By RON DEUTER
FLORENCE, Wis. -After trailing 7-0 after the first inning and then blowing a two-run lead in the seventh, Florence rallied for five runs in their final at-bat and stunned Three Lakes 15-14 Tuesday evening in a wild Northern Lakes baseball season finale at Red Johnson Field.
Tom Beck Photo
Florence’s Tyler Beck connects for a game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday.
"They can drive you nuts," Florence head coach Dave LaPoint said. "They start out bad. Then they come back, and then they go right back to the same mistakes.
"But then they dig down and come back and win the thing."
Tyler Beck delivered the game's winning hit, blooping a one-out bases-loaded single to shallow center.
Florence held a 10-8 lead entering the final inning before Three Lakes took advantage of a couple of Florence errors on their way to a six-run rally.
But the Bobcats were far from through.
After Morgan Counter led off with a single, and Louie Garcia took a walk, Tyler Valine ripped a triple to left center to bring Florence within two.
After a walk to Kyle Abbas, Three Lakes brought in Riley Liebscher to pitch.
Liebscher plunked the first batter he faced to load the bases. Then Austin Trudell took a pitch off his shoulder, making it a one-run game. Spencer Davis came up next and was also tagged by a pitch to tie the game.
It was following another pitching change that Tyler Beck stepped to the plate and came through with the winning hit.
Spencer Davis had three hits for Florence, all singles, with two RBIs. Jeremy Schalow doubled twice and collected four RBIs. Valine had a single to go with his two-run triple. And Marshall Kelley added a two-run hit for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats found themselves in a big hole early, as Three Lakes opened the game with a triple and went on to send 11 batters to the plate in a seven-run, six-hit inning.
Florence starter Valine couldn't escape the inning and gave way to Kelley before the Bobcats even recorded a single out.
Kelly, until running out of steam in the seventh, was masterful for the Bobcats. After the first, he allowed just three hits to get the Bobcats through the sixth.
Kelly escaped a two on, none out situation in the fifth getting two strikeouts and a line out to end the threat. Three Lakes had two on with one out in the sixth but couldn't break through against Kelley, who wound up with six strikeouts in the game.
"He did a heck of a job," LaPoint said. "He came in in that first inning, was throwing curves keeping them off balance. He's just as much a part of this victory as anyone else. He really stayed in there helped us. I'm real proud of him. He gave us a good effort."
Louie Garcia took over in the seventh to end up the pitcher of record.
Florence started its first comeback with four runs in the bottom of the first. Schalow smacked his first double, a deep fly to left, to drive in two.
The Bobcats added four more in the second to take a lead, Kelley's two-run single up the middle plating two Bobcats and chasing Three Lakes starter Brent LaDuke.
Three Lakes tied the game 8-8 in the third, but Florence answered in the bottom half when Abbas reached on a throwing error to score Valine.
Florence added another in the fifth when Schalow blasted one near the left field fence for his second double.
Mike LaGalbo and LaDuke each had three hits for Three Lakes. LaGalbo hit a triple, and LaDuke had a double. Liebscher and emerson Hegeman also hit triples.
Florence finished the regular season 5-2 (5-2 NLC). The Bobcats drew the top seed for the upcoming WIAA regional playoffs and will host a game May 28 against an opponent to be determined.
...In Niagara, Badger pitching only allowed three hits but walked 14 in an 11-1 loss to Crivitz.
Three Lakes 701 000 6 - 14
Florence 441 010 5 - 15