By Dan Truttschel/Sports Correspondent
As the halfway point of the spring season quickly approaches, the Westosha Central baseball team’s overall goals remain alive and well.
Now it’s up to the Falcons to fix mistakes and build on successes as the end of the year comes into focus.
Central posted a 2-1 overall record last week, as it defeated visiting Delavan-Darien April 27 and split a non-conference doubleheader Saturday at Hartford.
The Falcons took a 6-2 overall record and a 3-1 Southern Lakes Conference mark into games this week.
“Overall, at this point in the season, I am happy where we’re at,” Central coach Jake Morman said. “All of our goals are still in front of us, and we believe in the end we are going to be there fighting for a conference championship.
“I think the guys, if asked, would tell you that they let a couple games get away they thought they should win. That’s the great thing about baseball, though. If you don’t bring it every inning of every game, anything can happen.”
Central took a 3-0 lead in the opener Saturday and then iced the win with three more runs in the top of the seventh inning.
A key moment came in the sixth, as Hartford had cut the deficit to just one when Central catcher Marshall Gilbert picked a runner off second base.
“Marshall Gilbert made a fantastic play,” Morman said. “They guys came back and just had a good approach at the plate and gave us some breathing room.”
Garrett Gilbert led the way with two hits and a run scored, followed by Chris Frackowiak with a hit and two runs scored, Brooks Gahart with a hit and two RBI and Justin Barney with a hit and two runs scored. Greg Kuhfuss chipped in with a hit and two RBI.
Sophomore Dylan Hogan started the game and allowed seven hits, two earned runs, three walks and struck out four in five innings of work. He was followed to the mound by Brooks Gahart and Cory Hauser.
Morman was pleased with the work of his pitchers in the opener.
“Our pitching has been a huge strength for us all season long,” he said. “It seems like every game our pitching gives us a chance to win, and it was no different in this game.”
A seven-run fifth inning was the difference in the second game, as Hartford salvaged a split in an 11-9 victory.
Central tried to rally back with two runs in the sixth and three in the seventh, but couldn’t get any closer.
A positive in the loss was that his team didn’t quit, Morman said.
“I was happy with how we responded and battled back to give ourselves a chance in that last inning,” he said.
Hogan led the offense with three hits and three runs scored, followed by Barney and Marshall Gilbert with two hits and an RBI, Jake Buthman with a hit and two runs scored and Kuhfuss with a hit, two runs scored and two RBI.
Central hosted Elkhorn Tuesday and travel to face the Elks Thursday. The Falcons close out the week with a non-conference doubleheader Saturday at Janesville Parker.
Falcons win in last at-bat
Hauser collected the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead the Falcons to a 3-2 SLC win April 22 over visiting Delavan-Darien.
Garrett Gilbert had two hits, while Marshall Gilbert went the distance to pick up the win. In seven innings, he allowed five hits, two earned runs, four walks and struck out seven.