Pankow, A’s stifle Bandits

July 1, 2009

In his first start following a stint in the college-player Northwoods League, Derrick Pankow struck out 13 and led the Sheboygan A's to a 6-5 victory at Manitowoc on Tuesday.

Wisconsin State League

MANITOWOC — Manitowoc Bandits’ player/manager Josh Krowiorz needed to hear just one stat to sum up Tuesday’s 6-5 loss to rival Sheboygan at Municipal Field.

And it was a number he wasn’t O-‘K’ with.

“That was pretty much the reason we only scored in those two innings,” Krowiorz said of the 13 strikeouts Sheboygan starter Derrick Pankow registered against the Bandits on Tuesday. “(Pankow) was pounding the strike zone tonight. He was throwing strikes so we shouldn’t have been expecting him to walk the ballpark.

“And I think it is a little bit that we’re in a cold streak right now. The weekend took a lot out of us.”

It was the fifth straight loss for the Bandits and dropped Manitowoc to 19-13 overall this year. The Bandits also slipped to 9-10 in the Wisconsin State League and 7-5 in the Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League.

Things started out looking good for the Bandits when Kyle Schroeder followed up a Nat Richter double with an opposite field home run in the bottom of the first that staked Manitowoc to a 2-0 lead.

Sheboygan got a solo home run from Nohl DePies in the second inning and then took the lead with a three-run third, highlighted by Tim Patzman’s two-run dinger off Bandits’ starter Greg Herr.

“Greg left a couple of pitches up and we paid for that,” Krowiorz said of Herr, who did not walk a batter and struck out four, while allowing all six runs in seven innings of work. “The way he throws, he really needs to be pounding the knees and getting them to swing at his pitches.”

Manitowoc regained the lead in the fifth when it loaded the bases on Pankow on a hit batter, a single and a two-out walk to T.C. Lee. Max Stepan, who was 2-for-4, then drilled a line drive to the center-field fence that cleared the bases and gave the Bandits a 5-4 lead.

But Sheboygan answered with an RBI-single from Ryan Schmitz in the sixth to tie the score and then took the lead for good on Patzman’s two-out RBI-single in the seventh.

The Bandits got their lead-off man on in the eighth and had runners at first and second with two outs when Pankow struck out Brock Wetenkamp. The Sheboygan hurler then retired Manitowoc in order in the ninth, fanning Richter to end the game.

“Some of (our strike outs) might be that we don’t have a lot of guys on the bench, so nobody is really getting an off day and sometimes guys need a break to refresh,” Krowiorz said. “With the way we’re set up this year, we don’t have that opportunity.”

Notes: Richter joined Stepan as Bandits who finished with two hits, going 2-for-4 and also reaching on a hit-by-pitch. … Patzman finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs for Sheboygan, while Kreston Albright and Taylor Schwarz each chipped in two hits. … Neither starting pitcher (Pankow and Herr) walked a batter in the game, although Pankow did hit two batters. … Both centerfielders — the Bandits’ Lee and the A’s Albright — turned in defensive gems in the game. Lee robbed Greg Blohowiak of an extra-base hit when he made a running snare of his line drive in the left-center field gap to end the eighth inning. Albright made a diving grab on a bloop to shallow center field on Doug Bloom for the second out of the ninth inning.

The Wisconsin State League is one of the premier semi-professional/amateur baseball leagues in the mid-west. In operation since 1970, the Wisconsin State League is a highly competitive league that features many of the midwest's top current and former collegiate athletes, as well as many former professional baseball players. Keep up to date on everything happening in the Wisconsin State League by following the league online on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. | #WSL