Every now and then, a coach is faced with a situation where his squad is tired and he has to call on that reliable pitcher known as 'Johnny Wholestaff.'
That's what Brookfield East coach Bill Woodring was faced with on Friday and it worked out just fine, as the Spartans nipped Wauwatosa East, 4-2, in a pitcher's duel of all things, at Brookfield East.
Junior Ryan Rouse had thrown a complete-game (six innings) June 12, senior Pat O'Brien worked three innings twice, June 13 and 14, Dennis Mistrioty worked four innings June 13 and Tommy Tushaus worked 3.1 innings June 14.
That left Woodring with junior Mike Eberle, coming off arm problems, and junior Griffin Lynch, who worked 0.2 innings June 14.
"We had a couple sore arms," Woodring said. "Mike Eberle hasn't pitched, so we wanted to get him up on the mound. Then he came up lame a couple times. We just needed to get through the game, that's all."
After Eberle allowed two walks and fanned a batter in one inning, Lynch came on and allowed two hits, a strikeout and a hit batter in a scoreless second and then Tushaus came on and had a 1-2-3 third inning, but ran into a problem in the fourth.
With one out, Ben Joyce singled, went to second on a wild pitch and third on a balk. Derek Wulff then walked and Colin Trautschold singled to left to drive in Joyce and cut the lead to 2-1.
Wulff went to third and Trautschold to second on an error by the leftfielder. Bobby Russ then scored Wulff on a beautiful suicide squeeze bunt to tie the game at 2-2 before Tushaus struck out the final hitter of the inning.
After the Spartans scored twice, Woodring brought in Rouse, who slammed the door on the Red Raiders the rest of the way. He worked the final three innings and didn't allow a hit, but he walked one and hit two batters while fanning one.
"Ryan did a great job," Woodring said. "He's been our steady so far. He's really been doing well. He throws strikes and he's got a good breaking pitch."
The Spartans jumped on Tosa East's Bryce Kratzer for two runs in the first inning, as senior Brandt Rogers was hit by a pitch and then stole second base. O'Brien then ripped a single to center to score Rogers for a 1-0 lead.
Senior Drew Kehoe then singled to right field moving O'Brien to third, where he scored following a strikeout, when Eberle grounded out to third.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the fourth, the Spartans struck again.
Junior catcher Sam Brunker singled and senior Alex White ran for him. After Wulff robbed Rouse of a hit with a beautiful diving catch in right, White immediately stole second.
After Taylor Lucas walked, Tushaus grounded to short, White moved to third and Lucas was retired at second on the fielder's choice, leaving runners on the corners.
Rogers then hit a hard one-hopper right at Tosa East junior shortstop Ben Carpenter, one of the best players in the Greater Metro Conference. But Carpenter dropped the ball and it rolled behind him, allowing White to score and senior courtesy runner Andy Wiesen to go to second. Wiesen then scored when O'Brien drilled a single to right field for a 4-2 lead.
"I thought we probably could have tacked on a couple more runs," O'Brien said. "We didn't play bad. We hit our guys in. We did all the things we needed to do. Maybe not as much as we probably should have, but a win's a win. I'll take it."
And Woodring will take Rogers and O'Brien - the 1-2 hitters in the batting order - coming up big with the game on the line.
"He's been our Mr. Steady," Woodring said of O'Brien. "He and Brandt have really been hitting the ball well, Patrick, in particular. He is really a good leader. Because not only does he hit well, he plays defense and pitches. He's kind of our spiritual leader.
"Brandt, on the one hand, is a 'do it the way I'm doing it' - he is a leader by example. Between the two of them, we wouldn't be where we are without them."
With the team in the upper half of the conference standings at 8-5, Woodring knows this is an important stretch.
"Two weeks of a very busy schedule," he said. "With the reduced schedule (because of exams), it doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal. But five games this week and six games next week, it's going to be a tough one.
"That's why I wanted to take it easy on some of the pitchers (against Tosa East). Pitchers are going to have to go two games next week. It will be interesting."
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
June 12 at Franklin
The Sabers won 4-2 as they led 4-0 through six before the Spartans scored twice in the seventh. But it was too little, too late. Ryan Rouse scattered eight hits, walked two and fanned three in the complete-game loss. Brandt Rogers singled, doubled and drove in two runs as East managed only four hits off Tyler Gentz.
June 13 vs. Muskego
Leading 3-2 going into the bottom of the third on June 13, the Spartans scored three times in the third and twice in the fourth to take an 8-2 lead at home. The Warriors managed three runs in the fifth and one in the seventh, but East held on for the 8-6 victory. Dennis Mistrioty started and pitched four innings, as he allowed two runs and struggled with his control, walking six. O'Brien finished up with three innings to hold off the Warriors. East was outhit, 9-6, as Kehoe led the way with a 2-for-4 performance and four RBIs.
June 14 vs. Menomonee Falls
Sixteen of the game's 20 runs were scored in the first two innings as the Indians rolled to a 14-6 win at Brookfield East. Falls led 10-6 after the first two innings. The Indians scored four runs in the fourth inning to put the game away. Mike Eberle had a grand slam and Rogers singled twice and scored twice as East managed seven hits off two Indians' pitchers.
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