HUSTISFORD — Winning pitcher Griff Lietzau was 3-for-5 with five RBIs to power the Hustisford Astros to an 11-9 win over the Milton Raptors in the Rock River League Southern Division playoff opener on Saturday at Firemen’s Park.
The top-seeded Astros split their regular season series with fourth-seeded Milton and won the rubber match in a slugfest, just as they did in the previous meeting in Husty.
Hustisford scored 10 runs over the first four innings and added an insurance run in the seventh off Milton’s Sean McCann, who struck out five over the final four innings to give the Raptors a chance to rally.
Lietzau hit a two-run double in the first inning and a three-run homer in the second inning. Jami Kaul added a two-run homer in the first.
In the fourth, left fielder Tanner Galeazzi singled, stole second and scored on a single by Derek Merkes. Center fielder Hunter Nehls drove in Merkes with a base hit and scored on Casey Simon’s RBI single to make it 10-2.
Second baseman Sam Roeseler hit a chop single to left, stole second and third and scored on shortstop Aaron Roeseler’s RBI fielder’s choice in the seventh to put the Astros up 11-5.
Lietzau went five innings and allowed five runs on seven hits. He allowed Josh Shere’s two-run homer in the first and Noah Berghammer’s two-run single and J.T. Smithback’s bases loaded walk in the fifth.
Derek Pieper and Austin Massey finished up in relief, throwing strikes and riding their defense to victory. Milton hit a couple seeds to center but Nehls ran down both for key outs.
Galeazzi turned in the defensive play of the game in the fifth, hauling in Sam McCann’s fly ball to left and throwing Berghammer out at the plate on a high strike to catcher John Ellenberger to retire the side.
Milton scored three runs on six hits in the eighth and Sam McCann hit a two-out solo shot to left in the ninth, but Massey picked up the save when Dan Haueter grounded out to Sam Roeseler to end it.
HUSTISFORD 11, MILTON 9
Milton 200 030 031 — 9 14 0
Hustisford 430 300 10X — 11 11 1
LP: Sean McCann
Pitching (ip-h-er-bb-so) — M (Sean McCann 8-11-10-3-7)
H (Lietzau 5-7-5-4-2, Pieper 2.2-5-3-0-1, Massey 1.1-3-1-0-0)
Leading hitters — Berghammer (M) 3x5, Shere (M) 2x4, Malmanger (M) 4x4, Jacobson (M) 2x4
Lietzau (H) 3x5, S. Roeseler (H) 2x4
2B — M (Malmanger), H (Lietzau)
HR — M (Shere, Sam McCann) H (Lietzau, Kaul)