For much of the spring, high school coaches have been grumbling about their inability to get games in due to poor weather and field conditions.
The Wausau East and SPASH baseball teams decided to make up for lost time Wednesday, going toe-to-toe for 13 innings at Bukolt Park.
Mitch Mallek finally ended the marathon with a game-winning, bases-loaded single with one out in the bottom of the 13th to give SPASH a 3-2 victory in the Wisconsin Valley Conference opener for the Lumberjacks.
Sophomore Alex Lee picked up the win in relief with seven innings of three-hit ball without a walk. He struck out seven.
“I just wanted to put the ball on the green (grass),” Mallek said.
Mallek also drew a bases loaded walk to enable the Panthers to secure a 4-3 win over Wausau West in 10 innings on Tuesday.
“I’ve never had anything like this happen. It’s been a lot of innings, but we got two wins the last two games,” Mallek said.
Nearly five games worth in a span of 27 1/2 hours for the Panthers, who played 19 innings in a doubleheader with West a day earlier.
Meanwhile, East found out just how unlucky 13 can be after seeing a golden scoring opportunitywasted in the top half of the inning.
Walter Grau doubled to open the inning and he was replaced by pinch-runner Brennan Becker.
After a sacrifice by losing pitcher Bryce Widmark moved him to third, Adam Urmanski hit a ground ball to third. Becker got caught in a rundown for the second out. Urmanski was then thrown out trying to steal to end the threat.
“It was a bang-bang (base-running) play. Point made the plays when they needed to make them,” Lumberjacks coach Steve Heinrich said. “It was an entertaining game to coach in. It was an entertaining game to watch. That’s Valley baseball.
“It was the biggest school against the smallest school,” Heinrich added. “We sure would’ve liked to have pulled that one out.”
|Wausau East||001||010||000||000||0 – 2||11||2|
|SPASH||100||001||000||000||1 – 3||15||5|
WP – Alex Lee. LP – Bryce Widmark. 2B – Wausau East, Cole Nelson, Eric Daniel, Walter Grau; SPASH, Mitch Mallek, Eric Zelhofer.
Records: SPASH 8-3, 5-1 WVC; Wausau East 3-1, 0-1 WVC.