By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY — Boone Kirst connected on a single in the opening inning and a double in the sixth, which eventually helped propel Ashwaubenon to a 3-1 Fox River Classic Conference victory over Green Bay Preble May 14 at Joannes Park.
“We had great pitching and hitting this afternoon,” said Jay Krueger, Ashwaubenon head coach. “When we got into some jams, we made some great defensive plays. The message all year is to have fun and enjoy the season.”
Eli Zollar pitched 6 2/3 innings for the Jaguars, giving up one hit and one run in earning the victory.
The Jaguars cranked out eight hits as a team.
Ashwaubenon opened the scoring in the top of the first inning.
After Brady Wittig was hit by a pitch, Kirst hit a long single to center, bringing pinch-runner Aaron Hancock home to give the Jaguars a 1-0 lead.
“My hits were a product of Brady tiring out the pitcher in front of me,” said Kirst. “I saw the fastball and jumped on it to get the hit.”
In the bottom of the second, Zollar walked Jagger Vine to lead off the inning.
Vine then stole second base.
A pop out and ground out in the infield brought Vine home to even the score 1-1.
Zollar continued his strong pitching through the fifth, where he picked up his fourth strikeout of the game.
With the score still deadlocked, the Jaguars struck in the top of the sixth.
With one out, Wittig singled to center.
That was followed by Kirst’s two-base blast to center bringing home Hancock, who again, was pinch-running to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
“Boone has been hitting with great consistency for us all year,” Krueger said. “Tonight, though, I was happy with our bats up and down the lineup.”
Ashwaubenon wasn’t finished with the scoring.
Cole Justman stepped to the plate and hit a darting missile to left field to bring home Kirst for a 3-1 lead.
Starting Preble pitcher Jimmy Kirkish was pulled in favor of Austin Renard, and he closed out the inning with no more hits or runs offered up.
In the bottom of the sixth, Zollar got out of the biggest hole of the evening.
With runners at second and third after giving up two walks earlier in the inning, Zollar got Aidan Slattery to ground out to preserve the two-run lead.
Justman recorded the final out to garner the save.
“It was a statement win for our bunch in the FRCC and in the state of Wisconsin,” said Kirst. “We know how good we can be. We have some battles coming up, and we are excited to be playing in those difficult games.”
Ashwaubenon is back in action today, May 15, as it travels to Sheboygan North, while Pulaski will entertain Preble.
Ashwaubenon: 100 002 0 — 3
Green Bay Preble: 010 000 0 — 1