Pirates win marathon game in 13 innings
By Rich Palzewic
SUAMICO – The Bay Port baseball team won a marathon, 13-inning game May 15 by defeating De Pere 3-2 in a Fox River Classic Conference contest at Bay Port High School.
Theo Zeidler’s RBI double in the bottom of the 13th scored courtesy runner Isaiah Grimm from first base with the winning run.
Catcher Logan VanLaanen had a one-out single before Grimm ran for him.
“I’ve never been involved in a game over nine innings,” said Zeidler, who also started the game on the mound for the Pirates and went five innings. “That was twice the amount of baseball in one game. I know (De Pere center fielder) Derek Weber covers lots of the ground in the outfield, so I wasn’t sure (my hit) was going to find the gap. I knew I hit it well.”
Zeidler, who throws about 90 mph, gave up two runs on five hits and struck out seven.
“I gave up a few big hits, but I was proud of how I got past my one bad inning,” said the Bradley University (Peoria, Illinois) commit.
In De Pere’s half of the fourth, Bennett Spaeth hit a leadoff double off the left-field fence before Quinn Falish blasted a Zeidler first-pitch fastball over the fence in nearly the same spot to account for the Redbirds only two runs.
Bay Port head coach Harvey Knutson said his squad beat a good baseball team.
“We’re a good baseball team, too,” he said. “Those are the kind of games you want to be in. Neither team made mistakes and had timely hitting. That was a baseball game.”
De Pere starter Wyatt Fischer went six-plus innings and gave up only four hits, but walked Zeidler to start the seventh and gave up a single to James Bornick before being relieved by JP Gauthier.
John Nickel hit an RBI groundout to score Zeidler to make it 2-1 before Matt Perry was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to tie the game.
After a strikeout by Gauthier, VanLaanen’s sinking liner to right field with the bases loaded was caught by a diving Bailey Prevost to temporarily save the game for the Redbirds.
Bay Port had another golden opportunity to win the game in the ninth but an unfortunate double play on a suicide squeeze attempt continued the game.
Nickel had reached on an error to begin the inning and advanced to second on a passed ball.
He was sacrificed to third by Brandon Black for the first out.
With the runner on third bolting toward home with the pitch, Jacob Kleeman attempted a bunt, which he popped up to De Pere third baseman Hunter Pribek, who caught the ball and then ran back to third base to record the double play.
“That was the right time to call that play,” Knutson said. “You won’t find many better bunters in Wisconsin than Jacob. He happened to get under one there. It was unfortunate.”
After Zeidler exited, Eli Frank gave the Pirates six strong innings on the mound.
The senior didn’t give up a run, allowed only one hit and struck out five.
“Eli has done that all year,” said Knutson. “Our pitching has been excellent all year. We would have needed some help to drag him off the mound because he wasn’t going to come out. He threw 90 pitches – the limit is 99 – so he wasn’t happy when we told him he wasn’t going out to start the next inning. He’s a competitor and team leader.”
Jericho Klein pitched the last two innings for the Pirates to pick up the win.
Fischer had two hits – including a double – for the Redbirds, while Luke Brosig added a double.