New Berlin - Midway through this season, the New Berlin Eisenhower baseball team appeared to be slipping from the Woodland Conference Black Division race.
Greendale and Whitnall were both off to hot starts and the Lions were sitting in the middle of the pack with just a 4-4 mark.
Suddenly, though, the Lions caught fire, swept Greendale in two games by a combined score of 21-9 and just kept on winning.
Last week, they downed South Milwaukee twice, 10-9 on July 2 and 9-3 on July 3, then topped Shorewood, 6-1, on July 5 and Brown Deer, 9-2, on Friday to finish the Woodland season with nine straight victories and a 13-4 record. That gave them the division crown, their third straight, by one game over hard-charging Wauwatosa West.
"We took the simple approach of just getting better every day," said first-year head coach Aaron Adsit. "The guys got a grasp on what we were trying to do. Also, our goal was always to be playing our best baseball at the end of the season, and I think we are doing that."
The key was the two-game sweep of Greendale on June 25-26, which came on the heels of two losses to Whitnall the previous week.
"We were just trying to get our feet back underneath us," Adsit said. "That (the Greendale set) was the moment that gave us the spark to keep us going."
Eisenhower did drop a 10-3 non-conference decision on Saturday to West Bend West, which shared second place in the tough North Shore Conference, to finish the regular season at 15-11.
The Lions opened WIAA tournament play on July 10 at Cudahy. If they won, they would take on top seed Oak Creek at Abendschein Park at 5:30 p.m. July 13 in a regional title contest. The regional champion goes to West Allis Hale at 11 a.m. July 16 for a sectional semifinal, and the sectional championship game is at Hale at 5 p.m. that day.
Ike 10, S. Milw. 9: The Lions used an eight-run second inning to rally from a 6-1 deficit and grab a 9-6 advantage.
South Milwaukee then added a run in the fourth to cut the lead to 10-8, and that's the way the score stood until the Rockets added a run in the seventh.
Aaron Wilson had a double, a home run, two runs scored and three runs batted in to lead the offense. Mitch Arman banged out three hits and Andrew Contrucci had two hits and two steals.
Paul Gaber and Reed Timmer each drove in two runs and Kurt Hegeman had two runs scored, a single and three stolen bases.
Arman pitched a complete game, not allowing a walk and fanning four.
"Arman has been great for us," Adsit said. "He had a difficult decision to make in spring about whether to play this summer, and we both agreed it would be good for him to play. He hit over .500 in the conference and went 6-1 with a 2.15 earned-run average."
Ike 9, S. Milw. 3: Eisenhower scored four runs in the first and second innings and coasted to the victory, banging out 11 hits along the way.
Arman singled and doubled, scored twice and drove in two runs and Turner Sagat went 3-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. Steve Sakar singled, doubled, scored twice and drove in a run, Tyler Sagat had a triple and two RBIs and Hegeman had two hits and two runs scored.
"Hegeman has been consistent," Adsit said. "He hit .403 and led us in RBIs with 22. Tyler and Turner Sagat both hit .400 and drove in 14 runs."
Ike 6, Shorewood 1: The Lions scored three times to break a 1-1 tie in the third inning and added two more runs in the fourth to put the Greyhounds away.
Winning pitcher Hegeman worked 4 2/3 innings, allowing six hits, with one walk and four strikeouts. Steve Sakar finished up, allowing an unearned run on three hits, with a walk and a strikeout.
Gaber singled twice and drove in two runs, while Timmer singled twice and Tyler Sagat singled, scored twice and drove in a run. Other RBIs came from Arman and Wilson.
Ike 9, Brown Deer 2: Arman and Turner Sagat each drove in two runs and Contrucci, Tyler Sagat, Timmer and Wilson each one, while Contrucci and the Sagats each collected two hits. Arman allowed four hits in seven innings to get the victory.
WB West 10, Eisenhower 3: Wilson and Brandon Wing each drove in runs for the Lions.
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