The Stoughton Senior Legion baseball team got the green light from coach Ben Gerber and the Vikings stole eight bases en route to a 9-0 road win over Oregon on Tuesday, July 16.
Stoughton (6-10) snapped a six-game losing streak with the victory. A stretch of six games in five days tested the Stoughton team’s pitching depth over the past week.
That included four at the Fort Atkinson Tournament Friday, July 12 through Sunday, July 14.
Stoughton is gearing up for the Senior Legion Tournament in Beaver Dam. The Vikings will play Lomira/Theresa at 3 p.m. on Friday.
“I’m glad it happened last week and not this week, now that it really matters,” Stoughton coach Ben Gerber said.
The losing streak started with an 8-4 road loss to Beaver Dam on Wednesday, July 10. On the next day in Stoughton, the Vikings lost to Beaver Dam 9-3.
In the first game of the tournament, East Troy topped Stoughton 11-1 on Friday. The Vikings lost to Cedarburg 4-3 on Saturday. In a second game on Saturday, Lake Geneva defeated the Vikings 5-2. St. Mary’s Catholic rolled to a 12-0 five-inning win over Stoughton on Sunday.
Gerber said he wanted the team to take away a “battling approach” despite falling behind early in games.
“We gave up more runs in the first inning than we have all year,” Gerber said of Sunday’s game. “We were always playing catch up.”
Stoughton 9, Oregon 0
Kadin Milbauer went 2-for-2 with three walks, three stolen bases and three runs scored to lead the Vikings past the Panthers.
“It feels great to bounce back,” Milbauer said. “We weren’t playing baseball like we know how to play baseball. It was nice to come here and get a win and prepare for the upcoming tournament.”
Milbauer ripped a double to left in the first inning off Oregon starter Bryce Holtman. Brady Estervig then singled, and Milbauer raced home on a double steal.
“I always put pressure on myself to be the best I can be,” Milbauer said. “My main goal as the leadoff hitter is to get on base, and I know I have good hitters behind me to hit me in.”
Ethan Yahn, who went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, lined an RBI single to center to give Stoughton a 2-0 lead. Owen Chase also had an RBI single to center. The Vikings had four stolen bases in the first.
“Our philosophy this whole summer is to play small ball, move runners over, be aggressive on the bases,” Gerber said. “We did a perfect job of doing it.”
Estervig drove in a run on a sacrifice fly in the second to give the Vikings a 4-0 lead.
Stoughton tacked on four runs in the third. The big blow came on Yahn’s two-run single. Derek Karlen also had an RBI single.
Ryan Curry pitched a complete-game shutout for the Vikings. He scattered seven hits, struck out 10 and walked one.
“He’s always been our ace,” Gerber said. “He’s the guy who we always want the ball in his hands.”
St. Mary’s 12, Stoughton 0
The Vikings were limited to three hits in a 12-0, five-inning loss to St. Mary’s on Sunday.
Owen Chase pitched four innings and gave up nine earned runs.
The Vikings committed two errors.
Gerber said the six games in five days tested the depth of its pitching.
Lake Geneva 5, Stoughton 2
Stoughton rallied, but Lake Geneva scored two runs in the sixth to seal a 5-2 win over the Vikings on Saturday.
Karlen, Yahn and Milbauer each went 2-for-4.
Owen Lynch started and lasted 6 1/3 innings. He gave up five runs on four hits and struck out three.
Cedarburg 4, Stoughton 3
Milbauer drove in two runs on a single in the sixth, but the Vikings’ comeback bid came up short in a loss to Cedarburg on Saturday.
Cedarburg led 4-1 after four innings. Yahn went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Ryan Curry tossed six innings and gave up four earned runs on nine hits. He struck out five and walked one.
The Vikings were plagued by four errors.
East Troy 11, Stoughton 1
East Troy jumped out to an early lead on Friday with a five-run first off Stoughton pitcher Ryan Ellingson.
East Troy scored three runs in the third to extend its lead to 8-1 and rolled to the victory. The Vikings committed two errors.
Stoughton scored its lone run on Yahn’s RBI single in the third.
Ellingson pitched five innings and gave up 10 earned runs on 12 hits. He struck out two and walked two.
Beaver Dam 9, Stoughton 3
Stoughton pitcher Michael Slinde worked through a rocky first inning after Beaver Dam scored five runs to hand the Vikings a loss on Thursday in Stoughton.
Estervig went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Stoughton battled back in the second. Curry had an RBI single and Milbauer walked with the bases loaded to cut the deficit to 5-2.
Slinde went four innings on the mound and gave up seven runs, four earned and walked two.
Beaver Dam 8, Stoughton 4
Estervig went 2-for-4 with an RBI, but the Vikings dropped a road game to Beaver Dam on Wednesday.
Milbauer had two RBIs. Stoughton used three pitchers. Curry started and went two innings and gave up four earned runs on four hits. He struck out one and walked two.