It was like Menomonee Falls area cable broadcasters William Hintz (also the Falls High School Principal) and Gerry Mislang said "We only come to the good ones."
And that's what area baseball fans got Friday afternoon, as Germantown led, rallied, led again and then had to rally one more time to outlast border rival and host Menomonee Falls, 9-6, in a nine-inning affair at Trenary Field.
"This is a big up for us," said Warhawk catcher Derek Strasser, who made two huge defensive plays to help keep Germantown in the game and also had a big two-run single in the top of the ninth. "I had this one marked on my calender all year after losing to them the last couple of years. It was good to finally beat them."
And the Warhawks (11-11 overall) did want to beat the Indians (21-7) as coach Parrish Wagner threw both of his top two pitchers (Tyler Wester and Mitch Andrus) in relief of sophomore starter Brandon Seifert, who did a splendid job early, retiring 12 of his first 13 batters.
"We wanted to avoid using them (Wester and Andrus), but we also didn't want them to go six days without pitching, which would have been the case," he said. Andrus got the win in relief, throwing the final two frames without allowing a baserunner.
Andrus also benefitted from a huge defensive play, as Falls got a runner to third with just one out in the eighth with the score tied 6-6. Wagner brought the infield in and saw Falls' Ryan Furrer hit a hard chopper to Jared Fon close to the shortstop's position.
Falls coach Pat Hansen, who has been discouraged by his team's passivity during a week where they lost four of five games, sent Joe Sanicola from third, but Fon's throw to Strasser was right on the money and Strasser easily tagged Sanicola out.
"We just can't seem to get over that hump," Hansen said. "You just can't play baseball in a nervous or timid manner. You've got to want to be in those kind of situations. You just can't wish or hope things to go well. You have to be confident and we're just not at that point."
And the Warhawks played confidently following the big out as to start the ninth, Tyler Wester walked, Ryan Seifert hit a flare that found ground in rightfield and Fon dropped a great bunt which he beat out to load the bases.
Mike Minsky then hit a groundout which brought in what proved to be the winning run and Strasser followed that with the backbreaker of a hard hit two-RBI single to left.
Andrus then put the top of the Falls order down one-two-three in the ninth.
Wagner has much to be encouraged by after his Warhawks won their third straight. People are getting healthy and are starting to contribute again. Fon's shoulder is getting better and second baseman Jordan Infield's steady recovery from a dangerous kidney injury early in the season might have him ready in a week or two.
"We're starting to build to where we want to be," Wagner said.
Strrasser gave Germantown a 1-0 lead in the second on a double off Falls starter Nick Held. The Indians took a 2-1 lead in the fifth with the help of a walk, a throwing error and Max Poeske's RBI groundout.
Germantown then touched Held and reliever Alex Sutherland for five runs in the sixth as Mike Minsky had a sacrifice fly, pinch-hitter Eric Brown an RBI single and Jordan Flasch a two-run double. Most of the runs were scored after two were out.
But after Strasser made a spectacular diving catch of a pop foul which he turned into a double play by throwing a bullet to third in the sixth, the Indians showed that they could mount a two-out rally too, scoring three times in their half of the frame to make it 6-5.
Sanicola had the big blow, a two-run triple off reliever Josh Peplin.
Falls tied it in the bottom of the seventh after senior Adam Bigus, who has battled shoulder problems, came up with a two-out RBI single.
The Indians got out of one jam in the eighth, as they caught a Germantown player in a rundown off third after a failed squeeze attempt.
"We still have a chance to finish well," Hansen said. "We do have two things going for us: talent and heart. We didn't make the plays today, but we didn't quit." It was Falls' first non-conference loss of the season.
Meanwhile, Wagner is hoping this win is a sign of good things to come.
"We played well for the most part and really put it together," he said. "It's a good momentum win. It always means a lot to win this game."
"We're a tight group of kids," he said. "We're starting to have fun."
That much showed.
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