New Berlin Eisenhower's baseball team didn't let a tough loss in the Woodland Conference tournament quarterfinals linger, as the Lions bounced back with a pair of wins in the two-day event held at The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin.
After surrendering a late lead to South Milwaukee on July 5, Eisenhower defeated Cudahy and Whitnall on July 6 to take fifth place.
'Overall, it was a very good experience for our boys,' Eisenhower coach Mike Vahovick said. 'We got to play competitive baseball with a slight feel for playoff-type baseball.'
The Lions split a pair of nonconference games later in the week to finish the regular season at 16-13. Eisenhower came away with a 7-1 win over Whitefish Bay on July 8 and dropped a 16-6 game to Waukesha North on July 9.
South Milwaukee rallied with three runs in the top of the sixth to send Eisenhower to the consolation bracket with a 6-4 win.
A single, a dropped fly ball and a hit by pitch left the Rockets with the bases loaded with one out in the first. Lion starter Bo Saikie recorded the second out on a strikeout but then walked in a run to put South Milwaukee up 1-0.
Poor defense by Eisenhower allowed the Rockets to score two runs in the second. With runners at first and second and one out, the Lions threw away a potential double play ball to allow a run to score. Another run scored on a fielder's choice groundout.
Eisenhower took the lead in the bottom of the third with four runs. A throwing error on a botched rundown by South Milwaukee got the Lions on the board, while Joey Scaffidi tied the game with a two-out, two run single. Austin Stuckart followed with a double into the left-field corner that put Eisenhower up 4-3.
The Lions had numerous chances to add to their lead. Eisenhower failed to score with runners at second and third with one out in the fourth, but its golden opportunity to break the game open came in the sixth. Eisenhower loaded the bases with nobody out, but Nick Calkins got South Milwaukee out of trouble with a fielder's choice force out at home, a soft line out to shortstop and a looking strikeout.
'We left our opportunities at the plate instead of executing and adding on to our lead,' Eisenhower coach Mike Vahovick said. 'They took advantage of their opportunities, and we didn't. That was the story of the game.'
The failure to turn scoring opportunities into runs came back to bite the Lions when the Rockets took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, including plating two runs on suicide squeezes.
Eisenhower trailed 3-0 after two innings but scored seven times in the third and fourth innings and held on for a 7-6 win over Cudahy.
The Lions plated three runs in the third and four more in the fourth to take a 7-4 advantage. The Packers scored twice in the seventh but couldn't complete the comeback.
Stuckart went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, while Bryce Wesling was 2-for-4.
'Once we made adjustments at the plate, we took control of the game,' Vahovick said. 'We were led at the plate by Stuckart. Bryce Wesling and Joey Scaffidi both came up with big hits to assist in the turning of the tide.'
Scaffidi allowed three earned runs on eight hits with three walks in six strikeouts over six innings to pick up the win. Trent Kelly gave up two runs in the seventh but held on for the save.
'We were a little stagnant to start the game, but Joey Scaffidi buckled down on the mound and kept us within striking distance,' Vahovick said.
Wesling limited Whitnall to one run over seven innings to lead Eisenhower to a 4-1 win over the Falcons in the fifth-place game.
The Lions snapped a scoreless tie with two runs in the fifth and added a pair in the seventh to take a 4-0 lead. Whitnall finally got on the board against Wesling in the bottom of the seventh.
Wesling also went 2-for-4 at the plate. Kelly, Scaffidi and Angiolo drove in runs for Eisenhower.
'Bryce Wesling was a work horse on the mound,' Vahovick said. 'At the plate, we spread the hits out between everyone.'
Steve Zaborowski scattered seven hits to give up just one run over seven innings in Eisenhower's 7-1 win over Whitefish Bay.
The Lions turned a 2-1 game into a rout with a five-run fourth inning. Scaffidi went 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs, while Ryan Potts went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
The Lions found themselves buried early against Waukesha North, as the Northstars scored 11 runs in the bottom of the first inning to run away with a 16-6 win in five innings.
Eisenhower pulled to within 11-4 in the third and trailed, 12-6, before Waukesha North ended the game with four runs in the fifth.