The Impact played games this past week as though they were playing a major league schedule, except major league teams don’t play doubleheaders unless absolutely necessary. They played 6 games in 6 days winning 5 of 6. The Impact’s league record now stands at 11-6 (16-6 overall) and they have taken over the lead in the Land O’ Lakes Eastern Division. They are one game up on the West Allis Nighthawks who are 11-8. They can clinch at least a tie for the league championship with a win at Racine on Tuesday night or win in their doubleheader at New Berlin on Wednesday night.
Last Tuesday night the Impact traveled to Racine to take on the Racine Kiwanis and came away with a 6-4 victory. They took an early lead and each time the Kiwanis would inch a little closer, the Impact would answer with a run. Jake Jewell lead the 13 hit attack with 3 hits and two rbis, and Mike Norman chipped in with two doubles and Nick Blanchet, Chad Henneberry and Andy Liss had 2 hits each. Cole Borek pitched a complete 9 inning victory to bring his record to 3-2 as he allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, striking out 6 while walking 4 and hitting one batter.
Then on Wednesday night the Impact played at Harden Field vs the Butler Bombers and won that game 7-0 as Josh Beatka (1-0) got the starting assignment and pitched a 9 inning, 2 hit shutout facing only one over the minimum. He had all his pitches working as he kept the Bomber hitters off stride retiring 17 of the 28 batters on pop ups or fly outs. He struck out 3 and did not issue a free pass. The game was close 1-0 until the 7th inning when the Impact broke it open with 4 runs. The offense pounded out 15 hits with Joe Kooping and Nick Schmidlkofer collecting up 4 hits and 2 rbis each, and Nick Blanchet and Sean Staral picked up 2 hits each.
On Saturday the Impact swept a doubleheader from the Racine Kiwanis winning 3-2 and 1-0. The games were played at Park Arthur on a cold breezing day, but quite a nice place to play baseball. In the 3-2 victory, Dave Mihlsimmer picked up the victory improving his record to 5-2. He allowed one earned run on 6 hits, while striking out 12, walking 2 and hitting one batter. On offense, the Impact only collected 5 hits, but put two of them together in the 3rd inning to take 3-0 lead and hang on for the victory. Jake Jewell lead off the inning with a double followed by a Nick Paffhausen single and then an error by the centerfielder plated them both. Joe Kooping had 2 hits and an rbi in the game.
In Saturday’s second game, Peter Jewell took to the mound and was spectacular shutting out Racine for the 1-0 victory improving his record to 5-0. He allowed only 4 hits while striking out 5, walked 2 and hit one batter. Even more spectacular was that he picked off a runner at first base in each of the first four innings. He probably would have picked off a fifth runner that reached on an error in the top of the 5th inning if not for a hit on his very next pitch, but then maybe not as the runner was scared and was standing almost on the base as if he thought he was playing in a little league game. On offense, the Impact only could come up with 2 hits themselves, one by Nick Paffhausen in the 4th inning and one by Nick Schmidlkofer in the 6th inning. They scored their lone run in the 6th when Brandon Kozinski lead off with a walk, advance to second on a wild pitch, then stole third and came home when then catcher’s throw got by the third basemen.
On Sunday the Impact split a doubleheader with the West Allis Nighthawks at Horn Field as they dropped the first game 5-2 and won the nightcap 5-4. In the first game the bats were silent as they were held scoreless until the bottom of the 7th inning. They were held to 4 hits with Nick Paffhausen collecting 2 with an rbi. Cole Borek took the loss dropping his record to 3-3. He pitched well after the first inning giving up 3 runs that inning, but his team just could not get anything going on offense for him. He finished allowing 4 earned runs on 8 hits, striking out 6 and walking two.
In Sunday’s nightcap, the Impact were trailing again 3-0 when they plated 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th inning to tie the game. They did so on a couple of hits by Jake Jewell and Andy Liss and three big errors by the Nighthawks. After the Nighthawks picked up a run in the top of the 7th inning to take a 4-3 lead, the Impact scored two in the bottom on a leadoff single by Nick Paffhausen, a nice double by Mike O’Connor, a sacrifice fly by Mike Norman to tie the game, and then a game winning walk off hit up the middle by Joe Kooping. It was a two out hit with the bases loaded that the shortstop made a nice play on tossing to second to try for the force out, but Nick Schmidlkofer slid in just a head of the throw. Nick Paffhausen collected 2 hits for the impact and Josh Beatka picked up his second victory in four days allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, striking out 6, walking 3 and hitting a batter.
Along with their three league games this week, the Impact will play Friday night in the Swaba Tourney at Horican vs Brownsville in an 8:45 pm contest. The winner advances to the championship where $500 is at stake.
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