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Irish take two from Waupaca

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Freedom catcher Logan Murphy cuts down Waupaca's Adam Kennedy at the plate April 8 in a North Eastern Conference baseball game at Waupaca High School. Murphy and the Irish handed the Comets 9-8 and 11-2 losses. Greg Seubert Photo

Denmark next up for Comets

By Greg Seubert

Freedom picked up a pair of North Eastern Conference baseball victories over Waupaca.

The Irish came up with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning April 9 for a 9-8 win in Freedom and scored 10 unanswered runs in an 11-2 win April 8 on the Comets’ home field.

Freedom 9, Waupaca 8 (8 inn.)
A grand slam from Kyle Elias helped the Irish take a 7-0 lead, but the Comets answered with four runs in the fourth and sixth innings to tie the game at 8-8.

Neither team scored in the seventh and the game headed to extra innings.

“We had some chances to come up big at the plate, but it didn’t work out,” coach Rocky Mondello said. “We put the bat on the ball and several guys hit the ball hard, but Freedom made some great plays to keep it tied. In the eighth, they got some guys on and their hitters came up clutch and drove in the winning run on a well-hit ball past our first baseman into right field.”

Marty Vosters scored the game-winning run on Elias’ single, his third hit and fifth RBI of the game.

Waupaca outhit the Irish 11-8, but stranded 11 runners on base.

Freedom 11, Waupaca 2 (6 inn.)
Freedom trailed 2-1 heading into the fifth inning, but came up with seven runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth in a game that ended because of darkness.

“After going up 2-1 in the fourth, we had a 40-minute lightning delay and it seemed like that took the wind out of the sails,” Mondello said. “We had some opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize and after some costly errors and Freedom coming hard at the plate, we ended up giving up 10 unanswered runs.”

Freedom outhit the Comets 13-8 and Waupaca stranded 12 baserunners.

“Baseball is funny that way,” Mondello said. “The momentum can change and it’s really tough to turn it. As long as you don’t give up the big inning, which we did, and you refuse to throw in the towel until the last out is made, you will be successful.”

Wyatt Nelson, Jack Erspamer and Brandon Wanty had two hits for the Comets, while Dan Van Toll led Freedom with three.

“I will say that for some guys, the approach at the plate was much better tonight then it has been,” Mondello said. “We’re still looking for all cylinders to hit at the same time.”

Waupaca returned to the field April 16 at Denmark and are scheduled to host the Vikings at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18.

“The guys are ready to work in practice and we’re going to continue to try and fine-tune some things,” Mondello said. “It’s early and we have 19 games left to make those things happen.”

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