Home Talent experience

Poynette’s Matt Hutchinson is all smiles after driving the first pitch he saw to left field for a single against Fort Atkinson. Hutchinson earned the right to play for the Indians after winning the Home Talent Experience at Poynette’s Casino Night.

With the playoffs just around the corner, the Poynette Indians baseball team garnered some key victories last week.

In Night League play, the Indians remained in the playoff hunt with a 4-3 victory over visiting Sun Prairie on July 25.

Poynette is just 3-5 in Night League action, but still has an outside chance of making the playoffs.

The Indians hosted Wisconsin Dells in a Night League makeup this past Monday and will entertain Sun Prairie at 7 p.m. tonight. Poynette needs wins in both games to have a shot at the playoffs.

The Indians are also in the mix for a Home Talent Eastern Section playoff hunt. With a 9-7 victory over visiting Columbus last Sunday, Poynette moved into a tie for third place in the Eastern Section.

“We were fortunate to hang on against a Columbus team that did a great job of putting the bat on the ball,” Poynette player-manager Davy Tomlinson said. “We were able to come up with a big inning in the fifth, as a few guys came up big in clutch situations. The guys played great defense, and didn’t give up any free bases.”

With the top four teams moving on to the playoffs, Poynette is tied with DeForest for third place at 9-6. Sun Prairie (11-4) and Monona (9-4) are in the top two spots. Montello (7-6) is the only other team in the playoff hunt.

The Indians can clinch an Eastern Section playoff spot with a win over host DeForest in the regular-season finale at 1 p.m. this Sunday.

Also last week, Poynette hosted Fort Atkinson on Friday for Fan Appreciation Night. The Generals won the exhibition game 9-1.

“They only had a couple more hits than us, but they put together a big inning,” Tomlinson said. “Despite the loss, it was still a pretty good night for everybody. We want to thank everybody for coming out, and hope they had a great time.”

Poynette 4

Sun Prairie 3

The Indians were able to overcome a 3-0 deficit to knock off Sun Prairie, which scored three runs in the top of the first inning.

Poynette started the comeback with a run in the bottom of the second, as Tomlinson drove in a run with a double.

Dylan Tomlinson tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run single.

The Indians came up with the winning run in their final at-bat in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ryan Hutchinson had a walk-off RBI single.

Kyle Bestul pitched the first six innings for Poynette, but Anthony Mabrey got the win in one inning of relief. Bestul and Mabrey each had a strikeout and two walks.

“That was probably Kyle’s best outing of the season,” Tomlinson said. “After a rough start, he certainly settled in and shut them down for five innings.”

Hutchinson led the Indians with two hits.

Poynette 9

Columbus 7

Poynette also fell behind 3-0 to Columbus in the first inning, but again found a way to rally.

Davy Tomlinson had an RBI sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third inning to open the scoring for the Indians.

Dylan Tomlinson had an RBI double and Jalen Knuteson added a run-scoring single in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game.

The Indians grabbed the lead, 7-3, with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the fifth. Cody Matush plated the first run with a single, while Hutchinson knocked in a run with a ground ball. The next two runs scored on throwing errors.

Columbus cut the deficit to one after pushing three runs across the plate in the top of the seventh inning.

Poynette came up with two runs in the bottom of the seventh, thanks to RBI singles by Dylan Tomlinson and Knuteson.

Columbus tried to rally in the top of the ninth, but only managed one run.

Mabrey picked up the pitching win after striking out five and walking two in six innings. Alex O’Connor got the save after striking out two in three frames.

Knuteson went 4-for-5 to lead Poynette at the plate, while Mabrey, O’Connor and Dylan Tomlinson had two hits apiece.

Fort Atkinson 9

Poynette 1

In a night that celebrated Poynette’s fans, Fort Atkinson used a seven-run sixth inning to earn the victory.

The Generals opened their scoring with a run in the top of the first inning.

The Indians got a leadoff single from Matt Hutchinson, who won the Home Talent Experience at Poynette’s Casino Night, in the bottom of the first, but it did not lead to a run.

Both teams came up with a run in the fourth inning. Bestul drew a bases-loaded walk for Poynette’s run.

Fort Atkinson then put away the game in the sixth inning.

Steve Leiterman led Poynette with two hits.

O’Connor, Dylan Tomlinson, Rodney Curtis, Ryan Hutchinson and Knuteson all pitched for the Indians. They combined for four strikeouts and five walks.

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