Jefferson invokes 10-run rule in Division 2 semifinal win over Mosinee
GRAND CHUTE — The entire Jefferson baseball team’s lineup is pounding the ball right now.
No one enjoys or benefits more from that productivity than Eagles senior third baseman Ian Drays.
Mosinee didn’t pitch around Drays during Wednesday night’s WIAA Division 2 state tournament semifinal and the Indians paid the price at Fox Cities Stadium.
Drays was 3-for-3, including a mammoth three-run homer and a double, and drove in four runs, while senior second baseman Evan Anfang had two hits — including a two-run, inside-the-park homer — and four RBIs in Jefferson’s 14-2, five-inning victory.
“I’m just trying to hit the ball hard no matter where it goes,” said Drays, a Northern Illinois commit. “I don’t usually get a lot of balls over the heart of the plate, so I try to stay through the ball and go to the opposite field with power and whenever someone makes a mistake or throws one over the plate or the inner part of the plate, I try to punish it.”
The Eagles (19-9) erased a 1-0 first-inning deficit. They scored three runs in the bottom of the first against Mosinee (15-6) before breaking open the game with 11 runs on eight hits and three errors in the third.
“We put so much pressure on them right away, just hitting the ball so hard,” Jefferson coach Greg Fetherston said. “I just felt our energy right away — not a knockout punch, but just a punch in the face a little bit.”
Anfang had a two-run single (making the score 5-1) and Drays, after getting a single earlier in the third, crushed a three-run homer to left field in his second at-bat that inning (making the score 14-1). The Eagles sent 16 batters to the plate in the third.
Drays now holds program records for single-season (eight) and career (12) home runs, in addition to being the career leader in hits, doubles and RBIs.
“They have to pitch to him because we have three or four other guys who are hitting just as well as him,” Fetherston said. “They have to pick their poison. … Our meat of the order is pretty tough to pitch to right now, and we’ll take it.”
In the Eagles’ first at-bat, No. 3 hitter Drays drove in a run with a double to the center-field fence, tying the game at 1. Anfang followed with his inside-the-park homer.
The left-handed swinging Anfang sliced a drive into the left-field corner. Indians left fielder Brandon Bernarde made an unsuccessful diving attempt and then couldn’t locate the ball. Meanwhile, Anfang circled the bases for what he said was his first inside-the-park homer in high school.
“It was pretty exciting,” said Anfang, who plans to play football as a defensive back at UW-Eau Claire. “I thought it brought the energy and gave us momentum.”
The Eagles had 12 hits, including at least one by each starter.
“It’s contagious, with people seeing other guys getting hits,” Anfang said. “We are pretty hot.”
Jefferson junior left-hander Ryan Brost allowed two runs — one earned — in five innings and the Eagles took advantage of five Mosinee errors.
Rock Valley Conference co-champion Jefferson advances to today’s title game against Waupun.
“To make it to the state championship game has always been my dream,” Drays said.
Jefferson, making its sixth state appearance, won the Division 2 title in 2014 – the Eagles’ most recent trip.
Mosinee 100 10 — 2 5 5
Jefferson 30(11) 0x — 14 12 1
MOSINEE (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kuhn cf 3-0-0-0; Fitzgerald 3b 3-1-1-0; B. Vandehey p/1b 3-0-0-0; Bernarde lf 2-0-1-0; Olson 2-0-1-1; Spink pr/p 1-0-1-1; Trzcinski pr 0-1-0-0; C. Vandehey 2b 2-0-0-0; Freiboth 2-0-1-0; Reed 0-0-0-0; Walsh 1-0-0-0. Totals 19-2-5-2.
JEFFERSON — R. Brost p 3-0-1-0; Draeger pr 0-1-0-0; Petersojn cf 3-3-1-2; Busler ph 1-0-0-0; Drays 2b 3-3-3-4; Anfang 2b 3-2-2-4; Hebbe dh 2-1-1-0; Cicotta lf 2-1-1-0; Hauser rf 2-1-1-0; Heard rf 0-0-0-0; Laesch c 2-1-1-1; Fetherston ss 3-1-1-2; Clark 1b 0-0-0-0. Totals 24-14-12-13.
Pitchers (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — M: B. Vandehey (L; 2-8-11-6-2-0); Spink (2-4-3-0-0-0). J: R. Brost (W; 5-5-2-1-2-5).
E — B. Vandehey 2, Olson 1, Spink 1, Freiboth 1; Clark. LOB — M 6; J 3. 2B — Drays, Hebbe. HR — Drays, Anfang. SH — Reed; Cicotta, R. Brost. HBP — Bernarde (by R. Brost); Laesch (by Vandehey). SB — Trzcinzki; Peterson, Drays. WP — B. Vandehey; Brost.
Waupun 6, Ellsworth 3
Two errors and a couple of well-placed base hits created a three-run fourth inning that wiped out a 3-1 deficit and propelled the Warriors (24-2) past the Panthers (16-7) in a Division 2 semifinal.
Waupun senior pitcher Brenden Bille scattered five hits over 6-1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out 10. Junior Caden Bronkhorst retired the last two batters to earn the save.
Two Ellsworth errors started things going in the fourth inning, and then sophomore catcher Keegan Hartgerink hit an RBI single and sophomore Brayden Sanders hit a two-run single to left.
Waupun added two more runs in the sixth inning on a two-run single by senior Bradyn VandeZande.
Owen Matzel and Jon Cain had two hits each for Ellsworth.
Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — McGregor (L; 5.2-7-3-1-3), Matzel (0.1-0-0-0-1); Bronkhorst (0.2-0-0-0-1); Bille (W; 6.1-5-3-6-10).
Leading hitters — E: Matzel 2x3, Cain 2x3. 2B — Boelter. W: Sanders 2x3. 2B — Sauer, Hartgerink.