Little mistakes add up in Red Raiders’ loss

Pulaski falls to Ashwaubenon at home
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

A couple little things cost the Pulaski High School baseball team during a 5-2 Fox River Classic Conference loss to Ashwaubenon on May 3 in Pulaski.

All five of Ashwaubenon’s runs came after errors or misplays in the field. Pulaski had five hits, drew six walks and had a runner reach on an error, but ended up stranding 10 runners on base.

“Us as a team, we got to do better — when we make an error, we got to pick each other up and make the next play,” said Pulaski starting pitcher Kyle Olson. “I think we actually did a good job of that because if we didn’t pick each other up, it could have led to way more than what they got, but yeah, a few misplays and at the end of the day they scored them and made it count, but I like how we battled, we didn’t give up.”

Olson worked a 1-2-3- top of the first inning. In the bottom half, Michael Molthen drew a two-out walk, but was stranded there.

In the second inning, Ashwaubenon loaded the bases with no outs, starting with a bloop single down the right-field line before a double and walk.

Olson did a good job of limiting the visitors to just one run in the frame by striking out the next three batters. The run scored on a wild pitch after the first strikeout.

In Pulaski’s half of the second, the team put two runners on with two outs after a Brayden Otto walk and Lincoln Simons single, but they were stranded after a strikeout.

Ashwaubenon scored twice in the third inning, with all the baserunners in the inning coming after an error with two down.

The bottom of the third saw another Pulaski baserunner reach with two down, as Molthen walked again, but he was again unable to advance any further.

Ashwaubenon got a runner to third with just one out in the fourth, but Olson induced a popup before striking out a batter for the third out to end the threat.

Neither team got a baserunner on in the next two half innings. Pulaski was finally able to break through in the fifth with a couple runs to tighten the game back up.

Simons led off the inning with a single and then moved to second on a Bryce Wotruba single. Ashwaubenon eliminated the lead runner on a bunt attempt before Olson singled to load the bases.

Molthen put the ball in play and reached on an error that allowed each baserunner to advance and Bryce Wotruba to score. Brady Wotruba then scored on a Jacob McDonald groundout.

Pulaski’s rally ended there after a flyout.

Ashwaubenon got the runs right back in the top of the sixth.

A one-out walk and single signaled the end of the pitching outing for Olson, who was replaced by Simons. The lefty struck out the first batter he faced and looked like he was about to get out of the inning after the Ashwaubenon batter lined a ball to center. The liner ended up carrying further and over the outstretched glove of the center fielder for a two-RBI triple.

“I mean, we thought we played well. Hit the ball a lot better than we had been in the past,” said Simons. “They hit the ball well too. Just a couple plays away from the score being a little bit different.”

Two walks, the first being intentional, loaded the bases for Ashwaubenon, but Simons induced a groundout to end the threat and keep Pulaski in the game.

Otto walked with one down in the sixth, but wasn’t able to advance any further.

The visiting Jaguars looked poised to put the game away in the top of the seventh after two walks started the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third.

Simons then induced a groundout, with Pulaski’s Bryce Wotruba throwing out the batter at first, and then Otto throwing to the plate, where McDonald tagged out the lead baserunner for the final out.

It looked like the type of play that could spark a team, and it did just that as Pulaski ended up bringing the go-ahead run to the plate in the bottom half.

Brady Wotruba doubled to get the inning going before moving to third on an Olson groundout. Molthen walked before a popout for the second out.

Logan Brabant walked to load the bases, but it was all for naught as the final batter struck out.

Even though the loss was tough to swallow for Pulaski, it was a much better showing than the first times the teams squared off on April 4, when Ashwaubenon won 6-0.

“From the beginning of the season, first game with all the snow and being freezing, that game nothing really felt like it went our way,” said Simons. “This game felt a lot better. A lot of energy, boys feel good and I hope it leads into more wins to come the rest of the week with three more big conference games later.”

“If we play as a team, we can hang with anybody,” said Olson. “We’re right there in the conference. Get a couple wins and maybe we’re one at the end of the year. We just got to be ourselves, play our game, not worry about anybody else and just start winning some games as a team.”