tallying 14 hits, a day after totaling 17 base knocks in a 13-3 win over Big Foot in the semis.
Nathan Chesterman got Lakeside (13-9) on the board in the first inning with a run-scoring fielder’s choice.
Aaron Heine got the Jefferson second underway with a chopped single into left. Three hitters later, Tanner Pinnow’s RBI single that lined off Chesterman’s glove scored Aiden Behm to tie it. Luis Serrano dropped in a two-RBI single to left with two down in the frame.
The Warriors stranded runners at the corners with two down in the third after Tyler Marty popped out to Butina. A 4-6-3 double play ended the Lakeside fourth.
“This isn’t the way you want any season to end, but I am proud of what our guys accomplished this season,” Lakeside Lutheran baseball coach Phil Dretske said. “You can’t hang your head after reaching the regional finals for the third consecutive season.
“We will definitely miss our seniors going forward, but we have a lot of talent coming up. It will be exciting to watch them excel next year and beyond. It’s been a privilege working with this team this year.”
Haygen Miller plated Colten Drew, who was courtesy running for Pinnow the catcher, with two down in the fourth on a single to right. Behm and Eli Hoffman had consecutive run-scoring hits in the fifth. Hoffman’s double to center plated two runs and made it 7-1.
Gabe Uttech took the loss for the Warriors, allowing 10 earned on 13 hits over five innings, walking three and striking out two.
For the Eagles, who advance to Tuesday’s sectional in Brodhead that will also include Beloit Turner, Mount Horeb and Lodi, Serrano was 3-for-4. Miller, Heine, Behm, Hoffman and Pinnow had two hits each. Drew scored three times.
“Our focus in practice is on what we can do to maximize plate appearances and expecting the ball to be hit to us,” Fetherston said. “Guys are excited. This is a tight group that cares for each other and wants each other to do well.”
Lakeside fell short of its second sectional berth in as many seasons.
“Jefferson is a good team,” Dretske said. “They made the plays when they needed to defensively and had clutch hits with runners on base. I wish them all the best as they continue on to sectionals next week.”
LAKESIDE LUTHERAN 2
Lakeside Luth. 100 001 0 — 2 6 0
Jefferson 030 133 x — 10 14 3
Pitchers (ip-h-r-er-so-bb) — LL: Uttech (L; 5-13-10-10-2-3), Chesterman (1-1-0-0-0-1); J: Butina (W; 6-5-2-1-3-3), Neitzel (1-1-0-0-0-1).
Leading hitters — LL: Buchta (2B), Marty 2x4, Yaroch 2x3; J: E. Hoffman 2x4 (2B), Butina (2B), Miller 2x3, Serrano 3x4, Heine 2x3, Pinnow 2x3, Behm 2x2.
LAKESIDE LUTHERAN 4,
EAST TROY 2
EAST TROY — For the second straight postseason game, the Warriors saved their best hitting for crunch time, coming alive in the late innings to advance.
Senior Nathan Chesterman hit the go-ahead two-run double in the seventh as the third-seeded Lakeside Lutheran baseball team won at second-seeded East Troy 4-2 in a WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal on Tuesday, June 15.
The Warriors (13-8) had four of their seven hits in the seventh inning.
Tyler Chopp, as he did in last Thursday’s quarterfinal win over Delavan-Darien, got the rally going. Chopp singled to center to lead off the frame and senior Gabe Uttech followed by singling a ground ball to left. Sophomore Nate Yaroch, who was the hero in the playoff opener with a walk-off single, flew out to center for the first out, leaving Chopp at second and Uttech at first.
Chesterman then dug in, lining a 1-0 offering from Ryan Kreft to center to plate two runs and give Lakeside a 3-1 edge. Chesterman moved up to third on a ground out by junior Tyler Marty, scoring an insurance run on junior Brock Schneider’s two-out double to left.
“Chesterman has been seeing the ball very well through both playoff games,” Lakeside Lutheran baseball coach Phil Dretske said. “He is a senior that is not ready for his high school baseball career to end, and does what he can to help out his team defensively and at the plate. All our guys battled at the plate all day long against the East Troy starter, Rice, but couldn’t connect.
“Those quality at bats early in the game forced East Troy to go to their number two pitcher, and our batters got aggressive at the plate and made some great things happen late.”
Senior Ian Olszewski earned the win for Lakeside, working 6 1/3 innings while allowing two earned on five hits with four strikeouts and five walks. Olszewski had a six-pitch strikeout to open the seventh before a pair of walks ended his afternoon, bringing Uttech on to close it out.
“Ian didn’t let anything rattle him out there on the mound,” Dretske said. “His pitches were right there and East Troy was being patient with those that just missed. He showed trust in his defense by making batters put it in play as he went deeper in the game.”
Uttech fell behind Alex Reyes 3-1, battling back with a pair strikes to record the punch out looking and the inning’s second out. Owen Rice had a run-scoring single to left next, pulling the Trojans (13-9) within 4-2 and sending the winning run to the dish. Uttech retired Tyler Dopke on two pitches on a fielder’s choice ground out to first base to make it final.
Lakeside advances to Wednesday’s regional final at top-seeded Jefferson, which beat fourth-seeded Big Foot 13-3 on Tuesday. The Warriors advance to their third regional final in as many seasons, winning a regional crown in 2019 after coming up just shy of reaching sectionals in 2018.
Uttech, who was 2-for-4, singled to lead off the game and the Warriors had runners at the corners with two down after a Chesterman single but a strikeout and fly out ended the frame.
Olszewski retired the first five hitters he faced, allowing his first hit with one down in the third. After an error, Olszewski worked out of a bases-loaded one-out jam by getting Rice to line out and Dopke to strike out.
Silas Helmos singled to open the fourth but a 4-6-3 double play quickly stymied the rally and a strikeout by Colby Atkinson ended the frame.
Rice drove in the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Chesterman, who was 3-for-3, doubled to lead off the sixth and scored on a two-out error by Alex Bruce at shortstop to tie it.
For East Troy, which was outhit 7-6 and didn’t have an extra-base knock, Rice struck out 11 and walked four over five two-hit innings on 95 pitches. Kreft took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits with two strikeouts and a loss.
LAKESIDE LUTHERAN 4,
EAST TROY 2
Lakeside Luth. 000 001 3 — 4 7 1
East Troy 000 010 1 — 2 6 2
Pitchers (ip-h-r-er-so-bb) — LL: Olszewski (W; 6.1-5-2-2-4-5), Uttech (SV; 0.2-1-0-0-1-0); ET: Rice (L; 5-2-0-0-11-4), Kreft (2-5-4-3-2-1).
Leading hitters — LL: Chesterman 3x3 (2 2B), Schneider (2B), Uttech 2x4; ET: Bruce 2x3, Helmos 2x3.