Orphans fall in state baseball tourney
By Andy Gagnon
The Howard Lake Orphans played the veteran Watkins Clippers in the first round of the state tournament and lost, 4-1. This was the Orphans' third trip to the state tournament and, for the third time, they went one game and were out.
The Orphans stayed close with Watkins by good pitching and fair defense. In the first inning, Watkins showed their offensive power when Todd Geislinger, one of the four Geislingers to play in the game, belted a two-run homer over the right field fence.
Watkins put another man across the plate in the third off two Howard Lake errors. The Clippers hit a solo home run in the fourth for a 4-0 lead.
Chad Burau scored in the sixth to put the Orphans on the scoreboard. Both teams were held scoreless the last three innings.
Russ Green and Mike Gagnon each had a single, for the Orphans' only two hits.
Shane Heber took the loss, but pitched well. Heber went eight innings, gave up three earned runs, walked four, and struck out six.
In other state tournament play, the Litchfield Blues won their game against Cold Spring, 4-1.
The Orphans finished the season with a 16-14 overall record.
Orphan team players this year were Tom Herda, outfield; John Stueven, third base; Mark Stueven, outfield; Dean Gagnon, pitcher; Mike Gagnon, second base; Nick Main, catcher; Ben Borrell, outfield; Chad Williamson, shortstop; Kevin Gruenhagen, designated hitter; Jake Streich, pitcher; Dan Gruenhagen, third base; Shane Heber, pitcher; Bill Kinziger, designated hitter; Mike Kittock, outfield: Russ Green, shortstop; Chad Gagnon, pitcher; Chad Burau, catcher; Jay Reddemann, first base; and draftees: Kevin Werner, catcher; Paul Schumacher, pitcher.
The Orphans players appreciate the great support their fans have shown them, especially those who traveled to Hamburg to see the Orphans play in the state tournament.
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