With their backs against the wall in a must-win game to have any chance of forcing a Home Talent League championship tiebreaker, Verona’s Justin Scanlon and the Cavaliers took care of business.
Scanlon went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead Verona to a 6-1 win over Sun Prairie on Sunday, Sept. 8, at Stampfl Field.
The Cavaliers (20-2) had to win and have Sauk Prairie lose to Evansville to force a winner-take-all championship game against the Twins. Evansville clipped Sauk Prairie 2-0 on Sunday, and both the Cavaliers and Twins finished the round-robin championship series 2-1. Verona will host Sauk Prairie in a championship tiebreaker at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Stampfl Field.
“It’s not a fun position to be in when you have to rely on another team to win and take care of business,” Scanlon said. “We were kind of put in a tough spot, but we did it to ourselves losing that first game. We just knew we had to take care of business.”
Scanlon lined a double to left to jump-start the Cavaliers in the bottom of the first against Sun Prairie. Mike Jordahl then crushed an RBI double off the fence in right field to score Scanlon.
“I like our chances when we score first,” Scanlon said. “We get the nerves out of the way and kind of let us relax.”
Verona broke the game open with a three-run second inning. Luke Yapp led off with a double and moved to third base on a passed ball. Nick Cheaney’s RBI groundout scored Yapp to give the Cavaliers a 2-0 lead. Klayton Brandt singled, and Jacob Slonim reached on an error. Brandt later scored on a wild pitch. Derek Burgenske came through with an RBI single to right to extend the Cavaliers’ lead to 4-0.
“We just had to go up there and have good at-bats and get the barrel to the ball,” Verona player-manager David Lund said.
“If we do that, than we will have good results. Everyone on the team is a good hitter, and we found some holes.”
Lund and Scanlon each added RBI singles in the fourth to give the Cavaliers a 6-0 lead.
Verona’s Kyle Nelson pitched six innings and gave up one run on four hits to earn the win. He struck out eight and walked one. John Moynihan pitched two shutout innings in relief and struck out three. Scanlon pitched a perfect ninth.
“He was filling up the strike zone,” Lund said of Nelson. “He was throwing all of his pitches for strikes and was attacking them. We didn’t want him to overdo it. His health is the No. 1 priority.”
Lund said the team wanted to get Moynihan and Scanlon some work on the mound in case they are needed against Sauk Prairie.
After walking Jaden Wilke to lead off the second, Nelson cruised, retiring 10 straight batters. Sun Prairie’s Justin Krebs came through with an RBI single in the fifth inning..
“Nelly is kind of an all-or-nothing guy,” Scanlon said. “He exerts a lot of energy It’s tough for him to go the distance.”