CAMPBELLSPORT – When Jordan Dreikosen is locked in on the mound, the Campbellsport baseball team is usually in pretty good shape.
Now, pair that with a flawless defensive performance in the field and even a marginal effort at the plate wouldn’t be enough to tame the Cougars.
Dreikosen allowed three hits in five innings and Campbellsport took advantage of some defensive miscues from Cedar Grove-Belgium as the fifth-seeded Cougars shut out the No. 12 seed Rockets 7-0 in a WIAA regional semifinal game Tuesday evening at Campbellsport.
Campbellsport advances to face No. 4 seed New Holstein on Friday in a regional final contest. The Huskies shut out Two Rivers 5-0 on Tuesday.
Against Cedar Grove-Belgium, the combination of Dreikosen and reliever Sonny Johnson was more than enough to send the Cougars to a relatively easy win. Dreikosen struck out nine, giving up only three singles, and Johnson entered for the final two innings and didn’t give up a hit.
“Our pitching was good,” Campbellsport coach Kyle Twohig said. “We got ahead and didn’t have too many walks. We had a few walks there in the last inning but other than that, I was really happy with the way the guys attacked the strike zone.”
Relying primarily on his fastball, Dreikosen was never seriously challenged in his time on the rubber, striking out the side in the first inning and recording at least one K in every frame.
“I was getting ahead in the counts,” Dreikosen said. “Fastball early, fastball normally. I’ve got to keep the hitters off-balance. The off speed was there, but it wasn’t there fully so I’ve got to hit the corners and get ahead.”
Campbellsport (12-10) didn’t commit an error on Tuesday, a big turnaround after a rough game against Kewaskum last Friday in which the Cougars had three errors. That clean sheet also played a significant role in the Cougars’ shutout.
“It’s huge. It puts a lot less pressure on the pitching, not just me, but Sonny Johnson out there, too,” Dreikosen said. “When guys are making plays and we’re having fun, things are a lot easier when we’re making plays. When we make a couple errors, we keep going downhill, but when we’re playing to our full potential that’s what we can do.”
Meanwhile, the Cougars were able to take full advantage of a couple Cedar Grove-Belgium errors on Tuesday, scoring seven runs on only six hits.
Campbellsport plated two runs in the second inning to open the scoring, both the result of defensive mishaps. After reaching on a walk, Isaiah Fryman eventually scored on a passed ball and Connor Kissinger scored shortly after as a result of an error on the third baseman.
The Cougars blew the game open in the third inning with three runs, two scoring after an error on the shortstop. Ty Lindsley hit a double to drive in the third run. Jordan Muche had an RBI groundout and Austin Narges an RBI single, both in the sixth, to cap off the game’s scoring.
“If we did one thing well today, I thought we ran the bases very well,” Twohig said. “We were aggressive. We talked about being aggressive yesterday, making sure we were taking advantage of our speed. We did take advantage of a bunch of defensive mishaps on their part, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
In advancing to face New Holstein for the regional title on Friday, the Cougars won’t be walking into the unknown — the Huskies are an Eastern Wisconsin Conference rival and they’ve played each other three times already in 2015, with Campbellsport winning one of those games.
“New Holstein’s a good squad,” Dreikosen said. “We beat them one game, but we got shelled the other two so it’s not going to be a given game. I’m not going to be able to throw just a bunch of fastballs down the middle, so I’ve got to really mix it up and we’ve got to start hitting the ball a little better.”
Cedar Grove-Belgium…000 000 0 — 0 3 2
Campbellsport…023 002 x — 7 6 0
WP: Dreikosen (9 k, 1 bb).
LP: Obbink (4 k, 4 bb).
Leading hitters: Campbellsport — Narges 2×4 (r, rbi), Lindsley 1×3 (2b, rbi).
Sam Oleson: (920) 907-7930, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @sam_olesonFDL