By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON — With one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Andy Blake singled to center to lift the Green Bay Booyah to a dramatic, 5-4 Northwoods League baseball victory over the league-leading Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders.
“The pitch I hit was a slider,” said Blake. “When I picked up he was going to give me a change-up instead of his fastball, I tried to battle through the two strikes. I was fortunate I found the gap up the middle for the victory. We needed this win tonight. The fans got behind us, and we delivered for them.”
Joe Taylor received the win for Green Bay (2-4 overall), while Theo Denlinger took the loss for the visitors.
After a scoreless first three innings, Brady West sent a 360-foot, solo shot to center to give Green Bay a 1-0 lead after four.
The Dock Spiders (3-2 overall) evened the game at one apiece in the top of the sixth when Tim Elko sent a solo home run to center.
The Booyah responded in their half of the sixth.
Blake led off with an opposite-field single.
Nadir Lewis connected on a picture-perfect bunt down the third base line and beat the tag to first base.
With one out, Alec Burns stepped unleashed a three-run homer over the right-field wall to give Green Bay a 4-1 lead.
“It was massive to have those guys give us the momentum early with those shots,” Blake added. “They are big-time players.”
After the Fond du Lac added two runs in the seventh, a wild final inning ensued.
Sam Novitske and Parker Noland singled to open the top-half of the final inning.
With two outs and the Dock Spiders down to their final at-bat, Taylor Jackson singled to bring home Noland to even the game at four.
The bottom of the ninth featured a little bit of everything for the Booyah.
Ty Olejnik led off with a walk, and Stephen Hrustich singled to right, with Olejnik advancing to third on the play.
Chris Seng was intentionally walked to load the bases.
The Booyah couldn’t capitalize on a wild pitch after Olejnik was thrown out at the plate.
With one out and extra innings looming, Blake’s final-hit heroics gave Green Bay the win.
“We’ve been battling all season and have been in close games,” Blake said. “I have 100-percent faith in my team, and its nice to get a second victory on the season.”
The Booyah will be back in action July 7-8 when they travel to La Crosse.