The Verona summer baseball team got some clutch hitting, but couldn’t hang on to a late lead against Middleton in a road doubleheader.
Verona tied Middleton 7-7 in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday, July 13, at Middleton High School. Verona tied Middleton’s U19 Senior Legion team 5-5 in the second game of the doubleheader. The Middleton U19 team included several Middleton players who graduated this spring.
“I think we played well enough to win both games,” Verona coach Neal Rozga said.
No extra innings were played since it was a scheduled doubleheader.
“As for extra innings, I think you always want to have the game decided on the field, but we also wanted to respect the umpires time and know there are not many of them around and willing to do these summer league exhibition games,” Rozga said.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Verona’s Cole Bremmer had two hits and three RBIs. Owen Davis and Dylan Hesch each added two hits.
Middleton scored one run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third inning and a second run scored on the play when a wild throw got away from starting pitcher Atticus Marse and the Cardinals took a 5-3 lead.
Verona rallied with three runs in the fifth to take the lead. Davis singled and Hesch bunted for a single. Braden Rozga reached on a fielder’s choice and Bremmer delivered a two-run double to give the Wildcats a 6-5 lead. Bryson Kundinger followed with an RBI single up the middle to give the Wildcats a 7-5 lead. Middleton came through with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth and a second run scored after a rundown to tie the game at 7.
Davis pitched three innings in relief and gave up two unearned runs on two hits and struck out four. Marse started on the mound and went three innings and gave up five runs.
In the second game against Middleton U19, Kundinger had two hits and Marse drove in two runs for Verona. After pounding out 10 hits in the first game, Verona had seven hits in the nightcap.
The only player on the team who received playing time on the varsity in the spring is Marse.
“I think the relaxed approach at the plate and guys just trying to get quality at-bats is the main driver,” Rozga said. “Guys are seeing the ball well and making solid contact. I think there is a lot of talent in future years for Verona Baseball and I think you will see several of these players contributing next season.”
Verona scored one run in the first to take an early lead. The Cardinals responded with one run in the second and third innings to take a 2-1 lead.
Verona scored two runs in the top of the fourth and the Cardinals answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Kundinger started on the mound and went two innings. He gave up one earned run on one hit, struck out four. Hesch tossed 1 ⅔ innings and gave up three earned runs on five hits.
Kjeran Hanson tossed 1 ⅓ shutout innings. He struck out one and walked two. Ryan Schiessl tossed the final two innings and gave up one earned run on one hit with one strikeout.
Verona (6-1-2) was scheduled to play its final doubleheader against Madison Memorial on Wednesday, July 20, at Stampfl Field in Verona.
“This summer team is a lot of fun to coach,” Rozga said. “They are a great group of kids who love playing baseball and they have done a good job of making the games fun. I think the guys have played some solid baseball this summer and have had a chance to get in some good reps. That was always our goal.”