WIAA baseball: TR's postseason ends in Campbellsport

WIAA baseball: TR's postseason ends in Campbellsport

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WIAA baseball: TR's postseason ends in Campbellsport

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CAMPBELLSPORT

The Two Rivers baseball team’s postseason run was put to a halt by a five-inning, 12-2 loss to Sheboygan Falls in a WIAA summer baseball sectional semifinal Monday afternoon.

The Raiders were seeking to become the first team with a sub-.500 record to qualify for the summer baseball state tournament since Germantown in 2010.

Standing in the way of Two Rivers’ chance to make history was Eastern Wisconsin Conference-foe Sheboygan Falls. The Falcons, who took all three regular season meetings from the Raiders, proved to be up to the task a fourth time, scoring runs in all five innings of the run-rule shortened affair.

A three-run first inning vaulted the Falcons to an advantage they would not relinquish.

Two Rivers cut into the deficit in the top of the second thanks to an RBI single from Brennan Willert.

Sheboygan Falls went on to post two more runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 5-1 lead.

Once again, the Raiders battled to remain within striking distance. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Cory Johnson brought Two Rivers back within three.

After seeing his team fall behind early, Raiders head coach Bo Perkins was preaching patience in the visitor’s dugout.

“We talked about chipping away one run at a time,” Perkins said. “I guess maybe I had to say ‘chip away two or three runs at a time’, because they might have done it.”

But the Two Rivers’ bats went silent, going hitless the remainder of the contest.

Starting pitcher Brett Linzmeier was chased after two innings. He allowed five runs on four hits, struck out one and walked three.

Brett Kasper came on in relief and was met with a rude welcome. Sheboygan Falls tagged him for seven runs on seven hits over 213 innings.

“I may have made the change a little late, but i don’t know for sure,” Perkins said. “We had to try to get through the order, but they hit [Kasper], also.”

The tandem of Linzmeier and Kasper threw every pitch of Two Rivers’ three playoff games — a total of 18 13 innings in less than one week. Perkins praised his senior hurlers for their willingness to shoulder the load en route to a regional championship.

“I think they wanted to ball in their hands,” Perkins said. “All of the players on the team expected on of those two to have the ball in their hands and they took it.”

Walks and errors partially led to the Raiders’ demise. Collectively, Two Rivers allowed seven base runners to reach via the free pass or a defensive blunder. All but one of them eventually scored.

“We can’t walk first batters. We can’t put walks up in the top of their order because they have some very good hitters,” Perkins said. “That hurt us.”

Brock Gospodarek was 2-for-2 at the plate for Two Rivers.

During a roller-coaster campaign that saw his club achieve some of its initial goals, while having to rework others, Perkins took some comfort in the fact that the Raiders put all of their collective might into extending their season as long as they could.

“Our next goal on our list was to make a playoff run,” Perkins said. “I would say that was fairly successful.”

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