For the third consecutive season, Kettle Moraine has taken home a regional championship.
And just like in the previous two seasons, this one wasn’t easy.
Surviving a hard-fought battle from ninth-seeded Marquette University High School, the top-seeded Lasers used a big third inning and got clutch pitching and defense down the stretch to hang on for a 4-2 victory at Prucha Field at Jim Miller Stadium on the campus of UW-Whitewater.
The Lasers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning, scoring all three runs with two outs and getting clutch hits from the middle of their order.
Dylan Grove got KM on the board with an RBI single to center, plating Justin Yute. Austin Finn followed with an infield single that scored another run and Keith Koehn’s line drive single to center plated Grove to make it 3-0.
Senior Austin Finn was throwing a gem on the mound, allowing just two hits through five innings. However, he ran into trouble in the sixth, walking four to plate a run.
Sophomore Austin Wolf came in with one out in the sixth and got out of trouble, allowing just one more run on a sacrifice fly.
The Hilltoppers started the 7th inning against Wolf with back-to-back singles, but the lefty got Marquette’s three hitter, Brandon Johnson, to hit a groundball that Cory Ott turned into a 6-4-3 double play with a beautiful pick, killing the MUHS rally. Wolf then got Peter Sommerfeld to groundout to end the game.
Kettle Moraine advances into the Sweet 16 and will play fourth-seeded Brookfield East in the sectional semifinal Monday at 11 a.m. at Waukesha West High School.