If anything, Manitowoc Post 88 was consistent in its Wisconsin American Legion regional playoff opener at Sheboygan on Thursday.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the sort of consistency that the team was hoping for.
Manitowoc dropped the contest to Sheboygan 7-1, but remains alive in the four-team, double-elimination tournament at Wildwood Park. Post 88 plays today at noon against the loser of a De Pere/Bay Port game that ended late Thursday evening.
The squad had runners successfully reach base in eight of the nine innings played on Thursday. But only one baserunner crossed the plate.
Instead of RBI base hits, Post 88 (10-17-1) struck out 13 times against pitcher Jared Reklaitis of Sheboygan (26-12) — at least one per inning.
Manitowoc coach Kevin Stangel was not impressed with the general focus of the team.
“We didn’t have a good approach, up and down the order,” Stangel said. “Not a lot of good swings today. Lots of long, lazy swings.”
The defense committed just one error, but had several other plays in the field that could have made a difference, but weren’t made.
“There were plays that we’ve got to make out there,” he said. “Things that don’t show up in the box score.”
If there was a player of the game for Post 88, it was pitcher Jon Roberts, who came on relief and allowed one run over a four strong innings. Starter Devon Seiler took the loss.
In the second inning, Carl Samz walked, went to second on a groundout, and scored on a Logan Koss bloop single down the right-field line for Post 88’s lone run.
Manty certainly had others opportunities, but they played out frustratingly.
Nick Spurney singled in the first, but was stranded in the first inning. In the third, Brennan Mrotek singled, went to second on a wild pitch, stole third, but was stuck there. For the fourth, Brady Ferry walked in the fourth but did not advance. Brian Tlachac singled then stole second before a third out in the fifth.
Ferry singled in the seventh but didn’t advance. Alex Shimon walked in the eight but got stuck. And in a fitting end to the game in the ninth, Samz walked but was eventually picked off, Ferry was hit by a pitch, then Dylan Urbanek singled, but no runs were scored.