Pesch fans 12 in shutout
Posted July 4, 2017
By Byron Higgin
Henry Pesch's sidearm throws suddenly went nearly underarm.
The "submarine" pitcher of the Minneota Mudhens dipped his right arm even lower than usual, struck out 12 Appleton A's, and four-hit them Friday night for a 4-0 win.
"I found that when I go lower I have more control," said Pesch — who was in command from beginning to end.
"I figured it out tonight. There are some days I don't remember how I pitched so well. Then I get the angle going and throw my slider," said Pesch.
It was that "slider" that had catcher Jesse Drager on his toes all night. "He threw a lot of sliders and they were really breaking," said Drager.
"When I find the right angle, it will move," Pesch said about his unorthodox style of pitching.
But as good as Pesch was, and Manager Tyson Sonnenburg said it was, "Great pitching," there may have been a little extra help going on.
Sort of an, "Angels in the Outfield story."
Leading just 1-0 in the top of the sixth, Appleton had Cory Hennenberg on first with two outs. Appleton's Jay Schreck send the ball screaming toward the centerfield bleachers.
Sonnenburg went back to the fence, he leaped, his cap came off and suddenly he thrust his arm into the air to show the ball was in his glove.
He'd held onto it for a game-saving, and perhaps heaven-inspired catch.
Sonnenburg reached down and picked up his hat, looking skyward as he ran to the infield, where he was met by teammate Austin Buysse.
But Sonnenburg kept staring ahead and showed no extra expression on his face.
"I had help on that one," he finally said.
This week Minneota lost Donnie Schuelke, a fellow baseball player, friend and well-liked recent graduate. It was a bitter loss from Sonnenburg, who helped guide Schuelke every bit of the way through his younger years to his teens. "I've been coaching him for years," said Sonnenburg.
And so it was — Sonnenburg could beel the guidance from above as he made the catch. Accolades award him were turned into praise of Donnie Schuelke.
During the game PA Announcer Ross Eischens direction a moment of silence for Shuelke. The players went to the third base line and Appleton players to the first base line, where they dipped their heads in prayer for thier fallen comrade.
For Sonnenburg, there was no heroics, no game-saving moment — simply, "Help from above."
Minneota rallied off pitcher Dylan Erickson with three runs in the seventh inning. While Henry Pesch had a two-run double in the inning, the A's pretty much served up the rally for Minneota with two errors and shabby play.
But it was all Pesch would need to preserve his pitching gem.
SONNENBURG offered the Mudhens a chance to take "extra batting practice," this week, since they don't play again until Thursday, June 7 at Morris in a 7:30 p.m. game.
•"We need a little more time hitting in the cage," said Assistant Manager Beau Buysse. The Mudhens got just four hits off Erickson.
•Minneota played without two of their top hitters, Adam Durfee and Jordan Beck.
Minneota 4, Appleton 0
MINNEOTA (AB-R-H-RBI) Beau Buysse, 2b 3-1-1-0; Cal Swedzinski, 2b 1-0-0-0; Austin Buysse, 3b 3-0-0-0; Tyson Sonnenburg, cf 2-1-1-0; Jesse Drager 4-0-0-0; Tommy Fischer, cr-lf 0-1-0-0; Henry Pesch, p 3-1-1-3; Danny Hennen, 1b 4-0-0-0; Preston Nuy, ss 4-0-1-0; Brock Buysse, rf 4-0-0-0; Ryan Koopman, dh 3-0-0-0; Mike Luke, lf 0-0-0-0. Totals 30-4-4-3.
APPLETON (AB-R-H-RBI) Jordan Schwarz, cf 4-0-1-0; Ryan Lee, rf 4-0-0-0; Jay Schreck, ss 4-0-1-0; Dylan Erickson, p 4-0-1-0; Nick Burkleo, 3b-p 3-0-0-0; Tim Eliason, 2b, ss 3-0-0-0; Paul Sitter, ss 0-0-0-0; Collin Gades, c 3-0-0-0; Cory Hennenberg, lf 3-0-1-0. Totals 31-0-4-0.
Score by Innings
Appleton 000 000 000 — 0 4 2
Minneota 001 003 00x — 4 4 0
E-Appleton: Burkleo; Schreck; Gades. LOB-Minneota 10; Appleton 5. SB-Minneota: Beau Buysse, Sonnenburg. 2B-Minneota: Pesch.
Pitching IP R ER H BB K
Pesch (W) 9 0 0 4 3 12
Erickson (L) 7 4 1 4 6 5
Burkleo 1 0 0 0 0 1
HP-Sonnenburg (by Erickson) 2. WP: Pesch 2.