Burlington 4, Waterford 3 (8 innings)

Riley Palmquist lays off for a ball last Thursday against Waterford. (Rick Benavides/SLN)

 

By Mike Ramczyk

sports@southernlakesnewspapers.com

An old adage in baseball says you’re only as good as that day’s starting pitcher.

That’s normally the case for the Burlington Demons when junior ace lefty Trey Krause is on the mound.

While he turned in another stellar performance on the hill, it was the junior’s lesser-known bat that did the talking May 17 in a crucial Southern Lakes Conference game at rival Waterford.

In the top of the eighth inning, Krause rocked an Aaron Chapman pitch down the right-field line past the right-fielder to score Danny Peterson from second, and the Demons avenged a loss to Waterford two days earlier with a dramatic 4-3 victory.

For the final three outs, senior closer Drew Pesick was lights out with two strikeouts, including a swinging punch-out to end the game.

Burlington improved to 6-4 in the loaded Southern Lakes Conference, where it sits only 1.5 games behind first-place Wilmot.

Krause was down 0-2 before working the count full.

Krause left the game in the sixth inning with a 3-0 lead and ended up striking out five and only allowing three hits in 5-1/3.

Burlington overcame two late errors, which allowed the Wolverines to score three in the sixth.

Peterson was hit by a pitch and stole second base to set up Krause’s game-winning hit.

“I kept battling, and he left a fastball over the plate,” Krause said of Chapman’s pitch. “Chapman is a really good pitcher. I got as much of it as I could and hit it down the line.”

“It feels great to beat your rival at their place. Having the chance to win conference still is a great feeling. Our team loves to fight and battle, and we always know we have a chance because everyone chips in.”

Krause finished 2-for-2 at the plate, and Christian Brenner added a two-run single.

 

Krause has an ERA under 1.00 for the Demons this season. (Rick Benavides/SLN)

Grant Tully got the Demons’ other RBI with a single.

It was a battle of aces as the Wolverines pitched Zach Guenther, who dazzled with six innings of three-hit ball but allowed three earned runs.

After Riley Nelson got in some trouble to allow Waterford to tie it at 3-3 in the sixth, he settled down and produced a solid 1-2/3-inning outing, highlighted by a 1-2-3 seventh.

Davis Braun tried to sneak his way on with a leadoff bunt, but Pesick charged from third base, bare-handed the ball and lunged for an off-balance throw to get the speedy Waterford runner by a half-step.

Burlington head coach Scott Staude wanted his guys to experience a big-game atmosphere after Tuesday’s loss, and he was impressed.

“Riley threw really well, and Danny Peterson pinch-hit and scored, which was huge,” Staude said. “They stepped up and made play when we had to.”

“It’s the best command Trey’s had all season with all three pitches. He had some really good sequences. He was the perfect guy to bat (in the eighth). I was really proud, our guys could’ve really said, ‘Here we go, again,’ but they toughened up.”

Burlington’s scheduled doubleheader Monday against Delavan-Darien was cancelled due to rain.

“It’s a totally different team than we’ve had the past two years,” Staude said. “It’s a growing process. We have to win in different ways. We have a lot of new starters. Let’s play some games in a row here and get some confidence and see what we can do.”

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