Portland St. Patrick vs. Fowler – – Baseball District Semifinal – – The Bleacher Denizen – – May 31, 2024 – – by Chuck Krafft

Today, your Bleacher Denizen is off to Middleton where Fulton is hosting the baseball district tournament. The Fowler Eagles will play the Shamrocks from Portland St. Patrick. Both these teams have had excellent seasons. St. Patrick won the CMAC conference and Fowler was not far behind. Both teams have strong pitching and play consistent fundamental defense.

It’s a nice day for baseball and the people from Fulton are really gracious hosts. Your Bleacher Denizen forgot both sunscreen and a chair and Fulton personnel quickly got me both!

Fulton’s announcer is Dakota Malek; he is a junior at Fulton High and doing a great job!

Fowler won the coin flip and will be the home team. St. Patrick will bat first. Here are the starting lineups.

ST. PATRICK

Lucas Simon cf

Jerryd Scheurer ss

Charlie Thelen c

Brady Leonard p

Brayden Simon 3b

Simon White dh

Nathan Fears 2b

Devin Cook rf

Riley Mosser lf

Tyler Groothuis will play first base, but will not bat.

FOWLER

Conner Katich c

Carter Lance cf

Sam Vanneste p

Evan Curtiss dh

Adyn O’Rourke 1b

Mitchell Wirth 2b

Noah Schafer ss

Hudson Schlak 3b

MaClain Smith lf

Jon Ruiz will play right field, but will not bat.

It’s time to review this game through the somewhat and occasionally alert eyes of an Aging Bleacher Denizen who did not get far in baseball. It took far too long for him to realize that the cheers he got when he swung and missed were from opposing fans. Unfortunately, your Bleacher Denizen enjoyed the cheers and kept missing baseballs so he could hear more and more of them. His coach disagreed for some reason and benched him for most of the rest of the season.

Fowler Pitcher Sam Vanneste retired the three Shamrock first inning hitters on a strikeout, a fly to left field and a grounder to second base.

St. Patrick Pitcher Brady Leonard retired the first two Fowler batters on a grounder to first base and a liner to the shortstop. Sam Vanneste singled past the second baseman. Brady Leonard struck out the next Eagle batter to end the inning.

Brady Leonard walked to lead off the top of the second inning for the Shamrocks. The next hitter popped up a bunt to Pitcher Sam Vanneste, who alertly threw to first base to double off the runner. Sam Vanneste struck out the next Shamrock hitter to end the inning.

Brady Leonard struck out the first Eagle batter in the bottom of the second inning and retired the next hitter on a line drive to first base. Noah Schafer and Hudson Schlak walked. MaClain Smith singled to left field to drive Noah Schafer home from second base; Hudson Schlak advanced to third base. Brady Leonard retired the next batter on a grounder to first base for the third out.

Fowler scored one run in the bottom of the second inning to take a 1-0 lead.

Sam Vanneste struck out the first two Shamrock batters in the top of the third inning and got the third out on a grounder to second base.

Brady Leonard struck out the first two Eagle batters in the top of the third inning. Evan Curtiss (who is just back to playing baseball after suffering serious injuries to a knee and an elbow) singled to deep center field and took second base on a wild pitch. Fowler made its third out of the inning on a line drive to second base.

Lucas Simon singled down the left field line to open the top of the fourth inning for St. Patrick. Fowler Left Fielder MaClain Smith made an excellent play to get the ball and throw it back to the infield quickly to hold Lucas Simon to a single. Lucas Simon stole second base and took third base on a single to right field by Jerryd Scheurer. Charlie Thelen singled to center field to drive Lucas Simon home; Jerryd Scheurer advanced to second base.

T.J. Chamberlain entered the game as a courtesy runner for Charlie Thelen. Jerryd Scheurer advanced to third base and T.J. Chamberlain to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Brady Leonard. Brayden Simon beat out a bunt single; the runners at second and third held their bases. Sam Vanneste struck out the next two batters with the bases loaded to end the inning.

St. Patrick scored one run in the top of the fourth inning to tie the game at 1-1.

Brady Leonard retired the first two Eagle hitters in the bottom of the fourth inning on a groundout to second base and a strikeout. Hudson Schlak doubled down the third base line. Brady Leonard struck out the next hitter to end the inning.

Sam Vanneste retired the three Shamrock hitters in the top of the fifth inning on a popup to the shortstop and two strikeouts.

Brady Leonard retired the Eagle leadoff batter in the top of the fifth inning on a bouncer to the mound. Jerryd Scheurer reacted quickly and snagged a line drive at his shoestrings by the next batter. Tyler Groothuis made a long run to snare a foul popup to third base for the third out.

Jerryd Scheurer singled up the middle to lead off the top of the sixth inning for St. Patrick and went to second base on a wild pitch. Jerryd Scheurer went to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Charlie Thelen. Brady Leonard was safe at first base on a dropped popup. Jerryd Scheurer held at third base. Brady Leonard stole second base. Brayden Simon was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Fowler Third Baseman Hudson Schlak made a great diving catch of a bunted fly ball to record the second Shamrock out of the inning. Jerryd Scheurer scored, Brady Leonard went to third base and Brayden Simon to second base on a wild pitch. St. Patrick made the final out of the inning on a bunt to the pitcher.

St. Patrick scored one run in the top of the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead.

Evan Curtiss singled to left field to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning for Fowler. Drew Weber entered the game to pinch run for Evan Curtiss. The next Eagle batter was out on a foul popup to the catcher. Drew Weber advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Mitchell Wirth walked. St. Patrick Second Baseman made a fine catch running back in short right field on a bid for a single by Noah Schafer to get Fowler’s second out.

Hudson Schlak singled to right field to drive Drew Weber home; Mitchell Wirth advanced to third base on the play. Brady Leonard struck out the next Eagle batter to end the inning.

Fowler scored one run in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game at 2-2.

Devin Cook was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the seventh inning for St. Patrick. He took second base on a sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Tyler Thelen. The next Shamrock batter was out on a popup to third base. Jerryd Scheurer was intentionally walked. Devin Cook went to third base and Jerryd Scheurer to second when Charlie Thelen drew a walk.

T.J. Chamberlain entered the game as a courtesy runner for Charlie Thelen. Brady Leonard was hit by a pitch to force Devin Cook in with the go-ahead run. Jerryd Scheurer moved to third base and T.J. Chamberlain to second base. Sam Vanneste got the third out of the inning on a popup to the shortstop.

St. Patrick scored one run in the top of the seventh inning to take a 3-2 lead.

Jerryd Scheurer went to the mound to pitch for St. Patrick. Brayden Simon moved to shortstop and Brady Leonard took over at third base. Tyler Thelen went out to left field.

Shamrock Second Baseman Nathan Fears went back into right field to catch a fly to record the first Fowler out of the bottom of the seventh inning. Carter Lance singled to center field and stole second base. Sam Vanneste singled to left field to drive in Carter Lance with the tying run. Evan Curtiss singled to right field. Shamrock Right Fielder Devin Cook made a fine throw that was relayed to third base in time to catch the runner trying to advance. Jerryd Scheurer struck out the next batter to end the inning.

Fowler scored one run in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game at 3-3.

Somehow, it seems appropriate that this District Game between two of the top teams in the CMAC would go into extra innings. (This is at least the third epic district meeting between St. Patrick and Fowler that I have been privileged to write up. Both these schools are well-coached a play great baseball!!)

Adyn O’Rourke came in to pitch the eighth inning for Fowler. Sam Vanneste moved to first base.

Adyn O’Rourke struck out the Shamrock leadoff batter to open the top of the eighth inning. Nathan Fears beat out an infield single. Nathan Fears stole second base and went to third base on a wild pitch. Devin Cook walked and stole second base.

Nathan Fears scored and Devin Cook advanced to third base on a wild pitch. St. Patrick executed a squeeze bunt play. Tyler Thelen beat out the bunt for a single and drove in Devin Cook. Tyler Thelen advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Lucas Simon. Adyn O’Rourke got the next Shamrock hitter to bounce out to the mound to end the inning.

Portland St. Patrick scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to take an 5-3 lead.

Jerryd Scheurer retired the first two Fowler batters in the top of the eight inning on a grounder to third base and a grounder to second base. MaClain Smith was hit by a pitch. Jerryd Scheurer retired the next Eagle batter on a fly to center field to end the game.

Portland St. Patrick won the game 5-3 and will play Fulton in the District Final.

Hudson Schlak had two doubles, a single and one RBI for Fowler. Evan Curtiss had three singles. Sam Vanneste had two singles and one RBI. MaClain Smith had a single and one RBI. Carter Lance had a single.

Sam Vanneste pitched a great game. In seven innings pitched, he gave up three runs and five hits while striking out eight Shamrock hitters. Adyn O’Rourke pitched one inning giving up two runs and two hits while striking out one batter.

Jerryd Scheurer had two singles for St. Patrick. Charlie Thelen and Tyler Thelen each had one single and one RBI. Lucas Simon, Brayden Simon and Nathan Fears each had one single.

Brady Leonard pitched six innings for the Shamrocks. He gave up two runs and six hits while striking out seven batter. In two innings, Jerryd Scheurer gave up one run and four hits while striking out one batter.

Here is a play by play of the District Final between St. Patrick and Fulton. https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2024/06/01/portland-st-patrick-vs-fulton-baseball-district-final-the-bleacher-denizen-may-31-2024-by-chuck-krafft/

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