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SUMMER BASEBALL: Poor offense, defense doom Beaver Dam in 5-1 loss to Jefferson

SUMMER BASEBALL: Poor offense, defense doom Beaver Dam in 5-1 loss to Jefferson


Beaver Dam pitcher Alex Soto held his own against Jefferson in Monday’s Badgerland High School Summer League game at Beaver Dam High School. However, the defense behind him and lackluster offense led to a 5-1 loss for Soto & Co.

“He pitched a great game and he probably pitched a lot more pitches than he needed too because we didn’t make the plays behind him,” Beaver Dam coach Nate Wilke said. “It’s uncharacteristic of us to make five errors like that. That kills us.”

Soto struck out six while giving up three runs (one earned) off of eight hits and no walks. Things could have been worse for Beaver Dam, as there were several instances where Soto got himself out of jams with strikeouts.

He started the first inning by hitting leadoff batter Reece Fetherston, then allowed Logan Wagner and Tyler Butina to load the bases with singles. But he struck out the next three batters to get out of the frame unscathed.

“He did great to get out of that jam,” Wilke said. “We thought we’d use that as a momentum and kind of go on from there and score a bunch. I thought at first we were in trouble to get the bases loaded and nobody out. He pitched good and he’s a good pitcher. He kept them off balance and throws hard.”

Beaver Dam was outhit by Jefferson 10-3 and in fact was hitless until the fourth inning, when Wesley Biel and Broden Boschert led off the frame with singles. After Carter Riesen popped out to right field and Eli Wilke lined out to the second baseman, Boschert and Biel ended up at second and third respectively. Then with a 3-0 count against Drew Pawicz, Jefferson catcher Tanner Pinnow airmailed pitcher Isaiah Hoffman on the throw back to the mound, which allowed Biel to trot home to make it 3-1.

The other hit Beaver Dam had came in the bottom of the seventh when Griffin Wicklund blasted a double to right center field with one out.

“We haven’t been hitting the ball well the last two games,” Nate Wilke said. “That kind of gets us down. I don’t know if we started doubting ourselves a little bit, but with some of those errors, it went downhill from there.”

The first couple of errors didn’t seem to hinder Beaver Dam’s defense, as Soto was able to get a flyout to end the top of the second inning, erasing a pair of miscues in that frame without any damage as the contest remained scoreless.

Pinnow produced the first run of the game with a one-out sacrifice fly to to right field that made it 1-0 in the top of the third.

The fourth inning started off great for Soto, getting Spencer Wade and Aiden Behm to ground out. But Haygen Miller reached base on a throwing error then Fetherston singled to put runners at first and second.

Wagner hit a two-run single to right field to make it 3-0.

Beaver Dam also committed an error in the sixth inning but Jefferson couldn’t cash in on that one. Jefferson would, however, add a pair of insurance runs in the seventh on a two-out, two-run single by Miller to make it 5-1.

“After that first inning I thought we were going to do well and get some hits,” Nate Wilke said, “but that didn’t happen.”

Soto wasn’t the only one Nate Wilke was impressed with Monday night. Even though Riesen committed one error, he did have three putouts to first base and relieved Soto in the seventh inning, striking out one but giving up two runs on two hits and a walk. He also ran the bases well when he was walked in the second inning and then stole second and third with one out to put himself in scoring position before ultimately being stranded.

“Carter had a good game,” Nate Wilke said. “He’s got a very strong arm. He’s more of an outfielder, but we were moving some guys. We put Kyle Wheeler-Wood in right field today when we needed a third baseman. Next year for us, he’ll be an infielder, outfielder and pitcher.

“He’ll be everywhere. He’s solid over there and he made some good plays.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Beaver Dam despite the loss.

“If we don’t give them some of those runs, it’s a different game,” Nate Wilke said. “It’s positive that we’re out here playing ball. That’s always good versus not. We’re using this to develop our kids like Alex Soto going on the mound doing well and with Carter out there. We’re playing fine. The nice thing about it is we get another chance to play them.”


Jefferson 001 200 2 - 5 10 1

Beaver Dam 000 100 0 - 1 3 5

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-k): Jefferson — Isaiah Hoffman (W, 4-1-1-4-4), Tyler Butina (3-1-0-1-6). BD — Alex Soto (L, 6-8-1-0-6), Carter Riesen (1-2-2-1-1).

Leading hitters (two or more hits): Jefferson — Reese Fetherson 2x4, Logan Wagner 3x4, Tyler Butina 3x4. BD — none. 2B: Jefferson — Isaiah Hoffman 1. BD — Griffin Wicklund 1. RBI: Jefferson — Logan Wagner 2, Haygen Miller 1, Tanner Punnow 1. BD — none.

Follow Mark McMullen on Twitter @mmcmull2 or contact him at 920-356-6754.

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