By Dan Truttschel/Sports Correspondent
The Wilmot baseball team continues to score runs in bunches.
In two non-conference games last week, the Panthers combined to outscore their opponents 21-2, and in the process, came away with a pair of wins.
Wilmot, ranked second in the most recent Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Division 1 Poll, blanked Racine Horlick 6-0 April 24, which came on the heels of a 15-2 whipping of Racine Park.
The two wins improved the Panthers to 9-1 overall heading into a road non-conference contest Monday at Racine Case. Wilmot took a 4-0 Southern Lakes Conference record into a home game Tuesday against Waterford.
Results from both contests were unavailable by press time.
In the win over Horlick April 24, the Panthers struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, followed by four more in the fifth to pull away.
The big story was the pitching of Alec Haluzak, who posted a no-hitter in seven innings on the mound. Haluzak allowed just two walks and struck out 12.
“He had great command of all three of his pitches and had Horlick guessing at the plate,” Wilmot coach Josh Pye said. “He took charge of the game early and didn’t let up.”
Pye is impressed with Haluzak’s skills, and he stressed that holding another team hitless is never easy.
“A no hitter is hard to do at the high school level and you definitely do not get many chances to be a part of one,” Pye said. “It is fun to watch Alec pitch because he is confident in what he is doing, and he works fast on the mound. He does not give hitters much of a chance to think and dig in at the plate. He challenges hitters on every pitch by hitting his locations and changing his speeds.”
Dustin McFarlane led the offense with two hits and two RBI, followed by Kyle Nixon with two hits and a run scored. Evan Ketterhagen, Garrett Bogucki, James Alexander and Collin Barry each added RBI for the Panthers.
Wilmot trailed 2-0 after the first inning against Park April 23, but took total control from there and cruised to the five-inning win.
The Panthers scored in their next four at bats, including five runs in the fifth to end the game via the run-rule.
Offensive leaders included Nick Van Kampen with two hits and a run scored, Bogucki with two hits and three runs scored and Barry with two hits, four runs scored and three RBI. Landon Platts and Nixon each drove in two.
One of Platts’ RBI came on a suicide squeeze.
“Everyone in the lineup is getting quality at bats and good swings on the ball,” Pye said.
Austin Brewer earned the win, as he allowed three hits, two earned runs, three walks and struck out four in five innings of work.
“He did a good job of getting ahead in the count and letting his defense make plays for him,” Pye said. “We keep seeing improvement from Austin every time he takes the mound.”
Following the games Monday and Tuesday this week, the Panthers close out their week Thursday afternoon when they travel to Waterford to face the Wolverines.
With the season roughly halfway done and his team clicking on all cylinders, Pye is excited about the second half.
“Our guys have done what we needed to do to win games,” Pye said. “Our pitching has delivered, our defense has played solid by making the routine plays and our hitting has been consistent. We have been able to get guys on and move them around. If we maintain this level of play, I like our chances in the second half of the season.”