Big fifth inning propels Plymouth

Cedar Grove-Belgium can’t bounce back second time and ends baseball season in sectional semifinal

CEDAR GROVE-BELGIUM’S Jacob Bohlmann scored one of the Rockets’ three runs in a walk-off thriller against Sheboygan Falls last Thursday. Photo by Sam Arendt
Mitch Maersch
Ozaukee Press Staff

This year’s Cedar Grove-Belgium baseabll team, coach Tom Race said, was the best baseball team he has had in four years at the helm.

“It was the most talent that we’ve had, the most baseball experience that we’ve had. Those kids worked at that for four years,” he said.

“They’ve learned a lot of baseball. they’ve made so much improvement.”

The Rockets hung right with a more experienced team from a bigger school in Plymouth on Monday, but the Panthers prevailed, 7-4, in a sectional semifinal in Random Lake.

It was tough to say goodbye.

“It’s been the most fun sport I’ve ever played. It’s like a brotherhood, you know, practice every day, having fun outside,” senior ace Jason von Heimburg said.

“It’s meant a lot, been playing baseball with these seniors my whole life. It’s hard to let it end. It’s a great sport. I’m just proud of these guys. I’m going to miss it.”

Senior Cameron Kirst said he played alongside more than just teammates.

“Everyone on the team is my friend, basically. Being out there in the summer when it’s beautiful out is awesome,” he said.

The Rockets nearly kept the ride going. Entering the fifth inning down, 2-0, they needed a spark and got one.

Jacob Bohlmann hit a leadoff single on a low liner up the middle. Bryce Morgan executed a sacrifice bunt that moved Bohlmann to scoring position with one out.

After a strikeout, Drew Emperly knocked a grounder toward the second base side of the shortstop. It took a high hop and got through, and put the Rockets on the board.

Von Heimburg followed with a long fly ball to center field that scored Emperly and was tagged out trying to take third.

But it was a new game. The Rockets had life.

The Panthers took it away minutes later.

Three singles, three walks and a hit batter gave Plymouth a 7-2 lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Von Heimburg was pulled after walking in a run with two outs in the inning. Sophomore Bradley Katte walked his first batter for the fifth run of the frame before getting a strikeout to end the inning.

The Rockets managed two more runs in the sixth inning. Mason Noll drew a one-out walk, and Zach Zimpelman drew a two-out walk, chasing Panther pitcher Holden Riley, who reached the 100-pitch limit.

Two more walks loaded the bases, and Plymouth put in its third pitcher of the inning.

The Rockets had scored one run on a wild pitch, and Tyler Kraus walked for another.

Emperly then hit a grounder to the right of second base. Riley, who had moved to play second, made a sliding backhanded play to field the ball and get the force at second base for the third out.

“The kid made a heck of a play. Every game we played this year, that’s a base hit, except for this game. You tip your hat, what can you do,” Race said.

Noll walked in the seventh inning, but the Rockets couldn’t score again.

The Rockets made plenty of good contact, but the hard-hit balls often ended up right at Panther defenders.

“If we just got a couple of more hits in the right places, we could have pulled it out. It can come down to one half inning where one team hits it in the right spots,” Morgan said.

“We had one error and it didn’t hurt us. Plymouth played a heck of a game,” Race said.

“They’re the best team in the league, and I thought we were right there with a chance to win.”

The Rockets finished the season 15-14 overall.

CG-Belgium wins thriller over Sheb. Falls

It was no small effort that the Rockets advanced to face Plymouth.

Last Thursday, the Rockets held a 2-0 lead at home over Sheboygan Falls heading into the seventh inning.

Two clutch, two-out hits tied that game and sent it into extra innings.

In the eighth, the Falcons didn’t score. Noll walked in the Rockets’ half of the inning and asked for a courtesy runner. Race put in Alex Acevedo, which proved to be the game-changing move.

Emperly followed with a single up the middle, “and I’m yelling for Alex to stop” to prevent him from being tagged out trying to take third, Race said.

Acevedo initially missed the signal and noticed about 15 feet past second base. He hesitated, and the Falcons’ center fielder bobbled the ball, and Race changed his tune.

“As soon as he bobbled it, I’m yelling go,” he said.

Acevedo kept trucking around third and scored two steps ahead of the throw to win the game.

“Alex did the wrong play, but it was the right play,” Race said.

Von Heimburg went 6-2/3 innings, allow two runs on four hits, whiffing seven and walking four. Katte went 1-1/3 innings, whiffing three.

Bohlmann and Morgan had RBIs to score runs in the first and fourth innings.

“That was a good game. Sheboygan Falls was a tough team. We played really well, so did they,” Race said.




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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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