A big first game comeback, two home runs and a triple by Sam Stange and six inning no-hit pitching by Austin Goetsch.

It added up to a Eau Claire North sweep of Wisconsin Rapids Saturday at Carson Park.

The Huskies came from a 6-run deficit to win the opener 11-8 and then coasted to a 6-0 victory in the nightcap to run their winning streak to 10 games good for a 12-3 record.

“Our kids fight,” North Coach Bob Johnson said. “We scored in three of the first four innings to keep sneaky close in the first game and then popped a seven-run inning.

“We have quality leadership from No. 4 (Stange) and he doesn’t let anybody quit.”

Stange belted two homers into the football field in the opener and then added a triple and single in the nightcap for a 4-for-5 day, driving in four runs and scoring four times.

“I hit the first one hard,” Stange said. “The second one I was a little upset off the bat because it felt like just a fly ball. I’m glad it carried.”

No surprise.

Goetsch, yes.

After seeing three short stints in relief, he got the call for his first start. Wow.

He faced the minimum of batters through 14 before he hit a batter with two out in the fifth. He walked two batters in the sixth, but whiffed the next two.

He was lifted for Carter Hesselman in the seventh. Hesselman allowed a two-out single to right by Jacob Wipfli and the no-hitter was lost.

“He had seen limited action and we were hoping to get maybe four innings out of him,” Johnson said. “He just kept rolling against one of the best hitting teams in the (Wisconsin) Valley. In regards to his arm and health, we decided to lift him.

“I was a little upset later that we took him out but the important thing is that he can help us be successful.”

The senior righthander said he was changing speeds with his curve and fastball and knew he was working on a no-hitter. His pitch count was in the 80s.

“I wanted to stay in but the coaches said my pitch count was too high,” Goetsch said. “But I’m happy with the outcome. I wasn’t surprised because I pitched Legion ball last year and have got in a lot of time.”

The Huskies scored three in the first inning and three in the third to give him a good cushion.

The first game was a different story as they trailed 8-2 into the bottom of the third.

Plagued by eight bases on balls, the Huskies gave up eight runs on just three hits in the first three innings, then rallied for two in the second, one each in the third and fourth and then broke the game open with seven in the fifth.

Stange hit solo home runs, both over the left-centerfield fence, in the third and fifth to trigger the Husky uprising.

The Huskies combined six hits with three bases on balls in the big fifth in which 13 batters went to the plate. Jaxon Vance, Jacob Kulig and Carter Hesselman drove in runs with singles.

North outhit the Raiders 12-5 with Joel Zachow, Stange and Jaxon Vance each getting two hits and everybody in the starting lineup getting at least one blow.

O’Brien walked five in the first inning as Rapids scored three runs without the aid of a hit. Zachow came on for two innings before Gabe Richardson hurled shutout ball for two more innings to get the win. Stange pitched the last two innings, whiffing four.

Donovan Brandl started for the Raiders while Tyler Beyer, the second of four pitchers, took the loss. Brandl had two hits and drove in three runs.

Blowing a big lead in the game seemed to hurt the Raiders the rest of the day.

“There’s no clock in baseball so you never feel good,” said Bob Gawlitta, in his 31st year coaching the Raiders. “Anytime you lose like that, it takes you down. But North is a good hitting team and we knew that.”

Rapids has credentials. The Raiders are 13-5 overall and 8-2 in the Valley, trailing only Stevens Point at 7-1.

For the day, Stange had four hits and Zachow three while Jaxon Vance had two hits in the first game and Keegan Dehnke two in the nightcap.



AB-R-H-RBI: Nathan Krommenakker, 2-3-0-0, Ryan Sering, lf, 3-2-1-1, Dononvan Brandl, p\3b, 4-0-2-3, Josh Zwicke, c, 3-1-0-0, Tyler Beyer, 3b\p, 3-0-1-0, Garrett Huber, cf, 2-0-0-1, Jacob Wipfli, ss, 4-0-0-1, Jack Wenzel, rf\p, 4-1-1-0, Gabe Zwicke, 2b, 2-1-0-0, Zac Hamel, cr, 0-0-0-0, Dakoda Schultz, cr, 0-0-0-0. Totals 27-8-5-6.

NORTH (11):

Gabe O’Brien,p, 0-0-0-0, Joel Zachow, p\2b, 3-1-2-3,Carter Hesselman, ss, 4-0-1-1, Sam Stange, cf\p, 2-2-2-3, Anthony Pogodzinski, 1b, 2-0-1-0, Xavier Bembnister, 1b, 2-0-0-0, Gabe Richardson, 3b\p, 4-1-1-0, Cal Fadness, lf, 3-2-1-0, Jaxon Vance, 2b\3b, 3-3-2-1, Jacob Kulig, dh, 3-3-2-1, Elyjah Johnson, rf, 3-1-1-0, Joe Feck, c, 0-0-0-0, Keegan Dehnke, cr, 0-0-0-0. Totals 29-11-12-9.

Wis Rapids 323 000 0 — 8 5 1

North 021 170 x — 11 12 2

E — Vance, Richardson, Wipfli. LOB — Wis Rapids 7, North 7. DP – North. 2B – Pogodzinski. HR – Stange 2. SB – Krommenakker, Wenzel, Vance, Dehnke.


Wis Rapids

Brandl 4 6 4 4 3 7

Beyer,L 1\3 5 6 5 1 0

Wenzel 2\3 1 1 0 2 2

Josh Schwalbach 1 0 0 0 0 1


O’Brien 1\3 0 3 3 5 1

Zachow 2 2\3 3 5 3 3 1

Richardson, W 2 0 0 0 1 0

Stange 2 2 0 0 0 4

WP – O’Brien 2, Brandl, Beyer. PB – J. Zwicke. HBP – Vance (by Brandl). U – David Johanson, Dave DeGrasse. T — 2:25.

{p class=”western”}NORTH 6, WISCONSIN RAPIDS 0

{p class=”western”}WISCONSIN RAPIDS (0)

{p class=”western”}AB-R-H-RBI: Krommenakker, p\cf, 2-0-0-0, Sering, rf, 3-0-0-0, Brandl, 1b, 3-0-0-0, J. Zwicke, lf, 3-0-0-0, Beyer, 3b, 3-0-0-0, Huber, cf\p, 2-0-0-0, Wifli, ss, 3-0-1-0, Wenzel, 2b, 3-0-0-0, G. Zwicke, dh, 1-0-0-0, Erik Steinhilber, ph, 0-0-0-0, Hamel, c, 0-0-0-0. Totals 23-0-1-0.

{p class=”western”}NORTH (6)

{p class=”western”}O’Brien, rf, 4-1-0-0, Hesselman, ss\p, 2-2-0-0, Kulig, ph, 1-0-0-0, Stange, 3-2-2-1, Richardson, dh, 1-1-1-2, Fadness, dh, 1-1-1-2, Zachow, 2b, 3-0-1-0, Luke Olson, 1b, 3-0-1-1, Feck, c, 3-0-0-0, Dehnke, lf, 3-0-2-0. Totals 25-6-8-6.

{p class=”western”}Wis Rapids 000 000 0 — 0 1 1

{p class=”western”}North 303 000 x — 6 8 2

{p class=”western”}E — Richardson, Wenzel, Zachow. LOB — Wis Rapids 5, North 5. 2B –Richardson, Fadness. 3B – Stange. SB – Dehnke. SF – Fadness, Richardson.

{p class=”western”}IP H R ER BB SO

{p class=”western”}Wis Rapids

{p class=”western”}Krommenakker, L 2 1\3 5 6 6 1 3

{p class=”western”}Huber 2 2\2 2 0 0 1 2

{p class=”western”}Schultz 1 1 0 0 0 0

{p class=”western”}North

{p class=”western”}Austin Goetsch, W 6 0 0 0 2 5

{p class=”western”}Hesselman 1 1 0 0 0 0

{p class=”western”}WP – Huber. HBP – Huber (by Goetsch).