Cardinals Walk-Off Winners over Brookfield East, Fall Short in Semifinals to EC North
The postseason run has come to an end for the Fondy Cardinals baseball team as they fall short in the WIAA State Semifinals Tuesday night by a score of 8-to-4 to Eau Claire North.
To get to the semifinals, Fond du Lac got another outstanding pitching performance from Sam Hernandez and clutch hitting from Justin Schnell and Drew Bonlander to defeat Brookfield East 2-1 in nine innings in their state quarterfinal game. Hernandez allowed just four hits, while striking out six in seven innings. He was countered by East’s Riley LeTorneau – who also spun a gem – striking out six over seven innings while allowing just three hits.
Neither team would score in the quarterfinal game until the eighth inning, when both the Cardinals and Spartans would each plate one run. After a scoreless top of the ninth – Schnell led off the bottom half with a single. After a sacrifice bunt and a walk to River Riefsnieder – Bonlander laced a double into deep left center that scored pinch runner Ben Birschbach to win the game.
Schnell had three hits to lead the way for the Cardinals in game one.
In the state semifinal – Eau Claire North struck early, scoring two runs in the first and five more in the third inning to take a 7-0 lead. Fondy would limit the Huskies to just one more run the rest of the way, but couldn’t manufacture many runs, scoring just two runs in both the third and the fifth innings. The Cardinals would load the bases with one out in the sixth and get the tying run to the plate, but Julian Murillo lined into a double play to end the inning and the threat.
Sam Hernandez led the way in game two with two hits – including a triple and an RBI.
With the win and the loss – Fondy closes the season with a record of 14-13. Congratulations goes out to Cardinals head coach Marty Paulsen, who recorded win number 600 for his career with the Cardinals win over Brookfield East.