Rockets move to 9-1 in Cloverbelt East with ninth-straight win
By Paul Lecker
SPENCER — The Spencer baseball team took care of business, using three walks, two errors, and seven hits to plate 10 runs and knock off Granton 10-0 in a Cloverbelt Conference East Division matchup Friday at Spencer High School.
The Rockets won for the ninth-straight time and improve to 13-2 overall and 9-1 in the Cloverbelt Conference East Division, 1 ½ games behind unbeaten Neillsville (11-0), which won 11-1 over Columbus Catholic on Friday.
Left-hander Nate Neumann tossed five shutout innings to earn the complete-game victory. A single by Austin Naedler to lead off the top of the first inning was the lone hit for Granton.
“Nate Neumann doesn’t get a chance to pitch too much, and he threw pretty well for us,” Spencer coach Justin Rayburn said. “He kept the ball low.”
Spencer scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning when Bobby Pilz walked and Mitch Susa was hit by a pitch. Jonny Tomke drove in Pilz with a groundout, and Susa scored on an error to put the Rockets up 2-0.
After plating another run in the third, Spencer blew it open with a six-run fourth inning.
Neumann and Ryan Busse had RBI singles, Pilz drove in two with a single, and Susa had an RBI groundout to put Spencer up 9-0.
The Rockets ended the game via the 10-run rule with a run in the fifth. Jake Meyers walked and eventually scored on a single by Aaron Pankratz. Pankratz had two of the Rockets’ seven hits, and seven of the nine Spencer players in the lineup scored at least once.
“Good pitching has really helped us (in the win streak),” Rayburn said. “Sometimes we get the bats going. Sometimes we don’t. It’s been hit or miss, but we always get good pitching. That’s been the key to our success lately.”
Spencer is off until next Thursday when it plays at Owen-Withee. The teams will complete a suspended game from April 24 that was tied 7-7 after nine innings and was halted due to darkness before playing the regularly-scheduled game.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Rockets 10, Bulldogs 0
Granton 000 00 – 0 1 2
Spencer 201 61 – 10 7 0
WP: Nate Neumann. LP: Austin Naedler.
SO: A. Naedler (3 inn.) 1, Seth Naedler (1 1/3 inn.) 0; Neumann 7. BB: A. Naedler 2, S. Naedler 1; Neumann 2.
Top hitters: S, Aaron Pankratz 2×3, RBI; Bobby Pilz 1×1, 2 RBI, 3 runs, 4 SBs.
Records: Granton 1-15, 1-10 Cloverbelt East; Spencer 13-2, 9-1 Cloverbelt East.