BASEBALL: Gilbert’s blasts put Wolverines away
Garrett Gilbert finished what Josh Leslie started in Westosha Central High School’s 8-7 Southern Lakes Conference victory at Waterford.
The Falcons’ duo combined to hit 5-for-8 with three home runs, six RBI and five runs scored to help Westosha Central improve to 2-2 (1-1 SLC).
With the win, it snaps a two-game skid for the Falcons, who lost to Burlington and Kenosha Indian Trail.
“I’m really proud of our effort today and how we fought through some adversity to come back and win a baseball game,” said Falcons’ coach Jacob Morman.
Leslie, a junior shortstop, put the Falcons on the board with his first career home run to the opposite in the top of the first inning.
The shortstop finished 3-for-3, knocked in two runs and scored three times.
However, Waterford responded with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, putting the Falcons in a 2-1 deficit entering the top of the second inning.
The Falcons answered in the second inning, courtesy of run-scoring singles by Sam Le Febve and Trent Jones, before the Wolverines took control the next two innings.
After Waterford posted two runs in both the third and fourth inning, the Falcons entered the top of the fifth inning down 6-3, but Gilbert came through with home runs in back-to-back innings.
Gilbert, who went 2-for-4 with four RBI, belted a two-run home run in the fifth inning to pull the contest within one run.
Waterford, which added a run in the bottom of the fifth, took a 7-5 edge into the top of the sixth inning.
In the sixth, Gilbert hit his second home run of the contest, which was the eventual game-winner for the Falcons.
Morman, noting Gilbert’s leadership, said the catcher is the player he wants at the plate in clutch situations.
“Often times all the things he does for this team behind the plate catching, as a leader and captain of this team, and in the middle of our order probably get taken for granted,” said Morman. “But he is exactly the person I want up when we need a big hit with the game on the line.”
Gilbert’s home run came at the expense of Wolverines’ reliever Austin Hoefs, who took the loss, allowing two runs on two hits, struck out two and walked none through two innings.
Hoefs, however, was not the only player who allowed a home run to Gilbert.
Waterford starter Nolan DeGreef allowed six earned runs on eight hits, struck out six and walked three.
“He’s a dangerous hitter and someone the opposing pitcher never feels comfortable facing when he steps into the box,” Morman said, referring to Gilbert.
DeGreef also allowed the home run to Leslie.
Picking up the win for the Falcons was Jones, who pitched three innings, allowed one hit and an unearned run, walked two and fanned one.
“Trent did a really good job of battling out of some tough situations especially in the bottom of the sixth inning getting out of a big jam with two on and no outs,” said Morman.
The Wolverines, who received two RBI from Nicholas Dugandzic, Ryan Jungbauer and Zak Ksobiech, dropped to 3-4 (2-3 SLC).