It didn’t take long for Eau Claire North to put aside Thursday night’s intracity loss.

In fact, one pitch.

Leadoff batter Gabe O’Brien drilled the first delivery for a double and scored when Carter Hesselman followed with a two-bagger.

It led to a seven-run inning and a Husky sweep of La Crosse Central behind a pair of pitching gems Saturday at Carson Park.

Austin Goetsch extended his streak of no hit ball to 10 2\3 innings in a 10-0 opener and Xavier Bembnister gave up just three hits and no earned runs in the 8-1 nightcap.

“You’ve got to have a short memory to be successful in baseball,” said O’Brien, who went 5-for-6 with three extra base hits to lead the attack. “I like to start out strong for the team. That’s by job.”

O’Brien not only led off the game with a double but he did it twice in the first inning, driving in three runs with the second one.

“I really didn’t know what to expect, I went to bed (Thursday night) with some uncertainty,” North Coach Bob Johnson said in reflection to the disappointing 6-5 loss to Memorial.

“But we got two super pitching performances today and the kids bounced back.”

And it was against a quality Central team, which has a winning record and ranks second in the Mississippi Valley Conference.

Goetsch, who pitched six innings of no-hit ball in a win over Wisconsin Rapids last Saturday, continued his mound domination.

The senior righthander allowed only one base runner and no hits with two out in the fifth when Andrew Johnson dropped a popup that fell in short right-center field. He also gave up a double with two out in the sixth but was able to retire the side with the bases loaded.

“Goetsch gets the ball and picks up right where he left off last week.” Johnson said. “I was excited to see what he could do and he did it against a good team.

“He’s give us confidence in him now and I’m looking forward to seeing him pitch more.”

Goetsch struck five and did not walk a batter although he hit two.

In the second game, Bembnister, a junior righthander, handcuffed Central with just three hits before allowing an unearned run in the fifth. He struck out five and walked only two.

“Bembnister throws hard and has been solid all year but has had bad luck,” Johnson said. “I was very pleased with his effort.”

Like in the first game, the Huskies (16-4) scored a three-spot in the first and led 7-0 after three innings. The bats were good for 21 hits in all, nine for extra bases.

In the two games, almost everyone contributed hits with O’Brien’s two doubles, two singles and a triple leading the way. He scored five times.

“We moved him into the leadoff spot and he draws a lot of walks and uses a ton of pitches,” Johnson said. “And he also drives in runs from his spot.”

O’Brien said, “I’m seeing the ball well and trying to do my best” and added “the team is looking ahead.”

Freshman Gabe Richardson was not far behind. He went 4-for-6 with his fifth double of the week and drove in four runs. Sam Stange had three hits with a double and drove in three runs. Bembnister, besides his pitching, contributed two doubles in the night cap and Luke Olson added another.

Zach Fellenz and Andrew Johnson were the losing pitchers for Central, which was led at the plate by Dylan Lapic, who had two singles in the second game.

The Huskies close Big Rivers play with two games with Chippewa Falls next week.



AB-R-H-RBI: Trevon Van Egtern, c, 2-0-0-0, Cole Denzer, c, 1-0-0-0, Zach Fellenz, p, 3-0-1-0, Mikey Miller, ss, 2-0-0-0, Ty Deml, 2b, 1-0-0-0, Aidan Franz, p, 1-0-0-0, Hunter Elsen, cf, 3-0-0-0, Andrew Fischer, 3b, 2-0-0-0, Andrew Johnson, lf, 2-0-1-0, Josh Wolfe, rf, 2-0-0-0, Dylan Lapic, 1b, 1-0-0-0, Joseph Greenwold, ph, 1-0-0-0. Totals 21-0-2-0.

NORTH (10)

Gabe O’Brien, rf, 3-2-2-3, Carter Hesselman, ss, 3-1-1-2, Sam Stange, cf, 4-1-0-0, Anthony Pogodzinski, 1b, 2-1-1-1, Gabe Richardson, 3b, 4-1-3-2, Cal Fadness, dh, 2-1-0-0, Jacob Kulig, 2b, 3-1-1-1, Joe Feck, c, 2-1-0-0, Ely Johnson, rf, 3-1-1-0, Jaxon Vance, cr, 0-0-0-0. Totals 26-10-10-9.

Central 000 000 — 0 2 1

North 700 201 — 10 10 1

E — Kulig, Miller. LOB — Central 5, North 5. 2B –Richardson, O’Brien 2, Hesselman, Fellenz. SB – E. Johnson, Stange. SF – Hesselman.



Fellenz, L 4 9 9 9 2 0

Franz 2 2\3 1 1 0 2 3


Austin Goetsch, W 6 2 0 0 0 4

WP – Goetsch. HBP – Deml, Miller (by Goetsch). U – Dick Smith, Scott Theising. T – 1:40.

{h3 class=”western”}NORTH 8, CENTRAL 1{/h3}

{p class=”western”}CENTRAL (1)

{p class=”western”}AB-R-H-RBI: Fellenz, ss, 4-0-0-0, Lapic, lf, 4-0-2-0, Miller, c, 4-0-1-0, Elsen, 2b, 4-0-0-0, Fischer, 3b, 3-0-0-0, A. Johnson, p, 2-0-1-0, Denzer, rf, 1-0-0-0, Jake Prieur, 1b, 2-0-0-0, Brecken Austin, 1b\p, 2-0-0-0, Wolfe, cf, 2-1-0-0. Totals 28-1-4-0.

{p class=”western”}NORTH (8)

{p class=”western”}O’Brien, rf, 3-3-3-0, Joel Zachow, 2b, 4-0-0-1, Stange, cf, 2-1-2-2, Pogodzinski, dh, 2-1-1-0, Goetsch, dh, 2-0-0-0, Richardson, 3b\p, 2-0-1-2, Alex Schmidt, 3b, 1-0-0-0, Vance, ss, 4-0-0-1, Xavier Bembnister, p, 2-1-2-0. Kulig, ph, 0-0-0-0, Luke Olson, 1b, 4-1-1-1, Keegan Dehnke, lf, 2-1-1-0, Feck, c, 0-0-0-0, E. Johnson, cr, 0-0-0-0. Totals 28-8-11-7.

{p class=”western”}Central 000 010 0 — 1 4 1

{p class=”western”}North 322 010 x — 8 11 3

{p class=”western”}E — A. Johnson, Vance, Feck, Schmidt. LOB — Central 9, North 9. DP – Central. 2B –Stange, Bembnister 2, Olson. 3B – O’Brien. SB – E. Johnson.

{p class=”western”}IP H R ER BB SO

{p class=”western”}Central

{p class=”western”}A. Johnson, L 2 6 5 5 2 1

{p class=”western”}Franz 1 2 2 2 1 1

{p class=”western”}Austin 3 3 1 1 1 4

{p class=”western”}North

{p class=”western”}Bembnister, W 5 2 1 0 2 5

{p class=”western”}Richardson 2 1 0 0 1 2

{p class=”western”}WP – Bembnister 2. Richardson. HBP – Dehnke, Stange (by Franz). T – 1:59.