The Impact are moving onto round three of the Land O’ Lakes’ playoffs as they beat the North Shore Knights in the best of three series this past week improving their overall record to 19-7. After taking care of business last Wednesday night at Harden Field winning 5-1 and pounding the Knights 10-2 on Sunday at Horn Field, they are scheduled to play the Racine Kiwanis at Racine on Wednesday night. Then they return to Horn next Sunday to complete the best of three series against Racine.
Last Wednesday night in the Impact’s 5-1 victory, they only had 7 hits, but took advantage of 13 walks issued by the Knight’s pitchers. The game was tied 1-1 in the 6th inning when singles by Nick Paffhausen and Sean Staral plated a run. The Impact picked up another run in the 7th inning on a single by Andy Liss and a sacrifice fly by Dave Archibald pushing their lead to 3-1. That was all that pitchers Dave Mihlsimmer and Josh Beatka would need as the only run the Knights were able to plate came in the 4th inning.
Mihlsimmer started improving his record to 7-2 as he went 6 innings, allowing the one unearned run on 7 hits, while striking out 3, walking 2 and hitting one batter. Josh Beatka pitched the last 3 innings and was lights out. He allowed only one hit, striking out 5. On the offensive end, Nick Paffhausen and Nick Schmidlkofer each picked up 2 hits.
On Sunday at Horn, the Impact needed to win one of the two scheduled games and they won the first sweeping the series. North Shore was up 1-0 going into the bottom of the 4th inning when Kevin Schoenbach changed all of that with a 2 out 2-run home run to deep left field putting the Impact up to stay 2-1. In the bottom of the 5th inning, Nick Schmidlkofer cracked a line drive one out home run also to deep left field extending the lead to 3-1.
Then in the 6th inning, the Impact plated 7 runs on 7 hits pushing the lead to 10-2 as 12 men batted in the inning. The highlights of the inning were 2 hits by Jake Jewell driving in two runs, and a double by Josh Beatka and a single by Brandon Kozinski that drove in two runs each. Leading hitters for the Impact with two hits each were Joe Kooping, Jake Jewell, Nick Paffhausen and Josh Beatka.
Peter Jewell started and went 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out 3, walking one and hitting one batter. Jewell improved his record to 6-0 on the season and once again was stellar. Coach Rick Henneberry commented that if Peter allows anyone on base, they usually don’t get too far because he has quite a move to first base. In fact, he picked off his tenth base runner of the year in the 3rd inning when the Knights had two on with no outs. Cole Beatka pitched in relief picking up the save as he was even more stellar hurling the final 3 frames allowing no runs and no hits, striking out one and walking one.
Between the third round playoff series against Racine this week, the Impact play Hustiford in the semi-finals of the SWABA Tourney at a site yet to be determined. Mike O’Connor is the scheduled starter.
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