Verona Cavaliers Home Talent Baseball Team Website
3/9/2013 - Verona Home Talent Season Preview
Home Talent League: Murphy's RBI single in 10th gives Verona title
BELOIT — The Verona amateur baseball team is back on top of the Home Talent League. Derek
Murphy’s RBI single to left field in the 10th inning scored Justin
Scanlon and sent Verona to an 8-7 victory over Orfordville that sealed
its fourth HTL title in five years Sunday. Verona ended the round-robin series with a 3-0 record, while Orfordville finished 1-2.
2012 Home Talent League Champions
"We came into this season with a totally different attitude,” said Verona starting pitcher Ben Wallace, whose team failed to make the playoffs last year. “No holds barred, pedal to the medal and be aggressive. We got a little cocky last year, expecting to get to the final four every year, but this year we took each inning a little more serious.”
Matt Peetz got Verona going in the first inning with an RBI groundout. Orfordville answered with a run in the bottom half.
“It’s always nice to get on the board first,” Verona manager Dale Burgenske said, “but good teams like Orfordville will come back.”
Verona took a 5-2 lead, scoring once in the third and twice in the sixth, but Orfordville came back to tie the game with a three-run seventh highlighted by a two-run double by Brandon Smith.
Verona’s Danny Koss doubled in two runs in the eighth before Orfordville again tied it on an RBI double by B.J. Cook and a single by Brent Cashore, setting the stage for Murphy’s 10th-inning heroics.
“Give credit to Orfordville, they never quit out there,” said Scanlon, who had three hits and two RBIs. “Lucky for us, we made a few more plays than they did today.”
Joe Lange pitched all 10 innings for Orfordville, allowing eight runs while walking six and striking out six.
“We had a great season,” Lange said. “This Verona team was the best-hitting team we faced all year.”
MONONA — After missing the Home Talent League playoffs last year, Verona players came into this season with something to prove.
Following a win over Black Earth last week in its last at-bat in the HTL round-robin final four, Verona scored early and often Sunday, cruising to an 18‑4 win over Monona to move within one game of gaining its fourth league title in five years.
Verona (21-1, 2-0) will visit Orfordville (16-4, 1-1), which fell in 10 innings to Black Earth, with a chance to clinch the championship next Sunday. Monona (15-5, 0-2), whose title hopes ended with the loss, will travel to Black Earth (13‑8, 1-1).
“Feels good, so far,” Verona manager Dale Burgenske said. “We had a lot of timely hitting, good defense and solid pitching today. You can’t take anything away from Monona, but we played a solid baseball game.”
Verona opened the scoring in the first inning when Matt Peetz doubled home Justin Scanlon with the first run. Verona added solo runs in the second and fourth before a five-run fifth inning blew the game open.
Danny Koss’ two-run homer was the highlight of the big fifth.
#11 Dan Koss
“When we’re hitting like this as a team, we’re unstoppable,” Koss said. “We got contributions from everyone in the lineup. When the bottom of the lineup is hitting, we are going to score runs.”
The bottom of the order was a combined 6-for-10 with six runs and four RBIs. Newcomer Klayton Brandt had four hits and three runs from the eighth spot in the lineup.
“I was just trying to contribute today and I got the job done,” Brandt said. “We were seeing the ball well and the hits were falling.”
Monona scored three runs in the fifth, but Verona scored 10 over the next three innings — off Monona starter Zac Najacht and two relievers — and never looked back.
“In order for us to be in this game, Zac has to be down in the zone with his pitches,” Monona manager Chris Alexander said. “We weren’t getting the calls and Zac had to alter his pitches. When he does that, hitters — especially Verona — are going to hit the ball. Give credit to Verona; they came in and scored runs.”
Verona 110 153 430 — 18 21 2
Monona 000 030 100 — 4 6 1
Pitchers — (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Wallace (W; 6-4-3-2-6), Niffenegger (2-1-1-0-3), Kroncke (1-1-0-0-2); Z.Najacht (L; 6-15-11-1-1), Seltzner (1-2-1-3-0), Petty (2-4-3-0-1).
Leading hitters — Ver — De.Burgenske (3x5), Spencer (3x5), Scanlon (3x6), Peetz (3x5), Brandt (4x4); HR — De.Burgenske, Spencer, Koss; 2B — Spencer, Scanlon, Peetz, Da.Burgenske; R.Parman.
HTL playoffs: Verona rallies past Black Earth with four-run ninth
September 02, 2012 •
VERONA — Manager Dale Burgenske didn’t have to wait long Sunday to see if his team was going to walk off a winner.
Verona HTL "Skipper" Dale Burgenske
Justin Scanlon’s one-out sacrifice fly scored pinch runner Josh Hainzinger with the decisive run as host Verona rallied for four ninth-inning runs in a 6-5 walk-off win over Black Earth in an opening semifinal game in the Home Talent amateur baseball league playoffs.
Verona (18-1, 1-0) will travel to Monona (15-4, 0-1) next week while Black Earth (12-9, 0-1) will host Orfordville (16-3, 1-0) in the round-robin format.
“What a great win for us today,” Burgenske said. “Everything they said about Black Earth’s pitcher (Lucas Hoeschele) coming into the final four he proved today. He was tough until the ninth inning. Fortunately, we scored one more run than they did.”
Hoeschele and Verona’s Ben Wallace matched scoreless innings until Black Earth took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a Kasey Parent single that scored Miles Potuznik, who tripled.
Verona HTL's Ben Wallace
Verona took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on an error and an RBI fielder’s choice by A.J. Stoffels. Black Earth seemingly took control by scoring four unearned runs in the top of the eighth to grab a 5-2 lead. Anthony Hoeschele reached on an error and scored on a fly ball by Josh Loebenstein. Two more runs scored on Matt Bakkum’s double before Bakkum scored on a single by Bryce Barsness.
David Burgenske opened the ninth with a single, Derek Burgenske was hit by a pitch and Zach Spencer walked to load the bases.
Matt Peetz’s two-run double pulled Verona to within 5-4.
“Leadoff hit, hit batter and a walk and you’re in trouble,” said Parent, who also is the Black Earth manager. “Good teams like Verona will make you pay for those mistakes.
“Give them extra runners and they will score runs. Pretty easy to get on base when you don’t have to hit the ball.”
Spencer went to third on the hit and scored on a groundout by Derek Murphy, setting the stage for Scanlon’s sacrifice fly to left.
“We fought to the end today,” said Peetz, who also singled and scored Verona’s first run. “With a 2-2 count, I was looking for a fastball on the outside corner.
“Hoeschele threw a pretty good pitch, a curveball on the corner. I made the adjustment and put the ball in play. I was just looking for something I could drive.”
Final Four Bound
Ben Wallace tossed seven scoreless innings and struck out 12 on Sunday, while Verona's offense made the most of six errors by rival Ridgeway in a 9-1 Western Section championship victory. The Cavaliers, who won the HTL championship for three consecutive years from 2008-2010, hadn't reached the Final Four since.
Scoreless through four innings, after the Cavaliers left the bases loaded with no outs in the fourth inning, center fielder Derek Burgenske gave Verona's offense a much-needed shot in the arm. Looking for a first pitch fastball from Ridgeway off-speed-dealing Chris Thousand, Burgenske turned on the first pitch he saw to lead off the fifth, driving the ball well over the pine trees in right field.
Verona scored one more on a wild pitch in the inning before breaking the game open with four runs in the sixth, highlighted by a Zach Spencer single, which skipped past the Cardinals left fielder. Ridgeway, which got the better of Verona last season in the playoffs, knocking the Cavaliers out of the secitional semifinals, had three errors in the inning.
Always home to a rowdy crowd, Ridgeway's cheering section brought a party bus to the field and continued to hit the refreshments, helping to polish off 10 cases of beer by the 7th inning.
"The atmosphere every time we play them is great. Verona manager Dale Burgenske said. "It brough out our fans today as well. I wish every game was like this."
Zach Spencer drove in three runs, while David Burgenske knocked in two more.
Verona (18-1) travels to Beloit on Sunday to play Orfordville (15-3). Game is at 1pm.
"The Packers and Badgers seasons are starting and we've got three more weeks to play baseball." said David Burgenske. "This is always a great time of year to play baseball."
The Orioles are coming off a 9-0 win over Southeast Section champion Albion - a game in which Joe Lange tossed a one-hitter and struck out 12.
Eastern Section champion Monona earned its first section championship since 2009, while Black Earth got 14 strikeouts from Lucas Hoeschele in 9-4 win over Reedsburg to also advnance.
NIGHT LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
A week behind in Thursday Night League playoff action after the entire league was rained out two weeks ago, Verona didn't show any signs of rust, holding off Ashton 4-3. Trailing 1-0 through four innings, the Cavaliers broke the game open with four runs in the fifth. Kyle Jenkins walked with the bases loaded to knot the score before Derek Burgenske hit a fielder's choice to plate one run and Spencer followed with an RBI single to score two more.
Cole "The Dark Knight" Kroncke scattered six hits and struck out three to earn the win. Kroncke continues to gain strides on the hill with his command. He has been a wonderful addtion to the Verona HTL pitching staff.
The Cavaliers host Waunakee in the 2nd round of the Night League playoffs tonight at 730pm in Verona.
Scanlon and Wallace Dominant in Win; Verona HTL Ready For Finals
Justin Scanlon provided all the offensive spark Verona HTL would need this past Sunday as they cruised to an 8-1 win vs. Argyle in the 2nd round of the Western Section playoffs. Scanlon had 3 RBI's on the day with a 2-out, 2-run single, and a an RBI double to straightaway center. Derek Burgenske and Zach Spencer also had multiple hit days to help the Verona offense.
With two weeks off, Verona ace Ben Wallace was fresh on the hill and on top of his game. Wallace was dominant on the hill finishing with 12 strikeouts.
The win sets up a rubber match with Western Section rival, #2 seeded Ridgeway. Earlier in the year, an undermanned Verona squad traveled to Ridgeway for a regular season contest where Verona lost 8-7. Later in the season, Verona trounced Ridgeway 12-1 in eight innings behind towering home runs from Matt Peetz and Derek Burgenske.
Since the 2002 season, Ridgeway and Verona have had their fair share of battles. In the regular season, (excluding 2007 - no scores on website), Verona is 10-7 vs. Ridgeway outscoring them 109-67. In the playoffs, Verona and Ridgeway have squared off 4 times since 2002, 3 of which were Sectional Final games in Verona. Verona is 3-1 in those contests outscoring them 51-17. Verona's only loss came last season in the Western Section semi-final game, with a 6-4 defeat, ending Verona's chances at a 4th straight HTL Championship. Verona HTL does not take Ridgeway lightly and for good reason.
Verona continues to play with a chip on their shoulder in 2012 after the early exit in 2011. They will be ready to play. Verona fans, get ready. Best baseball of the year yet to come.
|HTL: Kroncke leads Cavs in first-round victory
Cole Kroncke, a former Verona Area High School and Madison College pitching standout, decided to forego signing a 10-day contract with the Alexandria Beetles of the Northwoods League in order to help the top-seeded Cavaliers’ playoff run toward another Thursday Night League and Sunday championship.
“Alexandria is like seven hours away and I wasn’t going to see too many innings,” he said. “I decided I’d rather stay back in Verona and get some more innings.”
Sunday Kroncke was rewarded with his first playoff start against the eight-seeded Blanchardville Bullets on Sunday, striking out eighth in an 11-1 shellacking.
Verona shortstop Danny Koss doubled past a diving Blanchardville right fielder before designated hitter Derek Prochaska walked to drive Bullets starter David Cleary from the game to start the home half of the seventh.
Reliever Sam Wood watched second baseman Klayton Brandt advance both runners with a sacrifice bunt before left fielder David Burgenske singled in a run.
Leadoff hitter Derek Burgenske followed by dumping a pop up into the Bermuda triangle between third, short and left to score another run.
Third baseman Matt Peetz collected an RBI single following a Zach Spencer walk before Derek Murphy walked with the bases to plate a second run.
Catcher A.J. Stoffels ended the game via the 10-run rule, hitting a towering pop up into the sun, which was lost by three Bullets’ fielders on the left side of the field.
The win moved the Cavaliers, which won three straight HTL championships from 2008-10 (the only three Sunday championships in Verona history), one step closer to the Final Four. Verona was upset by Ridgeway in the sectional semifinal round last season.
Despite the final, Blanchardville jumped out to an early lead Sunday off Kroncke.
Kyle Lyne led the game off by roping a leadoff double into the left-center field gap. Mike Cleary and Trevor Theobold hit back-to-back singles two outs later to plate a run.
“I had to work out the kinks early on,” Kroncke said. “I feel like I get stronger as the game wears on though.”
Kroncke settled down from there, not allowing another run for the rest of the game, while scattering five hits over the final six innings.
Just his third start on Sundays, it was Kroncke’s second against Blanchardville this season.
“I knew what to expect their lineup to look like and the hitters’ approaches at the plate,” he said. “I had a lot more confidence coming into this game.”
Bullets starter David Cleary, meanwhile, struggled with his accuracy, walking nine through six innings.
Derek Burgenske smacked a full-count single in the bottom of the first before Spencer fisted a ball over the shortstop.
Peetz then walked to load the bases before Murphy was hit by a pitch to tie the game.
Another walk to Stoffels reloaded the bases for the Cavaliers before Danny Koss followed with the team’s second bases-loaded walk to push Verona’s lead to 3-1. Prochaska’s RBI single capped the scoring one hitter later.
Peetz singled in a run in the second, while Prochaska knocked in another in the third.
Verona hosts Argyle, which defeated Dodgeville 4-1, at 1 p.m. next Sunday. Wiota travels to Ridgeway in the section playoff game next Sunday.
Earlier in the week the Cavaliers kept their Central Division Night League playoff hopes alive with a 9-8 win over Stoughton in the bottom of the final inning.
Knotted at 8-all through five innings, Verona picked up an RBI double from Stoffels to plate Murphy for the go-ahead run.
Stoffels drove in a pair of runs in a 5-run first inning, and Derek Burgenske and Peetz added two more in the fourth.
Stoughton’s Steve Pennekamp and Ron Vosberg hit a two-run home run and solo shot in the loss.
|HTL: Peetz, Burgenske power Cavaliers
Center fielder Derek Burgenske and the Verona Home Talent team have made a habit of ending games early via the 10-run rule on Sundays.
The Cavaliers, in fact, had already 10 runned everyone in the Western Section at least once, if not twice this season, with the exception of Ridgeway, which Verona hosted on Saturday.
Simply looking to avenge its 8-7 loss to the host Cardinals earlier this season, Verona collected a grand slam from Matt Peetz and a three-run walk-off home run from Derek Burgenske en route to the 12-1 victory in eight innings.
Verona hadn’t 10 runned the Cardinals in more than a decade.
“That was my dream come true,” Cavaliers manager Dale Burgenske said. “We’d 10 runned everyone in our section, once if not twice. I was dreaming about it all week long.”
With Verona already leading 5-1, Ridgeway relief pitcher Miles Rolli serving up a high fastball, which Peetz easily turned into a grand slam as part of a four-run seventh inning.
Looking to get a pitch to drive with the bases loaded, Peetz got under the ball, carrying it over the right field fence.
“I hit it square,” said Peetz, who walked twice and singled in the win. “I had another, lower pitch, which I missed earlier. It felt like redemption to tee off on one today.”
One inning later, center fielder Derek Burgenske, who was hitless in the team’s loss at Ridgeway earlier this season, connected on a 1-0 fastball of his own. A pitch up and in, Burgenske teed off on for a three-run walk-off home run.
Klayton Brandt started things off with a leadoff single before A.J. Stoffels drew a one-out walk.
With Burgenske heading to the plate, Peetz, who had already hit his grand slam jokingly said, ‘Don’t let me get up.’
Never one to lack confidence at the plate, Derek Burgenske shot back, “You’re not getting up.”
The contribution of former Verona and Michigan State standout Justin Scanlon and Stoffels, who weren’t in Ridgeway earlier this season, couldn’t be overlooked.
Scanlon led off the seventh with a single up the box, which was followed by a Stoffels single before Derek Burgenske walked to the load the bases and chase starter Austin Jones from the game.
Despite the lopsided final score, Verona trailed 1-0 through the first three innings.
Ridgeway struck first in the top of the third when Adam Halverson hit a slicing double away from Derek Burgenske. Laying out to try for the highlight reel grab, Burgenske couldn’t come up with the ball, allowing Cameron Schwoob, who had walked with one out, to score.
The Cavaliers would only trail for one more inning before springing on Ridgeway for five runs in the home half of the fourth.
Derek Burgenske singled off first baseman Kevin Oimoen to lead off the inning. Peetz and Derek Murphy then drew back-to-back walks to load the bases for Danny Koss, who scored Burgenske with a bloop single.
Derek Prochaska followed that up, hitting into a fielder’s choice at home plate, which helped Verona take the lead for good as the Cardinals’ catcher threw the double play attempt at first into right field.
The free passes kept coming as the Cavaliers picked up a third walk in the inning by Brandt, which reloaded the bases. David Burgenske walked to score the third run of the inning before Scanlon reached base on a second error to push Verona’s lead to 5-1.
Ridgeway had its chances to cut into the lead, leading off the fifth with a free pass and another in the sixth with two outs – both off full-count walks. Cardinals’ Zak Arneson single over Scanlon at shortstop to lead off the seventh and singles by Chris Thousand and Oimoen with one out also resulted in stranded baserunners as Verona southpaw Ben Wallace and right-hander Matt Niffenegger combined to toss a three-hitter.
The Cavaliers, who had lost three-straight to Ridgeway, including last season’s West Section semifinal game, 6-4, gave both pitchers plenty of cushion.
And behind the plate the Cavaliers benefited from an expanded strike zone, which Wallace took full advantage of with a pair of full-count strikeouts in the first inning.
“Down in Ridgeway it was a tight zone, but you have to work with whatever the umpire is calling and in that case it was frustrating for Ben to have to throw it right down the middle,” Peetz said. “Today the corners were open and it really does help a pitcher when they can throw their whole repertoire and hit their spots. I think that really took the pressure off Ben.”
The win guaranteed Verona home-field advantage throughout the playoffs all the way up to the Final Four – a good thing since the Cavaliers will most likely see the Cardinals again in a rubber match during the postseason.
“They have a great crowd,” Derek Burgenske said. “They can be a bit rowdy at times, but we love playing against them. It’s just a fun, competitive game.”
Verona hosts Wiota at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in a make-up game. The Cavaliers wrap up the regular season at 1 p.m. Sunday in Blanchardville.
Verona 10, Argyle 8
The Cavaliers locked up their eighth-straight regular season Southeast Section title, dating all the way back to 2004 when the team finished second behind undefeated Wiota, with Sunday’s 10-8 come-from-behind victory over visiting Argyle.
Having already singled once in the inning, Koss (2-for-4) delivered a tie-breaking triple to highlight a seven-run bottom of the sixth for Verona.
Zach Spencer (2-for-5), who was not at Saturday’s game, drove in five runs, including a two-run home run and a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth that proved to be the go-ahead run.
Peetz (3-for-4) added another home run for Verona, which trailed 8-2 entering the bottom of the sixth.
Verona didn’t have a Thursday Night League game last Wednesday as the team’s Central Section Night League game at Poynette was rained out. Still in the playoff hunt at 6-1, the Cavaliers host Ashton (5-2) this Thursday and Stoughton (6-1) on Aug. 2. The Night League playoffs start Aug. 9.
Verona Power Blasts Hollandale
Matt Peetz hit two solo home runs and veteran Nick Krohn blasted a grand slam in a 10-run third inning Sunday as the Verona Cavaliers pounded out a 16-5 win in seven innings over host Hollandale.
Peetz, who finished 3-for-4, bookended the Cavaliers’ scoring in the inning with his solo home runs.
Matt Niffenegger tossed three innings, scattering three hits, while allowing three earned runs for a no-decision. Matt Gust earned the win, surrendering two runs on two walks and four hits.
Verona HTL welcomed back former VAHS and Michigan State standout Justin Scanlon who also blasted a home run and also tossed an inning in his season debut.
Derek Burgenske went 4-for-5, while older brother David Burgenske was 3-4 and Nick Krohn was 2-for-4.
David and Derek Burgenske each added a double, as did teammates Derek Prochaska and Zach Spencer.
Leadoff hitter Derek Burgenske (3-for-5) scored five times in the blowout, while Cole Kroncke earned his first Sunday win of the season, striking out four and walking three in seven innings of work.
Josh Hainzinger tossed the final inning, walking two, while allowing one earned run.
Wallenhorst took the loss for the Knights.
Zach Spencer (2-for-5), Derek Murphy (2-for-6), Lucas Yapp (2-for-3) and Peetz (3-for-5) all had multiple hits. Zach Spencer added an exclamation point in the top of the 8th inning with a 400 foot blast over the right field fence.
The extra basehits kept coming, however, as Derek Burgenske doubled twice and Prochaska, Yapp and Peetz all added another.
|Home Talent League: Offense heats up to edge Monroe in a slugfest
Following a tough loss to second-place Ridgeway, the Verona Home Talent team once again found itself in a battle Sunday against Monroe.
On the scorched Stampfl Field, bad hops and quick grounders were the norm, but it was one tough bounce that ended up sealing Verona’s fate in its 10-8 win.
Zach Spencer came up in the top of the sixth, and he crushed a ball over the center fielder’s head, but a strange ricochet off the wall pushed the ball back toward the infield without anyone in the vicinity.
The result was a 3-run inside-the-park home run and all the cushion the Cavaliers needed to get back on the winning track.
“It was a good finish for us,” head coach Dale Burgenske said. “Sometimes when you lose a couple of games, you start having some doubt.
“Monroe came in today and hit the ball well. We just outhit them.”
The extra runs also helped Matt Niffenegger who relieved Ben Wallace in the sixth to hold the win.
“This was big for the team, and I felt good out on the mound,” Niffenegger said. “When Zach got that hit, it was nice because it provided more cushion.”
The offense started off hot from the start for Verona, as it built a 7-3 lead through four innings, but the two runs in the fourth seemed to put Verona in control.
After Monroe scored twice in the top of the fourth to cut the Cavaliers’ lead to 5-3, Verona came right back and made up the runs in the bottom half of the fourth.
Nick Krohn singled and David Burgenske walked to put runners on first and second.
Derek Burgenske then hit a hard chopper to the first baseman that bounced off his chest, allowing everyone to be safe.
Now with the bases loaded, Spencer hit an RBI fielder’s choice, and A.J. Stoffels hit an RBI sacrifice fly to left field.
Monroe came back with three runs in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to 7-6, but Spencer was able to earn those three runs back with his home run in the sixth, which scored David and Derek Burgenske.
Monroe scored once in the eighth and once more in the ninth, but the Cavaliers were able to hold on.
Spencer hit an RBI triple in the first and scored on an RBI groundout by Matt Peetz to start the offense.
The Cavaliers added two more runs in the second on a 2-run triple by Derek Burgenske, and it added another run in the third on an RBI triple by Danny Koss.
Wallace was the winner. He went five innings and allowed six earned runs on 11 hits. He struck out five and walked two. He also hit a batter.
Niffenegger pitched four innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked three.
|HTL: Cavaliers' take a fat lip in loss at Ridgeway
Verona Home Talent has talked all season about playing with a chip on its shoulder. Sunday that chip and second baseman Klayton Brandt’s lip both got a little bigger in an 8-7 loss.
Having won three straight league championships, the Cavaliers lost 7-2 at home to Western Section rival Ridgeway during the regular season a year ago before then being ousted 6-4 in the semifinals by the Cardinals.
Having just gone down a run the inning before, Derek Prochaska walked, and Danny Koss beat out an infield single to start what was shaping up as a promising third inning for Verona.
Digging in, Brandt took a pitch off his lower lip, which after shaking it off and staying in the game, loaded the bases with no outs.
The Cavaliers’ best chance to score all day, the third ended with a strike out, a pop out to third and one of several highlight-reel grabs by right fielder Miles Rooli.
Still the biggest blow dealt to the Cavaliers was off the bat of Rooli.
Hitting at the bottom of the order, Rooli stepped in with one out and two runners on – after Verona southpaw Ben Wallace walked Aaron Culver and Weston Peterson in the home half of the third inning – and smoked a 3-run homer that put Ridgeway on top 8-4.
Verona managed to chip away at the Cardinals’ lead with two runs in the seventh and another in the ninth inning.
With the section once again shaping up as a two-way race this season, the loss knocked Verona from the ranks of the unbeaten to 8-1 with a one-game lead over the Cardinals (7-2).
Only Albion (9-0) has a spotless record so far this season.
Derek Prochaska and ?? singled home a run in the first inning.
Ridgeway answered promptly in the home half of the first inning as lead-off hitter Tyler Peterson singled and proceeded to steal second and third base. One out later Chris Thousand singled to left where the ball got past Kyle Jenkins.
Wallace worked out of the inning without any further damage, but struggled with a sporadic strike zone through a season-low three innings of work.
Still, the Cavaliers managed to keep the pressure on offensively, plating a pair of runs in the second.
Ridgeway’s Weston Peterson walked the bases loaded with back-to-back free passes to Derek Burgenske and Zach Spencer.
One of the few bright spots at the plate for Verona, Matt Peetz (3-for-4) singled home a run before Derek Murphy (3-for-5) continued his tear, plating another on a fielder’s choice at second.
Though leading 4-1 through an inning-and-a half, the Cavaliers watched their lead dissipate quickly in the home half of the second as an error and two walks helped the Cardinals cut the lead in half.
Thousand added an RBI on a sacrifice fly with two outs before clean-up hitter Kevin Oimoen put the Cardinals up for good with a 2-run shot to left field for a 5-4 lead.
Brandt finished 3-for-3 at the dish, including a lead-off double to start the ninth. The Cavaliers, however, left 11 runners on base.
Neither Burgenske or Spencer collected a hit.
“I can’t remember a game where that has happened,” said Burgenske, who walked in the second inning and plated runs on a sacrifice fly in the seventh and a ground out in the ninth.
One good sign for Verona was reliever Matt Niffenegger, who only allowed two hits and a walk, while striking out four in five innings.
“That was the best my arm has felt in a long time,” said Niffenegger, who has battled a series of injuries over the past couple of seasons.
The Cavaliers’ throttled Argyle 16-3 on Saturday highlighted by a six-run sixth inning in which Lucas Yapp smacked a 2-run double.
Verona hosts Monroe on Sunday at 1 p.m. before traveling to Dodgeville on Wednesday, July 4.
Verona fell 4-3 in eight innings to Muskego at the SWABA tournament last Tuesday in Johnson Creek.
Cole Kroncke struck out eight, but walked six in the loss.
Despite trailing 5-3 and committing eight errors, the Cavaliers managed to fight back for an 8-6 Thursday Night League win over Utica at Stoughton High School.
Matthew Gust went the distance to earn the win, striking out five. The Cavaliers are at DeForest at 6 p.m. this Thursday.
/22/2012 6:00:00 AM
HTL: Cavaliers drop second-place Dodgeville in five innings
Derek Prochaska and Danny Koss went a combined 3-for-6 with seven RBIs last Saturday as the Verona Cavaliers thumped rival Dodgeville 11-1 in five innings.
Always a heated rivalry, the undefeated Cavaliers were looking forward to a challenge from the second-place Knights.
A challenge was far from what Verona received, though, as starter Ben Wallace only allowed four hits in seven innings of work.
“Today showed there is a big difference between first and second place,” manager Dale Burgenske said. “Ben tossed another great game and we put ourselves right where we want to be with the win.”
Verona improved to 6-0 on Sundays, while Dodgeville dropped to 5-3. The Cavaliers ‘nemesis, Ridgeway (6-2) sits in second place, while Wiota is 4-2.
Wallace was far from lights out, however, walking six.
The Cavaliers defense was solid behind the southpaw though, including a 3-6-3 double play in the top of the fourth to end the inning following a lead-off single from Eric Rohowetz.
Already leading 4-1 entering the third, Prochaska grounded into a double play which scored Derek Murphy, who led things off with a stand up double.
Koss, who had already come up clutch in the Cavaliers’ two previous games last week, followed by blasting a solo home run to the pine trees in center.
“One through nine we put the ball in play hard somewhere. We are one of the better hitting teams in the league,” said Prochaska, who bats sixth in the order. “We’ve got three pennants and the goal is always to get another.”
Zach Spencer later smoked a double to score Derek Burgenske, who has hit by a pitch to start the fourth.
Newcomer Lucas Yapp then crushed a 2-run double off the fence and Koss banged a 2-run single before Mark Ludwig came on in relief.
Ludwig, who walked three, only allowed one hit in the final 2 2/3 innings. The damage had already been done though, as Brennum walked seven and surrendered 11 runs on eight hits.
The Knights’ lone run came in the top of the second inning after Rohowetz singled and reached second on a David Burgenske error in left. A wild pitch by Wallace moved the runner to third before Nick Crowley grounded out to plate a run for the second out of the inning.
Wallace induced Brandon Weier to hit into an inning-ending ground ball, though.
Verona blew open the game in the home half of the first inning.
Matt Peetz singled home Verona’s first run before Derek Murphy smashed a one-hop double to the left-field wall. They were the Cavaliers’ only hits of the inning as lefty Greg Brennum walked two and hit one more in the inning.
Prochaska walked with the bases loaded to plate a third run before Klayton Brandt grounded out to knock in the fourth.
“It’s a good league,” Prochaska said. “But this season we are playing with a chip on our shoulder. We’re just taking it one at a time whether we score 10 or 14 runs.”
Verona 9, McFarland 6
The Cavaliers’ run at perfection was nearly derailed for the first time last Thursday.
Josh Hainzinger, who got the start on the mound, looked sharp as the Cavaliers built a 6-0 lead through five innings.
That was before the wheels fell off in the top of the sixth.
Verona committed two errors and dropped two routine fly balls to go down 7-6 in the bottom of the sixth inning against McFarland.
The Cavaliers rallied in the top of the seventh, however, as Derek Murphy, Zach Spencer and Koss each drove in a run in a seventh-inning rally.
Utica hosts Verona in a Central Night League game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Stoughton High School.
Verona HTL Take Down Five O's
Verona HTL traveled to Johnson Creek on Tuesday, June 12th to take on the 2012 SWABA Tournament champions Oconomowoc Five O's.
Cole Kroncke took the mound for the first time this season after a very successful run with MATC-Madison. Cole was strong scattering 6 hits and only giving up 1 earned run over 4 2/3 innings. Dan Koss came in to close the door in the final two innings.
The Verona bats exploded in the top of the 4th inning putting up 6 runs on 6 hits to take a 6-0 lead. Derek Burgenske's 2-run double highlighted the inning which was the difference in the 7-5 victory. Derek Burgenske finished 2x4 with a double and 2 RBI. David Burgenske, Derek Murphy, and Dan Koss all had multiple hit days.
The team faces Muskego in the 2nd round of the SWABA Tourney next Tuesday, June 19th at Johnson Creek. The game is scheduled at 8:30pm but Verona HTL has requested the earlier game at 6:30pm. Stay tuned.
Lo-Night for Lo-Di
Verona HTL got solid pitching from Matt Gust and Ben Wallace provided a 2-RBI triple to beat Lodi 11-1 improving Verona's Night League record to 4-0. Rookie Luke Yapp also contributed as he roped his first 2 RBI single of the season. Yapp will play a big part in Verona's quest in winning the Sunday and Night League championships this season.
Gust pitched well going the distance. He continues to play a big role in the depth of Verona HTL's pitching staff.
Bats Red Hot in Second Defeat of Platteville
Verona bats scorched the pitching of the Platteville Woodchucks. Leading the charge was a 4x5 performance from left fielder David Burgenske. He finished the day with a pair of RBI's. Derek Murphy continued his red hot season adding 3 hits and increasing his ridiculuos batting average to over 700.
Bullets Flying in Verona
The Blanchardville Bullets were no match for the Cavaliers of Verona on Sunday as Verona pounded out 15 runs on 13 hits.
Verona Travels to Northern Wisconsin
You'd never believe it but the Verona Home Talent Baseball squad had to travel over 70 miles to play a Thursday Night League game. The Montello Muskrats are in their first season of Home Talent. Verona won 5-2.
Railmen Rolled in Rio
The top of the Verona order went 1-2-3 in the top of the 1st inning thanks to an inning ending 4-6-3 double play and the Rio Railmen got 3 runs with 2 outs in the bottom half to jump out to a 3-0 lead. That was as good as Rio would feel all night.
Matt Gust settled down on the hill finishing with an 8-strikeout, 6-hit complete game win as Verona pounded out 14 runs on 14 hits. Gust showed great poise on the mound as he took control of the game for Verona.
Verona hitters chewed up Rio pitching facing 6 different arms on the evening. Derek Burgenske continued his hot hitting with a home-run short of the cycle. He erupted for 3 hits in 4 at-bats with a double, triple, and 3 RBI's. David Burgenske tied the game in the top of the 2nd inning with a 2-run single. Derek Murphy, who finished 3x3 at the plate, scorched an RBI double in the gap which followed Derek Burgenke's RBI triple to open up the Verona lead for good. Dan Koss was 2x3 with a double and an RBI and Nick Krohn was 2x4 with an RBI.
Verona plays in Northern WI next Thursday against the Montello Muskrats.
Total mileage for Verona HTL Night League - 463; Waunakee - 13
Windy City of the West Can't Stop Verona Bats
It seems every year the Verona Home Talent team plays on the road in Monroe, the wind is blowing straight in from center field at a minimum of 25 MPH. Verona HTL charges on as only a veteran ball club would do. Verona took care of business with a solid 10-4 win over Monroe to move to 2-0 in the Western Section.
Matt Niffenegger got his first start of the season. Niffy went six, and Wallace/Koss finished up the last few innings for the victory. Verona adjusted to the playing conditions and battered Monroe pitching with 10 runs on 16 hits.
Another big day at the plate for Derek Burgenske and Matt Peetz as they combined for 6 hits, 3 doubles, 4 runs, and 2 RBI's. Ben Wallace, Klayton Brandt, Nick Krohn all had 2-hit days with Krohn and Brandt each adding 2 RBI's. David Burgenske added a 2 RBI single in the 8th inning to help stretch the Verona lead.
Verona plays at Platteville next Sunday looking to stay undefeated.
Defending Night League Champion Verona Starts Hot
Coming off a 2011 Home Talent League Night League Championship season, the Verona Cavaliers shot out of the gates with an 11-0 romping of Waunakee. The game was called after only 5-innings courtesy of a 10-run rule. Verona bats pounded out 11 hits and Danny Koss was sharp in his first outing on the hill throwing a 3-hit, 5 inning shutout.
Multiple Verona HTL hitters had solid days at the plate. The Verona Cavs exploded in the 3rd inning with 6 runs on 5 hits highlighted by two doubles from Derek Burgenske to opposite sides of the park. Derek Burgenske, Matt Gust, and Derek Murphy all had 2-hit days. Burgenske was 2x3 with 2 runs and 2 doubles. Klayton Brandt powered up for a double to deep left field in the 2nd inning to highlight his 1x1, 1 run, 2 BB, and 3 RBI day. Gust and Murphy were each a perfect 2x2 and and both adding RBI's.
Derek Burgenske was 3x4 with 2 runs, 2 doubles, and an RBI and Matt Peetz was 3x5 with 2 runs, a double and an RBI.
Verona Opens with dominating win over Hollandale
Ben Wallace and the Verona Home Talent team opened up the 2012 season in dominating fashion with a 10-2 win over Hollandale. Wallace scattered 4 hits in 6 innings and 8 K's while the Verona bats took care of the rest.
It only took one time through the order for Verona Cavs hitters to get back to their old ways of scattering hits all over the field. Derek Burgenske, Zach Spencer, and Matt Peetz all had two hits on the day. Matt Peetz blew the game open with a 2-run triple in the 8th inning. Peetz finished with 3 RBI on the day.
Cavaliers Hungry for 2012 HTL Sunday Title
After a disappointing finish to the 2011 Sunday League season, the Verona Cavaliers are hungry to begin another run for their fourth Home Talent League Championship. After winning three straight crowns (’08, ’09, ’10), the Cavs failed to become the first team in Home Talent League history to win four straight titles. Verona did claim their 2nd Night League Title in four years to finish 2011 with a 28-4 overall record, the best single season record in team history (.875). Verona is 202-43 since 2005, with a Sunday League record of 143-18.
Verona returns the majority of their roster from last year; however, there is plenty of uncertainty remaining. Cole Kroncke, who dominated the 2011 Night League Playoffs on the mound, is finishing up his 2nd year at Madison College and is waiting to hear if he will be picked up by a Northwoods League ball club. If Kroncke is available for the Cavs this summer, he will join a dominant pitching staff led by veterans Ben Wallace and Matt Niffenegger. Other contributors on the mound will be Danny Koss, Matt Gust, Josh Hainzinger, Zach Spencer, and Landon Flora.
Another question mark will be the availability of shortstop Justin Scanlon, who is currently finishing his final season at Michigan State University. Scanlon will finish his baseball career in May, but will remain in East Lansing to finish out his remaining credits in summer school. Scanlon is due to graduate in early August, so the Cavs could get a nice boost to the lineup come playoff time.
What we do know about the Cavs, is they will return their strong hitting lineup. The outfield will be roamed by the top two finishers in the Western Section Batting Race, Derek Burgenske and Zach Spencer. David Burgenske, AJ Stoffels, Landon Flora, and Billy Engelhart will also play big roles.
The infield will be led by Matt Peetz (4 Batting Titles), Danny Koss, Nick Krohn, Klayton Brandt and Matt Gust. Derek Murphy, returning from a torn hamstring in the 2011 playoffs, will also play a key role in the infield this season. The Cavs will also look to add some youth to the infield as they will be adding Kyle Jenkins (2011 Verona Grad), and Luke Yapp (2012 Verona Grad). Rounding out the infield, behind the dish will be Andy Nettum, A.J. Stoffels, and Derek Murphy.
Manager Dale Burgenske returns for his 15th season. The team will open up at home on Sunday, May 6th at 1pm vs. the Wiota Indians.
Home Talent League 2011 Night League Champions; Kroncke Pitches Verona HTL to Title
|Verona wins Night League championship, first since 2007, with a 4-0 win over Orfordville
Rather than being disappointed about seeing limited time on Sundays, Kroncke was dominant throughout the playoffs allowing one earned run in four games.
“Ben Wallace (Verona’s Sunday starter) is a really good pitcher,” Kroncke said. “I’m just going out there whenever they tell me to and try and compete for the win every time.
“I’m not worried about when I am pitching. I’m about winning ”
This summer gave Kroncke the opportunity to throw about 50 or 60 innings.
“You figure out your mechanics on your own over the summer and put them in play,” Kroncke said. “Home Talent is a good time.”
After walking the first batter on four pitches Wednesday, Kroncke settled in, allowing just four hits over seven innings in the win.
“Walking that leadoff hitter usually comes back to bite you, but thankfully I was able to find the zone quickly,” he said.
Kroncke struck out the final two Orioles hitters he faced in the bottom of the first before Matt Peetz put the game out of reach in the home half of the inning.
Following Derek Burgenske to the plate after a two-out bloop single, the left-handed hitting Peetz turned on a Joe Lange hanging curveball, which he roped over the right-field fence.
Much like Kroncke, the left-handed Lange was no slouch in the playoffs, tossing a no-hitter against Argyle before shutting out Platteville 2-0 and Dodgeville 4-0 to vault the Orioles into the championship game against Verona.
“It felt really good to jump on them right away, since no one had scored off him in the playoffs,” manager Dale Burgenske said.
It was also nice for Peetz to come through with a big hit.
“Matt hasn’t hit as many home runs this year as we thought he’d have, but it was great time for him to come through,” Burgenske added.
Also struggling lately, Prochaska picked a good time to come through as well, connecting for the Cavaliers’ second two-run home run in the fourth inning following a walk to Peetz.
“He (Lange) throws well,” Prochaska said. “He throws hard enough that you’ve got to respect his fastball and he gets you off-balance.”
Prochaska, who saw one curveball his first at bat, watched one in his second plate appearance before ripping the third into the night sky and over the left-field fence.
“He had a lot of bite on that pitch,” Prochaska said. “I think he was trying to put it in the dirt and sat there about thigh high and I put a good swing on it.”
One run would have been plenty for Kroncke almost any night he took the mound the past month.
“Cole is a hell of a pitcher,” Prochaska said. “Allowing one earned run all postseason, you’ve got to tip your hat to him.”
Verona finished the season a combined, 28-4.
“Any other team in the league that had a season like that would think it’s the greatest record of all-time,” Burgenske said.
It left the Cavaliers disappointed, though, slipping up against Ridgeway on their way for what the team had hoped would be a fourth-straight Sunday championship.
“It’s bittersweet,” Prochaska said. “We come out to play every Thursday and Sunday to win. We got beat by Ridgeway and it stung, but we regrouped and said, ‘Let’s go win Thursday, and that’s what we did.”
The Cavaliers, who clinched their fifth title (the second night league championship) over the past five seasons, are hoping it bodes well for next year.
“Hopefully, that’s a trend – win Night League and then three in a row,” Prochaska said.
It could have very well been the final HTL appearance for Kroncke, who is going to be a second-year pitcher at Madison College.
“If I can play in the Northwoods League next year – I’d love to do it,” Kroncke said. “But I’d always like to come back and play for Verona.”
“We might lose him next year, but everybody on the team would want that for him,” manager Dale Burgenske said. “Hopefully, he’d get picked up by the Mallards and we would come watch him.”
Verona is also hoping to add Northern Illinois freshman pitcher and 2011 graduate Ben Neumann to the squad next year.
|HTL: Kroncke, Peetz deliver Cavs to title game
Cole Kroncke tossed a complete game four-hitter shut out and infielder Matt Peetz drove in three runs as the Verona Home Talent team advanced into the Thursday Night League championship game with a 6-0 victory over Fort Atkinson last week.
Working with his Madison College head coach Mike Davenport during Verona’s bye, Kroncke tweaked a few things on his off-speed pitches.
“I could a see a difference on my breaking ball especially, which seemed like it was working a lot better today,” he said.
Kroncke, who finished with seven strikeouts, sent at least one batter back to the dugout shaking his head in every inning except the sixth.
A game chalked full of drama, things got interesting in the home half of the second inning following catcher Andy Nettum’s RBI single.
“It’s a crazy league. You walk up to an umpire meeting, and I said I was going to bat 11. I asked the other manager if he had a problem with it, and he said no. End of story.”
That is until rampageous Fort Atkinson fans protested the move when Nick Krohn stepped to the plate in the bottom of the second inning.
“If we would have won, they would’ve protested and we would’ve had to play it over,” Dale Burgenske said. “It was a good move on Nick’s part to say let’s get rid of that 11th position and move on.”
Landon Flora tacked on another run in the second before Peetz walked with the bases loaded in the fifth to push the Cavaliers lead to 3-0.
Verona tacked on three more in the sixth to really blow the game open as A.J. Stoffels’ single back up the box sent umpire Tim Haldiman diving to the grass. Three batters later, Matt Peetz did what he does best, roping a two-run single that stretched Verona’s lead to an insurmountable, 6-0.
“It doesn’t really matter, as long as we are all together and playing for something, that’s all we care about,” Peetz said. “(Thursdays are) a different mentality than Sundays, but right now we’re taking that same mentality into these games. ... It’s just fun to get back on the diamond.”
|Cavaliers upset by Ridgeway, eliminated from Sunday playoffs
Losing is not something the Verona Cavaliers Home Talent team is too familiar with, but with a shot at repeating as four-time consecutive champions out the window following last week’s 6-4 loss to Ridgeway, the team now turn its full attention to the Thursday Night League Final Four.
Verona 4, Ashton 1
Cole Kroncke was dominant in a complete-game effort on the mound and Zach Spencer crushed a towering two-run home run as the Cavaliers advanced past Ashton 4-1 and into the Thursday Night League Final Four last week.
Kroncke allowed one run in the first inning before settling down to record nine strikeouts over seven innings at Stampfl Field.
“All year long, Cole’s come on Thursday nights to prove a point,” manager Dale Burgenske said. “He’s made up his mind all year long that he wanted to carry this team all the way to the championship.”
Over the past two weeks Kroncke has shut down Middleton and Ashton, both of which were 12-3 on the season.
“He’s a Sunday a pitcher except right now he’s pitching on Thursdays,” Burgenske said. “There’s no question about it.”
It was Spencer, who now has five home runs in Night League, that supplied Verona with some offensive fireworks.
“I don’t know what it is, but I have been seeing the ball really well on Thursday Nights this season,” Spencer said. “I am just hoping to carry it into Sunday.”
Holding a slim 2-1 lead, Cavaliers’ hitter David Burgenske led off the fourth inning, reaching base on an error by the Ashton shortstop Aaron Gowan.
Following Burgenske to the plate, Spencer got his bat head through the zone quickly, connecting on a 1-0 pitch.
“I was just looking for a fastball on the inner half and I got it,” said Spencer, who briefly stood at home plate watching the shot carry over the pine trees in right field. “Right off the bat, I knew it was gone.”
The three-run cushion was more than enough for Kroncke, who has had Ashton’s number all season, striking out 17 hitters in two appearances.
“They have some good hitters – I kind of had the same game plan for both games,” he said. “I didn’t really change anything just because they were seeing me a second time.”
Kroncke consistently worked ahead in the count with his fastball and sat Ashton down with his off-speed pitches.
Despite Kroncke’s performance, Ashton struck first as Kevin Drunasky singled home Ben Hagstrom, who singled past second and moved into scoring position with a stolen base.
A hit batter and two straight walks with one out helped the Cavaliers knot the score in the bottom of the second. Digging in, Klayton Brandt sent a ball to second where an Ashton led to Verona’s first run.
The Cavaliers were unable to do any more damage until the third, however, as David Burgenske hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
A pair of leadoff singles in third from Spencer and Derek Burgenske put runners on base for Matt Peetz, who singled home a run. Hesitating around third, Derek Burgenske was thrown out at home before a strike out and fly out ended the threat.
“The way Cole was pitching, once Zach hit that home run, I knew it was over,” Dale Burgenske said.
Verona play in the Final Four on Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Ridgeway 6, Verona 4
Chris Thousand and the Ridgeway Home Talent team once again proved to be the thorn in the side of top-seeded Verona, upsetting the three-time defending league champions, 6-4 at Stampfl Field in Sunday’s sectional semifinals.
A late season addition, Thousand tossed a complete game and also added a pair of hits and an RBI.
Of Ridgeway’s six runs, only two were earned, as a pair of errors led to three in the decisive fifth inning.
Trailing 3-2 through four, Cavaliers starter Ben Wallace walked one and gave up a single to start the fifth before being let down by his defense.
Fielding a ground ball, third baseman Peetz overthrew second, airmailing a throw into the outfield as Ridgeway’s lead runner had wondered too far off the bag. The first of two crucial errors, the play led to two runs before a dropped ball in the outfield pushed Ridgeway ahead 6-3.
Verona cut the lead to 6-4 in the home half of the sixth, but it was as close as the Cavaliers would come.
“It was a total collapse,” Dale Burgenske said. “We threw the ball around and didn’t get the timely hitting we normally do.”
Wallace got the start for the Cavaliers and worked seven innings, striking out nine while giving up two earned runs on nine hits.
Matt Niffenegger closed out the game, allowing two hits while striking out as many over the final two innings.
Verona had bases runners in every inning, including Spencer on first with no outs in the ninth and the heart of the order coming to bat. But Thousand, who threw 128 pitches, got Peetz to ground into a game-ending double play.
The Cavaliers left a total of 10 runners on base in the loss.
“There are some teams you just don’t match up very well against,” Dale Burgenske said. For Ridgeway, who handed Verona two of the team’s three losses this season, the addition of Thousand from Lakeland College was huge.
“He throws strikes and has some good breaking stuff,” Dale Burgenske said. “When he joined the team it really helped their playoff push.”
The eighth-seed in the Western Section playoffs, Ridgeway went on the road last week to defeat second-seeded Wiota, 2-1, to set up the rubber match against the Cavaliers.
“I am not in favor of allowing eight of nine teams from the section into the playoffs,” Dale Burgenske said, citing that “there is nothing to play for during the regular season.”
A single elimination playoff tournament until the Final Four, it only takes one bad game to be eliminated once the postseason starts.
Western section leading hitter, Derek Burgenske, finished 2-for-5, as did Peetz, who drove in a pair of runs. A.J. Stoffels (3-for-5) and Andy Nettum (2-for-3) also collected multiple hits.
Spencer blasted his second home run in as many games, while David Burgenske added an RBI double in the loss.
Cavaliers Sunday League Season Ends Abruptly
Verona HTL lost to Ridgeway 6-4 on Sunday, knocking Verona out of the Western Section playoffs. Verona was on a mission to 4-peat but it ended abruptly with a poor performance against a 6-10 team.
Cavs Advance in HTL Night League Playoffs
The Cavs had revenge on their mind as they hosted Middleton in the opening round of the Thursday League playoffs. Middleton had beat Verona just one week earlier in the regular season finale at Middleton, however, this time, Verona had ace Cole Kroncke on the hill. Kroncke was dominant in the complete game 3-1 victory, allowing just 5 hits and striking out 11 and 0 earned runs. Verona got all of the offense they would need in the 4th inning. AJ Stoffels singled to lead off the inning and then stole 2nd. He then scored on a one-out RBI double by Derek Burgenske. Then following a walk and single, Derek Murphy delivered a 2-run single to give Verona a 3-0 lead and they would never look back.
Cavs Advance in HTL Sunday League Playoffs
Verona opened up Sunday League playoff action hosting rival Hollandale, the Western Section 8th seed. Hollandale struck first with a run in the top of the 1st and unfortunately for Verona, it was very costly. In a play at the plate, Verona catcher Derek Murphy got tangled up with the Hollandale runner and suffered a severe hamstring injury that will most likely end Murphy's season. However, Andy Nettum stepped in for Murphy and Verona hardly missed a beat. Nettum delivered a clutch two-out RBI double in the 4th and Verona used a balanced 11-hit attack to outlast Hollandale 10-1. Matt Peetz had two hits and 3 RBI and AJ Stoffels scored 3 runs to lead the Verona offense.
Verona pitchers started up playoff action just as they left off last year with Ben Wallace and Matt Niffenegger splitting the duties. Wallace got the win going 7 innings, scattering 4 hits while striking out 8 and walking only 1. Niffenegger struck out 3 of the seven batters he faced.
Verona HTL Finish Season With a Bang
A nice crowd came out to Stampfl Field on Sunday to watch the Verona Home Talent Baseball team play its last regular season game versus Platteville. The Cavaliers would not disappoint. Verona HTL beat Platteville 15-2 in 7 innings (10-run rule).
Derek Burgenske homered and went 2 x 2 and Dan Koss tripled finishing 3 x 4 on the day with 4 RBI's. The Verona Cavaliers stung the baseball all day long scoring in every inning. AJ Stoffels, Matt Peetz, and Derek Prochaska each had multiple hit games to help the Verona attack.
Ben Wallace and Matt Niffenegger scattered 7 hits, only allowing 2 runs. Ben Wallace got the win.
Barring any last minute surprises, Derek Burgenske all but wrapped up the Western Section Batting Title on Sunday with his 2 x 2 performance. Verona HTL was represented well in the top 10 leading hitters with Zach Spencer, Derek Murphy, Matt Peetz, and Derek Prochaska.
This Thursday, Verona HTL will host Middleton in the first round of the Night League playoffs at 730pm. On Sunday, Verona HTL will host in the first round of the Western Section playoffs at 1pm. Verona is still waiting to find out the #8 seed opponent for Sunday's game.
Middleton Holds Home Field
Middleton beat Verona 8-4 in a match up of two HTL powers this past Thursday. The game didn't mean anything for either team as the two teams square off this week in the first round of the NIght League playoffs. The seeds were already determined before the start of the game.
Middleton took care of business early as they scored 6 runs in the first 3 innings. Verona tried to recover by cutting the deficit to 6-3 in the top of the 4th but the Middleton bats came alive in the late innings to seal the victory.
Verona looks to win on its home field this Thursday in a Night League rematch.
Cavaliers Bounce Back in Convincing Fashion
The Verona Home Talent Baseball team hadn't experienced back-to-back losses since the 2004 regular season. Verona HTL bounced back with a convincing 16-3 win at Argyle to get back on the winning track.
After Derek Burgenske, Zach Spencer, and AJ Stoffels all loaded the bases with singles, Matt Peetz delieverd a bases clearing double to give Verona a 3-0 lead. Verona never looked back. Matt Gust also had a bases clearing single in an 8-run 7th inning.
Derek Prochaska led all hitters with a 3x4 performance including two doubles and 3 RBI.
Derek Burgenske went 3x5 with 3 runs scored and 2 stolen bases, Zach Spencer went 3x4 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI.
Ben Wallace threw 5 innings, only allowing 3 runs on 3 hits. Cole Kroncke came on in relief to close the door, throwing 2 shutout innings and finishing with 4 K's.
Verona HTL Lose Back-to-Back Games
On Friday evening, the Verona HTL bats were shut down for the first time this season. Verona only managed 4 hits in 9 innings in a 7-2 defeat to Ridgeway. It was Verona's first loss of the season. Cole Kroncke pitched well for Verona only allowing 3 runs in 7 innings.
On Sunday, Verona bounced back against Monroe taking a 4 run lead into the 9th inning. Monroe put together a remarkable 7 run rally to upset the Cavaliers 11-8.
Verona HTL has clinched the regular season Western Section Championship and the #1 seed in the play-offs. Verona HTL will be finishing up the season at Argyle this Friday night and host to Platteville on July 31. The Cavaliers have a bye this Thursday in the night league. They play their last night league game at Middleton on July 28th. Verona is currently in 1st place in the night league and looking to secure home field advantage for the playoffs.
Cavaliers Get 1 of 3 This Weekend
The Verona Home Talent baseball team started the weekend off with a bang by beating Poynette 12-2 in 5 innings. The win was the first of three games this weekend.
Verona is scheduled to make up the RIdgeway day league game tonight which is rescheduled from June 19th. The Cavaliers wrap up the weekend hosting Monroe on Sunday at 1pm.
Last night's contest versus Poynette was again about the potent hitting line-up of Verona. Line drives came from everyone throughout the lineup, knocking in 12 runs on 15 hits in only 5 innings. Derek Murphy got things started in the bottom of the 2nd inning with a line shot base hit up the middle. Hit after hit continued and Verona put 7 up on the board in the bottom half of the 2nd. Klayton Brandt was 4 for 4 on the evening to lead all Verona hitters.
Zach Spencer drove in the final run of the game in the bottom of the 5th inning giving Verona a 12-2 ten-run rule win. Spencer threw all 5 innings for Verona only allowing 2 runs.
HTL ALL-STAR GAME
Verona will be represented by a number of players in this year's HTL All-Star Game. Dan Koss, Matt Niffenegger, and Cole Kroncke were all invited to participate in the 2011 HTL All-Star Game.
For the fourth straight season, Dale Burgenske will be managing the HTL All-Star squad.
Manager Dale Burgenske
Please come out on Friday, July 29th to cheer on the Verona HTL players.
Verona Bats Scorching in Win
NIck Krohn had two hits and drove in 4 runs and Derek Murphy had a 3-RBI triple in a six-run sixth inning as Verona beat WIota 16-3. Runs came in every inning expept the 1st and 5th innings. Derek Burgenske, Zach Spencer, Matt Peetz, Derek Prochaska, and Nick Krohn all had multiple hit days. Burgenske and Spencer each had 2 doubles and AJ Stoffels and Bill Engelhart each added doubles. Verona scored 16 runs on 14 hits.
Ben Wallace pitched 5 solid innings and Matt Niffenegger finished the final 2 innings.
Verona hosts Poynette on Thursday at 7pm in Verona.
Kroncke and Verona HTL Get a Big Win
The Verona Home Talent Baseball team traveled to Ashton this Thursday for a showdown of the top two teams in the division, both with undefeated records. Cole Kroncke took the hill for Verona and delivered his best performance on the year.
Kroncke was sharp all night only allowing one run. The Verona offense helped out their starting pitcher by chipping away and producing runs in the middle and late innings. Derek Prochaska doubled in the first Verona run and Dan Koss followed with a 2-out RBI single to give Verona a 2-1 lead.
Derek Burgenske pinch hit with two outs in the top of the 7th inning and gave Verona an insurance run by taking a 2-0 fastball over the center field fence. The home run by Burgenske was his 4th home run in as many games.
Kroncke took care of the Ashton lineup in the bottom of the 7th, taking them down in order to complete the 3-1 victory.
Verona hosts Wiota on Sunday at 1pm.
Verona HTL Remains Undefeated
Matt Peetz, Derek Murphy and Derek Prochaska drove in a pair of runs each in the heart of the order Sunday as the Verona Cavaliers pounded out an 8-5 Western Section win at Hollandale.
“We got a lot of runners on base and the heart of our order did a great job of driving them in,” Verona manager Dale Burgenske said.
Skipper Dale Burgenske
Trailing 3-2, Verona leadoff hitter Derek Burgenske scored three runs, including a solo home run in the fifth which tied the game 3-3.
Three batters later Murphy singled home Peetz, who had singled to put the Cavaliers up for good.
Peetz crushed a triple to deep center which the field was barely able to contain, caroming off the top of the fence and staying in play. Murphy followed that up with a walk off Hollandale ace Pat Clerkin before Prochaska and Danny Koss singled in the first two runs of the game.
Hollandale put up a pair of runs in the third to knot the score at 2-all on Beau Dobson’s two-run single. Will Schlimgen led off the fourth with a double and later came around to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead after a pair of Verona errors.
“We were short a few players and had some guys playing out of position, which let to three uncharacteristic errors for us,” Dale Burgenske said. “Hollandale’s field resembles a gravel quarry. It’s a hard place to play and we knew it was going to be a tough game.”
The Cavaliers kept the pressure on the seventh as Derek Burgenske and Zach Spencer collected back-to-back leadoff singles before Peetz and Murphy grounded out to drive each across home plate.
Hollandale pushed two more across in the bottom of the eighth to pull within a run, 6-5.
Burgenske ignited the offense for the Cavaliers once again in the top of the ninth, reaching base with a one-out single. Spencer followed with his second single before Peetz singled home a run.
Prochaska followed that up two hitters later with an RBI double to cap the scoring.
Ben Wallace went the distance to earn the win, striking out 12 in nine innings.
“Ben had a real good outing until they got a couple of bunts down and we threw the ball around to give them a couple of runs,” Dale Burgenske said.
Verona, which has five games left in the regular season, and Stoughton remain the only undefeated teams in the Home Talent League at 11-0.
Dodgeville, which was in second place, fell four games behind the Cavaliers with Sunday’s 7-2 loss against Wiota. The Indians, who Verona hosts this Sunday at 1 p.m., meanwhile moved into second place (2.5 back of Verona).
Regardless of records, eight of nine teams in the section make the playoffs.
“We pretty much locked that up the second or third game of the season,” Dale Burgenske joked. “Now we’re just fighting to have the best record and home-field advantage when the playoffs roll around.”
The Cavaliers (7-0) travel to Ashton (6-0) for a Central Section Night League game between a pair of undefeated teams this Thursday at 6 p.m.
“With Cole (Kroncke) and Matt (Gust) we actually have pitchers this Thursday, whereas in the past it was just a matter of who felt like throwing that night,” Dale Burgenske said. “That makes a big difference.”
Verona HTL Gets Weekend Sweep
The Verona Home Talent team entered the weekend in sole possession of first place in the Western Section with Dodgeville and Wiota not far behind. A veteran Verona Cavaliers team knew it was an important weekend on the schedule. Wins against Wiota and Dogeville helped separate Verona from the field and put them in position for another Western Section regular season championship.
Saturday vs. Wiota
As part of a scheduling conflict, Verona and Wiota switched home/away games. Verona traveled to Wiota with Ben Wallace getting the start. With only 10 guys available, Verona knew they were in for a fight. Down 2-0 in the top of the 3rd, the Cavaliers needed a spark. After a Billy Engelhart single and David Burgenske walk, Derek Burgenske came to the plate. He worked the count to 3-0 before sending a shot over the right field fence for a 3-run home run.
Wiota got the lead back, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the 4th on a few walks and singles. It didn't take long for Verona to respond. Landon Flora led off the next inning with a walk, Engelhart singled, and David Burgenske bunted for a hit on 0-2 resulting in one run. After two unusual pop ups from two of Verona's top hitters and an intentional walk to Matt Peetz, Derek Murphy belted a 2 RBI single giving Verona a 6-4 lead.
Verona poured it on after that, getting 16 runs on 13 hits with the game being called by the 10-run rule in the 8th inning. Final: Verona 16 - Wiota 4. Derek Burgenske led all hitters going 4-5 with a home run and 4 RBI's.
Sunday vs. Dodgeville
A beaufiul day at Centennial Park in Dodgeville and a great crowd on hand was just what the Cavaliers had been waiting for this season. Verona HTL had experienced one too many games this season with cold temps and strong winds. The temps heated up and so did the Verona HTL bats pounding out 17 hits and scoring 11 runs. Derek Burgenske went deep again for his 2nd home run of the weekend finishing with 2 hits and 4 RBI's. Dan Koss also went deep for his 1st home run of the season and led all hitters going 3 for 4 at the plate with 3 RBI's, 2 stolen bases, and 4 runs scored.
Riley Tincher was dominant in his second start of the season mowing down the Knights and throwing all 9 innings. Tincher struck out 9.
Multiple hit games came from Zach Spencer, AJ Stoffels (2 doubles), Matt Peetz, Klayton Brandt, and Derek Murphy.
Verona does not play this Thursday in the Night League. Verona HTL travels to Hollandale on Monday, July 5th for a Sunday League game at 1pm.
Spencer Powers Verona AGAIN
A cool, damp evening didn't affect the Verona Cavaliers bats as they exploded for 13 runs in 5 innings. Home runs from Zach Spencer and Matt Peetz came in the first inning as Verona jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. Spencer deliverd another line shot home run in the 3rd inning as Verona pulled away on their way to a 10-run rule 13-3 final vs. Evansville. It was Spencer's 4th home run in his last six at-bats.
Cole Croncke and Matt Gust combined to shut the Evansville offense down. Gust made his first appearance on the hill for Verona HTL working 2 innings and also going 1 for 2 at the plate.
Verona travels to Wiota on Saturday and Dodgeville on Sunday. Verona is 1.5 games ahead of second place Dodgeville. A sweep this weekend would put Verona in prime position for another regular season Western Section Championship and a #1 seed in the divisional playoffs.
2011 HTL All-Star Game (East & Southeast vs North & West)
Friday, July 29 starting at 7:05 pm at Warner Park in Madison
General Admission tickets are $7 each. Contact your local HTL team or the Mallards ticket office.
HTL All-Star Game Event on Facebook -
Verona HTL Takes Down Cottage Grove
Verona HTL improved its Night League record to 6-0 by beating the Cottage Grove Firemen 11-2. On a gorgeous evening at Stampfl Field in Verona, the Cavaliers welcomed two new Verona HTL players in Matt Gust and Josh Hainzinger. Both coming off a record-setting season with the Verona Area WIldcats, making the first state tournament appearance in school history.
It was the Zach Spencer show versus Cottage Grove. Spencer's first at-bat came in the top of the 1st inning when he drove a ball deep over the right field fence for a 2-run home run.
Verona would never look back. Cole Kroncke gave up a pair of runs early in the contest but finished strong over his last 5 innings of work to get the win.
In the top of the 5th inning, Spencer again delivered a monster home run in virtually the same spot his first home run traveled. This 2-run home run gave Verona an 8-2 lead. Spencer finished 3 for 3 with 5 RBI's and a walk.
Verona hosts Ridgeway on Sunday at Stampfl Field in Verona. Game begins at 1pm. Verona's Sunday League record is 8-0 which puts them 2 games ahead of second place Dodeville in the Western Section.
Cavaliers Take Two in Blanchardville; Improve Record to 8-0
The Cavaliers traveled to Blanchardville on Sunday for two Sunday League games. The second game was a make up from a May 29th rain date.
Defending HTL Champs scored in every inning and got 4 innings from Matt Niffenegger leading Verona to the 17-2 pasting of Blanchardville in game one. Danny Koss had two hits and drove in five runs while A.J. Stoffels had 2 hits and drove in three runs. Derek Burgenske also had two hits and 2 RBI's in Verona's 13 hit attack. Matt Niffenegger allowed only 3 hits and allowed 2 earned runs in his mound debut this season. He struck out 9 in his 4 innings. Ben Wallace finished up for Verona, who is trying for a 4-peat.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Ben Wallace and Riley Tinchor combined on 3 hitter. Matt Peetz had two hits and drove in four runs while Derek Murphy and Nick Krohn each added 2 RBI's. Verona hosts Ridgeway on Sunday, June 19th.
Verona HTL Stays Hot; Remains Undefeated in Both Leagues
The Verona Home Talent Baseball Team continued its winning ways this past week with a trio of dominant wins. Verona HTL outscored its opponents 50-14 in two Night League wins and a Sunday League win. The Cavaliers also added more depth to their pitching rotation with the arrival of Riley Tincher and second year player Cole Kroncke.
Thursday, June 9th vs. Utica
Cole Kroncke and the Verona Cavaliers took care of Utica 10-0 in 5 innings improving to 5-0 in the NIght League. Kroncke recently finished up his first year with the MATC Wolfpack helping them advance to the World Series. Kroncke, who has been hitting high 80's with his fastball, only allowed two hits on the night. Derek Burgenske and Zach Spencer stayed hot at the plate racking up multiple hits and RBI's to lead the offense.
Sunday, June 5th vs. Hollandale
Riley Tincher made his first appearance of the year after finishing his career at UW-Whitewater. Tincher rolled threw the Hollandale lineup finishing with 12 K's and only allowing one hit in a complete game shutout. The Verona bats provided plenty of support scoring 19 runs on 20 hits. Derek Murphy continued his hot hitting finishing with 4 hits. Verona HTL improved to 6-0 in the Sunday League. Verona travels to Blanchardville on Sunday, June 12th for a doubleheader.
Thursday, June 2nd vs. Lodi
Verona HTL traveled to Dane, WI for a Night League contest vs. Lodi. Another short-handed lineup, the Verona bats erupted for a season high 21 runs in just 6 innings, beating Lodi 21-14. The game was called after 6 innings because of darkness. AJ Stoffels homered and had 4 hits. Zach Spencer also had 4 hits, including 2 doubles.
Verona HTL Wins One for Gramps
It was the first Verona HTL win in over 50 plus years that Keith Simmons wasn't a part of. Keith, better known as Gramps to his family and many Verona sports fans, passed away on Saturday. Gramps was 82. He played and managed the Verona Home Talent baseball team for many years. He continued to support the program as his son-in-law, Dale Burgenske manages the team and grandsons David and Derek Burgenske both still play.
One of his finest memories was the moment in 2008 when Verona finally brought an HTL Championshiop to Verona, the first HTL Championship in Verona HTL history. Gramps and many other former Verona HTL players celebrated with the team as the day became part of history. Home Talent Baseball had a special place in Keith's heart, much like every player, manager, fan, or friend he ever met through his playing and managing days. We'll miss you Gramps.
Ben Wallace worked 8 strong innings, only allowing 2 hits and striking out 11 batters to get the 10-2 win versus Monroe. Wallace handed the ball off to Matt Niffenegger in the 9th inning to close out the game. It was Niffenegger's 1st appearance on the mound in 2011. Niffenegger is coming off a serious off-season surgery which has kept him sidelined for the start of the season.
Verona HTL bats were again faced with 20-30 MPH winds blowing straight in. However, it didn't stop them from spraying the ball all over the field. Even many of the Verona HTL outs were line drives right at Monroe defenders. Zach Spencer, Derek Murphy, Andy Nettum, and Matt Peetz each recorded 2 hits on the day leading all Verona hitters.
"Pencil" Erases DeForest
Landon "Pencil" Flora got the start on Thursday night against DeForest helping Verona improve to 3-0 in the night league. Flora threw 5 complete innings, only giving up 3 earned runs and striking out an HTL career high 6 batters. He also helped his cause at the plate delivering a 2 RBI single in the 5th inning.
Verona HTL catcher, Andy Nettum, had 2 hits on the night to lead all Verona hitters.
Attention Fans: Verona HTL would like to welcome Jessie Darrow to the Verona HTL family. A former equpment manager for the New Glarus Tourists, Jessie will be helping Skipper with equipment and other game day responsibilities. We are very excited to have him be a part of our team. He works extremely hard and is very knowledegable about the game of baseball. Please say hello to Jessie at our next game.
Verona HTL Stays Unbeaten; Murphy Provides Spark With Bat and Glove
Derek Murphy and the Verona Home Talent baseball team improved its Sunday League record to 4-0 on Sunday defeating the Dogeville Knights 8-5.
Verona HTL got off to a great start thanks to the leadoff lefties of Derek Burgenske and Zach Spencer. Both singled to start the bottom of the 1st inning, setting the table for clean-up hitter Derek Murphy. Murphy battled Dodgeville starter Danny Sullivan, fouling off many two-strike pitches, and drove in Burgenske and Spencer for an early 2-0 lead. Derek Murphy also provided a spark with his glove playing flawless defense at second base.
Ben Wallace worked 7 complete innings. Dan Koss came on in relief throwing two scoreless innings. Derek Prochaska, Zach Spencer, and Derek Murphy each had 3 hits on the day.
Verona hosts DeForest on Thursday evening in Verona at 7:30pm looking to start 3-0 in the Night League. Verona then hosts Blanchardville on Sunday and travels to Monroe on Monday, all part of a doubleheader holiday weekend.
Verona HTL fans can prepare for the 2011 debut of Western Section Co-MVP, Matt Niffenegger on the hill. He will start Sunday vs. the Blanchardville Bullets. Niffenegger is coming off a serious off-season surgery that has limited his participation in 2011. We are excited to see him back in action.
Spencer Shines against Railmen
Behind the starting pitching and relentless offensive attack, Verona continued their winning ways on Thursday beating the Rio Railmen 10-1. Zack Spencer pitched 5 innings, only allowing 2 hits and striking out 9 batters. Koss closed the door once again pitching the final 2 innings.
Nick Krohn led all hitters with a 3x4 performance.
Wallace and Cavalier Defense Shut Down Argyle
- Cole Kroncke is in his first year with the MATC Wolfpack Baseball team. He will be returning for his 2nd year of Verona HTL once his college baseball season ends.
- Justin Scanlon and the MSU Spartans will be televised on the Big Ten Network on the following dates:
- April 16th at Ohio State
- April 22nd @ Illinois
- April 30th vs. Penn State
- May 14th at Indiana
Justin Scanlon - Michigan State Spartans
Verona Home Talent Highlight Video
2010 Home Talent Champions - Verona Cavaliers
Top Row (L to R) - Andy Nettum, "Skipper" Manager Dale Burgenske, Dan Koss, Zach Spencer, Matt Peetz, Derek Prochaska, Ben Wallace, Derek Murphy, Landon Flora, Nick Krohn
Bottom Row (L to R) - AJ Stoffels, Aaron Osten, Billy Engelhart,
Matt Niffenegger, David Burgenske, Derek Burgenske
Not pictured - Klayton Brandt, Cole Kroncke, Nick Olson, Luke Schaser