Rockets play Iola-Scandinavia in sectional semifinal Tuesday at Crivitz
By Paul Lecker
AUBURNDALE — Everything Spencer did in the first inning turned to gold during its WIAA Division 3 baseball regional final at Auburndale High School on Wednesday.
A missed fly ball, seven hits, and two walks turned into a 10-run explosion, and the Rockets held on from there, defeating Auburndale 13-8 to win the regional title.
Hunter Luepke and Caden Schillinger each had two RBIs, and Lukas Ellefson had a pair of hits in the opening inning as the Rockets knocked around Auburndale starter Caleb Weinfurter.
Auburndale came back with three runs in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run single by Colton Wright and a sacrifice fly from Weinfurter, and it added two more in the second as Cam Ertl singled and scored on a pair of errors, and Weinfurter walked with the bases loaded to make it 10-5.
From there the game stabilized a bit.
Schillinger replaced starter Dom Wichlacz on the mound with two outs in the second and was able to keep Auburndale (10-8) from getting the big inning it needed to get back in the game. Schillinger allowed a run in the third and two in the sixth but was able to wiggle out of further trouble in each frame.
Schillinger plated Wichlacz with an RBI groundout in the third, and Luepke doubled and scored on an error in the fifth against Wright, who replaced Weinfurter after four innings, to put Spencer up 12-6.
The Rockets scored their final run in the sixth as Auburndale committed two of its seven errors in the inning, and Luepke knocked in Wichlacz with a fielder’s choice groundball.
Auburndale’s final two runs came in the sixth on RBI singles from Weinfurter and Ryan Isaacson, who had two of the Apaches’ seven hits.
Schillinger issued a walk, and another runner reached on an error before he closed out the victory.
Spencer (11-9) moves on to the D-3 sectionals Tuesday at Crivitz. The Rockets will play Iola-Scandinavia (15-6) in one semifinal between two No. 4 seeds at 1:30 p.m.; a pair of No. 1 seeds, Coleman (23-2) and Neenah St. Mary Catholic (23-0), will play in the other semifinal at 11 a.m., and the championship game will be held at 4 p.m. with a berth in the 2017 WIAA State Spring Baseball Tournament in Appleton on the line.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Rockets 13, Apaches 8
Spencer (10)01 011 0 – 13 10 4
Auburndale 321 002 0 – 8 7 7
WP: Caden Schillinger. LP: Caleb Weinfurter.
SO: Dom Wichlacz (1 2/3 inn.) 1, Schillinger (5 1/3 inn. 0; Weinfurter (4 inn.) 3, Colton Wright (3 inn.) 0. BB: Wichlacz 5, Schillinger 2; Weinfurter 1, Wright 3.
Top hitters: S, Wichlacz 2×3, 4 runs; Lukas Ellefson 2×3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Schillinger 2×4, 2B, 3 RBIs; Hunter Luepke 2×4, 2B, 2 runs, 3 RBIs. A, Trayton Weister 2 runs; Wright 2×3, 2 RBIs; Weinfurter 1×2, 3 RBIs; Ryan Isaacson 2×4, RBI.
Records: Spencer 11-9; Auburndale 10-8.