Arendt, Redbirds hang on against Notre Dame
By Rich Palzewic
DE PERE – De Pere’s Easton Arendt helped lead the De Pere baseball team past Notre Dame Academy with strong performances on the mound and from the plate May 5.
The sophomore righty pitched six innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out five and walking one in the Redbirds’ 5-2 Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC) victory at De Pere High School.
The only blemish on Arendt’s night was a solo home run from Brady LaViolette in the sixth inning.
“I try to get ahead in the count and get first-pitch strikes,” Arendt said. “I keep the ball down and try not to give up any big hits.”
Arendt was also 2-for-2 from the plate, walked once and drove in a run with a squeeze bunt.
“I try to stay calm at the plate,” Arendt said. “It helped my approach on the squeeze bunt.”
De Pere scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the first on three hits before hanging on late in the game.
After Arendt exited the game, Luke Brosig entered in relief to begin the top of the seventh inning on the mound.
Notre Dame’s Micah Marzec reached on an error before Caden Capomaccio and Landon Lozier loaded the bases with nobody out on back-to-back singles.
Cade Milton then drove in Marzec with an RBI single to make it 5-2.
LaViolette then hit a sharp grounder back to Brosig, who then fired to catcher Garrett Foth at home to force Capomaccio for the first out.
On the play, LaViolette reached first via fielder’s choice after Foth’s throw to first baseman Patrick Rotherham pulled him off the bag.
After the dust settled, the Tritons still had the bases loaded with one out.
Evan Duncan then hit into a game-ending, 4-6-3 double play to send the De Pere fans home happy.
“Notre Dame has a nice team, and we knew they’d make a game of it,” De Pere Head Coach Bob Van Rens said. “(Brosig) gave up a few hits, but he kept the ball down. It was a pressure situation, and our defense came through.”
The pitcher Capomaccio, a Minnesota commit throwing about 90 mph, recorded the first two outs of the game in the De Pere first, but a hit-by-pitch, a single by Javin Gauthier and an infield error loaded the bases.
An RBI single by Brosig scored one run before a triple from Bryan Gerbers scored two more.
“It’s true Notre Dame helped us with an error, but we still hit the ball hard and put it in play,” Van Rens said. “The start of this game was similar to our (8-3) win (May 2) over Bay Port. We had two outs with nobody on and scored five runs. We put the ball in play.”
The Redbirds scored another run in the third inning on some heads-up baserunning from Brosig.
After Brosig reached on an error to open the frame, he was sacrificed to second on a Gerbers’ bunt.
Noticing nobody was covering third on the play, Brosig advanced another base to set up Arendt’s squeeze bunt.
“That’s something where I didn’t have to tell (Brosig) to do,” Van Rens said. “He was running with his head up and noticed nobody was covering third – it eventually led to another run for us.”
Van Rens said his team has recently seen some tough pitching, something he said bodes well for the future.
“We’re facing every team’s top pitcher,” he said. “We’re ready for anything right now. We were on Capomaccio, so that’s exciting for tournament time. We won’t see anyone better than him.”
Capomaccio struck out three and gave up five hits in his three innings of work, not allowing an earned run.
Lozier came on in relief and didn’t allow a run in his three innings pitched.
Foth also had a pair of hits for De Pere, while Milton collected two for the Tritons.