A three-run second inning was all the support Kiel pitcher Nick Walsh would need to help the Raiders defeat host Howards Grove Friday night and win a regional title.
No. 7-seeded Kiel upended No. 2 Howards Grove 3-1 to win the WIAA Summer Baseball Tournament regional as Walsh scattered three hits in seven innings to get the complete-game victory.
While Walsh didn’t allow many hits, he did issue nine free passes and hit two batters but was able to stay out of danger. The Tigers’ lone run of the contest came in the bottom of the seventh.
The Raiders erupted for three runs in the second when Jonathan Meyer got the inning going with a single to left. Zach Lensmire then was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Both runners were advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by Ben Mannenbach.
Walsh helped his own cause at the plate, hitting an RBI single to left center, plating Meyer and sending Lensmire to third. Walsh then stole second and moved up to third on a wild pitch that scored Lensmire to give the Raiders a 2-0 lead.
Hayden Smith drew a one-out walk to keep the inning going before Tanner Woepse hit a single to right to send Walsh home and grab the 3-0 advantage. Smith was thrown out at third on the play and the inning ended with a Trenton Nickel walk followed by a Alex Winkel line out to third.
It would be the last time Kiel would garner a hit for the rest of the evening but Walsh was able to consistently work himself out of trouble the whole game. Howards Grove left a man on base in every inning, including leaving two on in the second, fourth and seventh, and three on in the fifth.
Howards Grove once again loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh after Walsh struck out the first batter followed by two walks and a hit batter. The Tigers’ only run of the game came on a ground out to first. But the next batter grounded out to first as well to end the contest.
Next up for Kiel is Eastern Wisconsin Conference rival and No. 3 seed Sheboygan Falls Monday at 3:30 p.m. in Howards Grove.