Prep baseball roundup: Brookshaw hits three doubles in win
PRESCOTT -- Andrew Rozmairek didn’t blow anyone away and his fastball wasn’t unhittable, but it was well-located at the knees.
“You can do nothing but kill worms with pitches like that (as a batter),” Prescott head coach Jeff Ryan said his starting pitcher. “Even when he was missing he was missing down.”
Rozmairek struck out five batters and only allowed three hits in five innings before passing the baton to Petey Brookshaw who finished off St. Croix Central with two innings of relief to secure a 6-1 victory for the host Cardinals on Thursday, April 20 in Middle Border Conference prep baseball.
Brookshaw hit three doubles in a 4-for-4 performance at the plate.
“I didn’t think I was seeing the ball any differently today, I was just keeping my head on the ball,” Brookshaw said. “Wherever the ball was I was on it.”
In the sixth inning, Brookshaw hit a double over the left fielder’s head in a 2-strike count.
“It shows that if you keep your hands back and you throw the hands, and trust your hands, you still can make things happen,” Ryan said. “He was kind of out in front a little bit, but he threw his hands and the ball carried a bit out there.”
Brookshaw was just trying to put the ball in play with two strikes on him, much like junior catcher Joe Roosen in the fourth inning of a 1-1 ball game.
Roosen was in an 0-2 count and he expanded the zone, grounded out to the second baseman and brought in Noah Matzek, who proved to be the winning run.
It was a little different in Brookshaw's sixth inning at bat.
“I just didn’t want to put the at bat in the hands of an ump, so I was just trying to put the ball in play,” Brookshaw said. “Right away, I thought it was a pop up, but it just kept carrying.”
It kept carrying and slicing back over the outfielder’s head.
Brookshaw, who struggled at the plate last year, also went 3-for-4 earlier in the week against New Richmond.
“He’s really hitting the ball well right now,” Ryan said. “He’s zeroing in and he is hitting the ball really hard. Every time he gets up, we expect good things to happen and good things have been happening.”
Added Brookshaw about his recent stretch compared to last season: “My mentality is a lot better this year. Last year, every at bat I am telling myself not to settle for bloop hits, instead I’m up there trying to crush the ball every time and try to barrel it up.
“If I barrel it up and it’s right at ‘em then I still think of it as a successful at bat.”
Another area that the Cardinals have improved upon this year is their defense. Before the season started, senior Zach Dolan said the team was constantly reminded that it had more than 60 errors last season.
This season, the defense has been much improved.
“Last year, me and Luke (Murphy) probably turned 10 double plays all year,” Brookshaw said. “Everyone is playing well defensively. Our pitchers are doing really well to throw us ground balls. We’re just helping them out a lot more than we did last year.”
Murphy finished the day 2-for-3.
Ryan said the Cardinals turned their 12th double play of the season against the Panthers: “I think they are taking a lot of pride in their defense.”
Anytime the defense can pick up the pitching, it helps a pitcher throw with confidence. Rozmairek was no exception.
“I knew if I kept the ball down the only thing they could do was hit was ground balls,” Rozmairek said. “I don’t have to do much else because if they’re hitting ground balls, I trust our defense to make plays.”
Ellsworth 3, Osceola 1
Senior Jacob Sigler had two hits and went 5 ⅓ innings and struck out six batters as the Panthers (6-2, 4-1 MBC) defeated the host Chieftains (3-4, 2-3).
Sigler was 2-for-4.
Spring Valley 6, Plum City 5
Senior Sam Verges capped off a four-run bottom of the seventh-inning rally with a single to right field to score Dylan Bune and give the Cardinals a victory over the Blue Devils.
Brock Bune and Sean Borgerding, both seniors, were each 2-for-4. Borgerding threw 6 innings and struck out five batters. Pat Cipriano came on to pitch the seventh inning and was credited with the win.
Seth Schlegel was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
Plum City senior Ben Glaus was 2-for-4. Dalton Binkowski hit a double.