Xavier spoils Shawano’s senior day

Xavier scores 13 unanswered runs to top Shawano
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Leader photo by Morgan Rode Jacob Lacy rips a single during Shawano’s 14-11 loss to Xavier on Tuesday in Shawano.

Through three innings, it looked as if the Shawano baseball team was going to cruise to a Bay Conference win over Xavier.

Instead, the visitors scored 13 unanswered runs, including a six-run fourth inning to pick up a 14-11 win over Shawano at Memorial Park on Tuesday.

After Xavier scored a run in the top of the first, Shawano answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to grab an early lead. Cole Nelson scored the first run on a passed ball before Nick Grignon drove home Alex Hoffman on a sacrifice fly.

After the hosts held Xavier scoreless the next two innings, Shawano erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the third to take a commanding lead.

Brad Bartz, Casey Baumann, Brett Ainsworth and Joey Tadych each delivered RBI singles in the inning. Alex Hoffman clubbed a two-RBI double before later scoring on a passed ball to make the score 9-1.

Tadych, who was also Shawano’s starting pitcher, got two outs in the top of the fourth before Xavier piled on six runs. In the process, the visitors grabbed whatever momentum Shawano had just minutes before.

Xavier kept the pressure on the hosts, scoring three runs in each of the next two innings before adding another run in the seventh to take a 14-9 lead.

“Through four innings, everything was going positively and in the right direction,” Shawano coach Rob Wolff said. “Then we have a couple miscues in the field and a bunch of unearned runs come in, giving them all the momentum. When you are up 9-1, you have to put a team away. We played four very good innings of baseball, and then it fell apart in the last few innings.”

Shawano scored two runs after a Xavier error to make things interesting in the seventh, but could not scratch across any more runs against Zach Weisgerber, who picked up the win after coming on in relief.

Tadych pitched into the fifth inning for Shawano before giving way to Isaac Buntrock, who finished the game. Hoffman scored three of Shawano’s runs while Nelson scored twice.

Shawano celebrated senior day before the game. The team will graduate Baumann, Buntrock, Tadych, Bartz, Nelson, Hoffman, Ainsworth, Marcus Welander and Jacob Lacy at the end of the season. Tadych will sign a letter of intent on Wednesday to continue his baseball career at Hamline University, a Division III college.

“It’s a very good group of guys, five of them have been three-year starters for me,” Wolff said. “These are kids that you have to tell to go home. They want to take buckets and buckets of groundballs and take swing after swing after swing. This group has really stepped up for us.”

Shawano fell to 4-4 in conference games and 5-4 overall. The team will look to rebound on Thursday, when it travels to Appleton to take on Xavier again.