Maybe it was just too early in the morning, but for whatever reason the Wauwatosa East Red Raiders were upset by last-place Brookfield East in the opening game of the Greater Metro Conference Tournament on July 8.
Brad Carstens stopped the Red Raiders on five hits — two by Spencer Michaelis, a double by Jonah Meidl and singles by Connor Baudhuin and Ian Quast.
"Our hitting's been inconsistent all year," Karas said. "I'm a little surprised with that. Jonah had the only ball hit over someone's head. Getting two strikes, we have to protect that plate a lot better."
The Spartans' Andrew Holmes and Dustin Brah each had an RBI single in the first inning, but the Red Raiders came back with a run in the bottom of the inning.
Angel Schilling walked, stole second and after a strikeout, went to third on Jake Halstead's ground out to second. Then Michaelis singled up the middle driving in Schilling.
Dan Magyar's RBI grounder and Alex McGuire's single to right made it 4-1 in the second. A single and two errors led to the final run in the third.
"We cut down on our errors the past few weeks, but today," Karas said. "We cut down from making five, six, seven, eight errors a game from early in the year. Errors do hurt. We did a good job limiting it, as they only got one run out of it. But you gotta make plays."
Michael Lockhart walked to lead off the fifth; Aaron Plaisted ran for him and stole second. Baudhuin flew out to left, but Schilling walked and then Plaisted scored on Meidl's double. Schilling made it to third, but then Halstead and Michaelis fanned to end the final threat.
Markwardt pitched six innings, allowed six hits, five runs, four earned runs, three walks and fanned four.
The Red Raiders dropped a 15-0 decision to Franklin in five innings July 1 at Breitlow Field to begin the week.
The Sabers scored three runs in the third and fourth innings before exploding for six in the fifth and four in the sixth for a quick ending.
Ian Quast had two of the Red Raiders four hits off Will Toetz.
Jared Cohen (2/3innings pitched), Michaelis (22/3innings), Baudhuin (11/3innings) and Josh Koenigs (1/3innings) allowed 14 hits, eight walks and fanned one.
The next day, the Red Raiders lost to Marquette, 12-1, on July 2 at Breitlow Field, a game which was rained out on June 30.
MUHS used a 6-run third inning and finished up with three, one and two runs, totaling 15 hits off Jacob Erdtmann (42/3 innings) and Dan Scallon (2 innings). Sean Denny retired the only batter he faced.
They scored their only run in the sixth when Denny singled with one out. Halstead then singled Denny to third. After a strikeout, Quast walked to load the bases. Dan Johannes then walked, forcing in Denny.
Tosa East dropped a 6-4 decision to West Bend East on July 3 at Breitlow Field.
The Red Raiders led 1-0 through four innings, as Schilling walked and scored on Meidl's double in the third. The Suns scored five runs in the fifth to take the lead and never gave it back.
Meidl walked, and Halstead singled to start the bottom of the fifth. But following two fly ball outs, Quast singled in Meidl.
The Suns took a 6-2 lead in the top of sixth, but the Red Raiders battled back with two runs in the bottom of the seventh.
With one out, Michaelis singled to center, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored when Scallon then singled to left. Scallon when to second on a grounder to the pitcher. Lockhart then singled off the second baseman, scoring Scallon, but Baudluin flew out to center to end the game.
Markwardt, Michaelis and Bauldhuin combined on six hits, three walks and five strikeouts.
East banged out 10 hits, as Michaelis, Halstead and Lockhart each had two singles.
The Red Raiders play a split doubleheader on Saturday, July 12. They host Nicolet at 9 a.m. at Breitlow Field and then travel to Sheridan Park to face Cudahy in a 3:30 p.m. tilt.
They play a first-round regional game at Mukwonago at 5:30 p.m. July 15.
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