Brookfield East's rallies in the sixth and seventh inning fell short Thursday morning and the Spartans dropped their WIAA State game to Marquette, 3-2, at Bukolt Park in Stevens Point.
Trailing 3-0, the Spartans used errors by Hilltoppers first baseman Gino A'mato and third baseman Willy Bolles to put Pat O'Brien and Nick Kanavas on base to lead off the sixth. Nolan Peterson then walked Kevin Sylla for the second time in three at bats to load the bases.
Sophomore sensation Mike Eberle then ripped a single to right field coming up with another huge hit down the stretch for the Spartans, scoring O'Brien and Kanavas and cutting the lead to 3-2. With pinch-runners Jack Snow on second and Alex White on first, starting pitcher Brian Sylla bunted the runners over to second and third.
With the infield in, Drew Kehoe hit the ball to shortstop Dan Flatley, who looked to third and looked to short, but by then it was too late to get Kehoe at first, loading the bases.
Coach Bill Woodring then put on a suicide squeeze that John Foley put down in front of the plate, but the athletic Peterson bounced off the mound, gloved the ball and flipped it to catcher Nate Siudak for the force at home.
Snow was initially called out, as the home plate umpire forgot the bases were loaded and said Snow was safe because he wasn't tagged out.
After the Marquette players and coach Sal Bando, Jr. argued about the play, the four umpires got together and reversed the call. It was the correct call and the scored remained 3-2
George Kotsonis then flied out to right field to end the inning. But the Spartans weren't done. After Brandt Rogers, who singled in his first two at bats, grounded to short to start the inning, O'Brien and Kanavas singled and then pulled off a double steal putting runners on second and third.
But then Peterson, who hardly threw a ball near the strike zone to clean-up hitter Kevin Sylla, got the biggest out of the game when he fanned Sylla with a curve ball.
Peterson then wanted nothing to do with the hot-hitting Eberle and intentionally walked him, sending up Brian Sylla with the bases load.
Sylla hit a ball past Peterson and up the middle, but Flatley made a nice play, cutting the ball off and tagging second to end the game.
The hot-hitting catcher Nate Siudak was the star of the game, with two singles before crushing a curve ball from Sylla over the center field fence for the eventual game-winning run in the fifth.
Peterson, who is going to Jacksonville to pitch in the fall, allowed six hits, three walks and fanned five to get the win.
Brian Sylla, who pitched twice in three weeks and actually shook off a sore arm in the bullpen before the game, also allowed six hits, fanned five, walked four and only allowed two earned runs in his final high school appearance.
East finished with a 19-14 record.
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