Clutch rally propels Gaels in district opener
Derrig Ks 12 as St. Edmond tops WB-Mallard
The St. Edmond baseball team wasn’t ready to see their season end here Saturday night at Rogers Park.
Especially their senior players.
Despite falling in an early hole, the Gaels showed the same resiliency they have time and time again this year, scoring a 7-5 victory over West Bend-Mallard to advance in Class 1A district play.
St. Edmond (7-17 overall) will host West Hancock (6-13) back here on Tuesday in the semifinals. The Eagles knocked off West Fork, 14-4.
Hayden Derrig earned the win on the mound, allowing just one earned run with 12 strikeouts. Emanuel Perry was 3-for-3, while John Nemmers and JT Laufersweiler each had two hits. Laufersweiler drove in three runs and Perry one.
“I felt like the kids really stepped up,” SEHS head coach Mike Szalat said. “The seniors played like seniors tend to do in the postseason, especially Emanuel. Half of our hits came from our senior group, who also played error-free ball.
“The kids have shown a great resilience all year and just keep on fighting. They did that once again (Saturday) night.”
The Wolverines held a 5-4 lead heading into the sixth when St. Edmond got to work, plating three runs. Jackson Palmer, Nemmers and Johnny Dickerson each scored, erasing the deficit.
“(West Bend-Mallard) scored three runs on a crazy play there in the fifth, but just like we did earlier in the game, we answered right back,” Szalat said. “Hayden did a great job and with him going the distance we were able to keep Tyler (McDowell) and Emanuel ready for Tuesday.
“You have to live for today in the postseason. I could have taken (Derrig) out at 65 pitches, but I’ve done things like that in the past and it has come back to haunt us. We wanted to get the win and worry about Tuesday on Tuesday.”
Derrig threw 76 strikes in the game and had four walks with six hits allowed.
Perry scored after doubles in the second and third innings, while also reaching base a fourth time via walk. Laufersweiler had two doubles, including a two-RBI hit in the third.
Derrig was on base three times with walks and stole two bases, Landon Bartlett had an RBI and scored a run, Dickerson had an RBI, scored a run and stole two bases, and Drew Szalat reached on a bunt and scored.
Noah Link struck out eight for the Wolverines as Mitch Stevens reached base three times with a run. Coltin Hoover, Max Fehr and Houston Nielsen each reached twice and scored once.
Tuesday will mark the first meeting between St. Edmond and West Hancock on the baseball diamond.
“It was probably one of our biggest crowds of the year,” Szalat said. “That was great, especially considering the holiday week. Hopefully, we can have another big, supportive crowd on Tuesday and put a good product out there for them.”