East's Lynch fans 10 in 2-1 win over Lancers
Spartans win regional title, meets top-seed Kettle Moraine Monday
Brookfield East senior Griffin Lynch tossed a 3-hitter and fanned 10 in a 2-1 victory over Brookfield Central to win the regional championship Friday night at Central.
The 5th-seeded Spartans (16-11) will now meet top-seeded Kettle Moraine (23-5), which nipped Sussex Hamilton, 4-3, Friday. The sectional semi-final is 10 a.m. at Brookfield Central.
Trailing 1-0 in the sixth, East's Sam Brunker beat out a hit to third to lead off the inning. He went to second on a wild pitch and scored when Nick Kanavas ripped a single to right center.
Kanavas then stole second base, but Ryan Rouse fanned for the first out. Elijah Goodman then walked Mike Eberle and Lynch to load the bases, bringing sophomore Alex McGuire to the plate.
McGuire struck out and flew out in his first two at bats, but he battled Goodman and hit a two-strike pitch to right field for a sacrifice fly to score Kanavas with the eventual game-winning run.
"I was just thinking about putting the bat on the ball," the modest sophomore said. "I was out there playing for all the seniors, trying to keep them going. I just tried my best to do my job and I succeeded."
East coach Bill Woodring smiled when asked about McGuire's big at bat.
"From day one he impressed me on how he focused and how he let things roll right off his back," he said. "His first couple at bats he looked pretty bad. But then he put the bat on the ball and good things happen.
"That's all he does. No matter what has happened in the past, he stays with it. It's his character."
Lynch had a 1-2-3 sixth inning, but Goodman slashed a hit to rightfield to lead off the seventh. Pinch-runner Matt Hodges came in for Goodman and Luke Sommerfeld sacrificed (1-3) Hodges to second with the tying run.
But Lynch fanned senior captain Connor Shipman and retired Eric Ranchau on a grounder to second to end the game - and the Lancers' season.
Earlier in the fourth inning Goodman had singled and Shipman ripped a double to right center to score courtesy runner Hodges to give Central a 1-0 lead inning.
Goodman got the loss, pitching 5.2 innings, allowing six hits, two runs and two walks while fanning eight. He battled a bad back for most of the game, but the classy junior did not use that as an excuse.
Sommerfeld finished up, pitching 1.1 innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out two.
Brunker doubled and singled twice and Kanavas and Eddie Fitting each singled twice.
But Lynch, who only walked one and allowed two of his three hits to Goodman, fanned 10 and was the main story.
"I've been pitching pretty well lately," Lynch said. "I wanted to give my team a chance to win. And that's what I did.
"It's tough to beat a good team like Central three times out of four - most times you are going to split with them. We know who they are and they know who we are and we just came up on the good side this time."
Woodring talked about his star pitcher.
"When he was warming up, I felt all he needed was his curveball," he said. "And boy did he have that."
Lynch felt right from the first inning he was ready to pitch.
"I knew right away I was dialed in," he said.
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