RANDOLPH — Errors in any baseball came can hurt, but they especially hurt when they come against a good-hitting team.
Just ask the Fox Lake post 521/Randolph Post 9510 team how committing two errors in the first inning of Wednesday’s American Legion game helped Waupun Post 210 cruise to a 13-2 thumping.
“It opened up the floodgates in the first inning,” Fox Lake Post 521/Randolph Post 9510 head coach Jared Spors said. “We got down five. You have those errors, it gets those extra baserunners and extra outs out there. You just can’t have that. That’s a good team and they capitalized on that.”
Center fielder Cobey Alderden committed the first error when a ball hit by Jarrett Buchholz struck a divot and bounced over Alderden’s glove, allowing Waupun’s Jak Lenz to score from second base and Buchholz to advance to second. Waupun’s Keegan Hartgerink then singled to left field, and the ball found another divot and got past left fielder Logan Kooiker, allowing Buchholz. Caleb Sauer added an RBI single to make it 3-0 with no outs.
Things were just getting started for Post 210, as the team amassed 14 hits on Post 521/Post 9510 pitchers Trea Clifton and Dalton Fuller.
“The last few games, the bats have been doing well and it’s getting production throughout the lineup; top to bottom,” Post 210 head coach Derrick Standke said. “That’s always a good thing to see at this time of year.”
Leading the way was Buchholz, who went 4-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and four runs scored.
“Jarrett has had quite the year for us in both high school and Legion ball,” Standke said. “In Legion, he’s picked up right where he left off with in high school ball. We moved him around in the order a little bit now, so to see that production continue from a different spot in the order is exciting to see.”
Hartgerink and Sauer also had good games. Hartgerink went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Sauer went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
“They’re No. 3 and No. 4 (respectively), and that’s why they’re there,” Standke said. “They’re expected to do that. Sometimes that’s a little too much added pressure, but Caleb has been here for three years and Keegan has had some big hits for us as well. He’s really been hitting the ball well lately.”
Both of them — including Lenz, who was 2-for-3 with three runs scored — helped Waupun score three more in the second and third innings to raise the lead to 11-2 after three innings.
Meanwhile, Fox Lake/Randolph just stopped hitting the ball as they combined for four hits and two runs scored against Waupun.
“We just stopped hitting,” Spors said. “Our pitcher was pitching strikes and they were just hitting them hard. That’s a (good) hitting team right there. They can hit the ball hard and we made some errors in that first inning and got down 5-0 right away.”
Fox Lake/Randolph did have an opportunity in the second inning when Waupun pitcher Keenan Westhuis hit two batters to load the bases with two outs. But Westhuis ended that threat when he got Grant Kooiker to fly out to center field to end the inning.
“A hit there would’ve got it a little closer,” Spors said.
By that time Fox Lake/Randolph was down 8-2 with a chance to close the gap, but after that Waupun added to the lead thanks to Westhuis. Westhuis pitched four innings with one strikeout and only let in two runs — one earned — off of four hits and one walk.
“Keenan is a guy that will see a lot more innings for us going forward here,” Standke said. “He’s been on JV during the school season, but he’s on varsity now. It’s just another guy we add to our deep staff.
“As long as we play defense and hit like we did tonight, we’ll do fine.”
Meanwhile, Clifton gave up 11 runs — 10 earned — from 11 scattered hits and three walks with no strikeouts for Fox Lake/Randolph. Fuller came in relief with one out in the third and gave up two runs — one earned — off of three hits and one walk.
But the defense giving up four errors hurt them in the end, which was discussed in the team huddle after the game.
“We tell our kids every day to physically and mentally always be in the game,” Spors said. “Don’t make errors, get hits and we win games. It’s all in the head.”
WAUPUN 13, FOX LAKE/RANDOLPH 2 (5 INNINGS)
Waupun 533 02 — 13 14 1
Fox Lake/Randolph 200 00 — 2 4 4
Pitching (ip-h-er-bb-k): Waupun — Keenan Westthuis (W, 4-4-1-1-1), Jak Lenz (1-0-0-0-1). Fox Lake/Randolph — Trea Clifton (L, 2.1-11-10-3-0), Dalton Fuller (2.2-3-1-1-1).
Leading hitters (two or more hits): Waupun — Jak Lenz 3x2, Jarrett Buchholz 4x4, Caleb Sauer 3x4. Fox Lake/Randolph — none. 2B: Waupun — Jak Lenz. Fox Lake/Randolph — Grant Kooiker. RBIs: Waupun — Nate Brown, Baron Buchholz, Jarrett Buchholz, Bryce Burmania, Keegan Hartgerink 2, Reece Homan, Caleb Sauer 3. Fox Lake/Randolph — Matthew Miller, Grant Kooiker.