By Austin Walther
GRAND CHUTE, Wis. - Cal Lutheran pitcher Marshall Pautsch struck out 10 Wheaton (Mass.) batters in the final game on Friday as the Kingsmen defeat the Lyons 4-2 in the first round of the Division III World Series.
Marshall Pautsch threw eight strong innings, only giving up two earned runs on seven hits. The right hander said it was a very special day for he and his family.
“It was just one of those days where everything felt pretty good all the way through,” Pautsch said. “personally I was really stoked, it’s my mom and dad’s wedding anniversary. I was really glad I could give them that.”
|Cal Lutheran pitcher Marshall Pautsch hangs 10 strikeouts on Wheaton (Mass.) in the final game on Friday as the Kingsmen defeat the Lyons 4-2.
Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
Max Weinstein's 75 hits is a new single season record for hits for the Cal LUtheran Kingsmen.
Despite the loss, Wheaton head coach Eric Podbelski said the pitching staff kept the Lyons into it all the way until the ninth.
“They kept the game within reason and within reach and battled out of a lot of jams to give us a chance,” Podbelski said. “Offensively, more later than earlier we started giving ourselves more opportunities, but had trouble getting that big hit.”
Leadoff man Max Weinstein went 2-for-4 which ultimately broke Cal Lutheran's single season hit record and he said it’s the first time he has ever broke a record.
“I was reminded by Marshall that it was a possibility,” Weinstein said. “After the second one I was all smiles. It’s a good feeling and a humbling feeling.”
The Kingsmen started strong when Weinstein got a hit to begin the game and was drove in by the next batter Sinjin Todd. The Lyons pitcher Trevor Marques settled in and strikeout the next three batters.
“Max has been our catalyst all year,” head coach Marty Slimak said. “You know you’re just going to get a good at bat, whatever happens. You’re going to get an effort.”
After retiring the first five, Pautsch surrendered a two out hit in the second and then came back to punch out the next hitter.
An error by the centerfielder for Wheaton put a runner in scoring position for the Kingsmen in the second inning. With two outs, Weinstein connected on his second hit in consecutive innings to drive in the second run of the game.
In the third with two outs and Kingsmen on first and second, Trevor Marques got the next batter to strike out to record his first scoreless inning of the game.
The Lyons were finally able to get to Pautsch in the fourth as they had runners on the corners with two outs. The Kingsmen pitcher then responded with his fifth strikeout through four.
In the sixth, Matt Cook hit a one out double for the Lyons. With two out and Cook on third, the Kingsmen got the fourth batter of the inning to ground out to end another threat.
Trevor Marques threw five innings, gave up two runs, one earned on five hits and struck out seven. Podbelski said he knows his pitcher is young and he needs to take a couple innings to really get going.
“I know that once he settles into the game a little bit, he’s going to figure it out,” Podbelski said. “We’ve given him the ball over the course of this year and he’s competed real well for us.”
CLU jumped on the new Lyons pitcher, Jimmy Gowen in the bottom of the sixth when Cheyenne Giles came around to score after getting on with a single and advancing on a throwing error.
Tyler Walsh connected on his second hit of the game in the top half of the seventh.
With runners on the corners and one out, Willy Boyd hit a double off the right field wall to put the Lyons on the board and cut their deficit to 3-1. Pautsch yet again got out of another jam with no further damage.
“Coach is always telling us to have the same approach, stay on a line, hard up the middle” Boyd said. “I just stuck with the approach, had the confidence and put a good swing on it.”
The third Lyons pitcher Zach Pipa came in after Gowen threw an inning, giving up one earned, on one hit and two strikeouts.
Pipa shutdown the Kingsmen in his first inning of work in the seventh by striking out two and only giving up one runner due to an error.
Pautsch recorded his tenth strikeout of the game in the eighth when he sent the Lyons down in order for the fourth time in the game. Pautsch said he and his catcher were working very well together.
“Normally I like to use my slider when I get into those two strike counts,” Pautsch said. “It was working all day.”
The number eight hitter for the Kingsmen, catcher Trey Saito came around to score in the bottom half of the eighth after he drilled a triple and was driven in by Austin Kay. Pipa then settled in and retired the next three batters in order including throwing his third strikeout of the game.
Pautsch ended his day after being pulled when he gave a up a leadoff double in the ninth to make way for Miguel Salud.
The Lyons started a rally then against Salud by loading the bases and having leadoff man Josh LaJoie drive in a run to cut their deficit to two in the ninth.
Salud then left the bases loaded after recording his third strikeout of the game and picking up the save.
“These games are so important,” Slimak said. “A lot of these game in these tournaments are won-loss by a run. Whenever you can play good defense and take advantage of a run here, run there, then the outcome is going to be good for you.”
Cal Lutheran will play North Central in the winners bracket and Wheaton will face Mass-Boston in the second elimination game on Saturday.