April 20, 2023 at 11:05 a.m.

Pointers fall behind early and lose at Potosi

By Levi Zimmerman
The Mineral Point baseball team couldn't overcome a slow start Thursday in a non-conference game against Potosi/Cassville.
The Pointers hosted the Potosi/Cassville co-op, which entered the 2023 season ranked 13th in the Division 4 Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association preseason poll.
Mineral Point was in a vulnerable position early on.
Junior Bryce Vamstad got the starting nod from head coach Brett Lawinger and gave up a lead-off double by Sam Udelhofen.
After an error and a walk, Potosi/Cassville had the bases loaded with no outs.
Ethan Kerkoff swung at the first pitch he saw and hit a two-RBI single to right field.
The Pointers were able to get the first out on a ground out, but Potosi/Cassville's Erasmus Okey picked up an RBI after a ground out on a fielder's choice, as the Chieftains went up 3-0.
Potosi/Cassville would then take a 4-0 lead when Eli Adams hit a line drive up the middle, scoring Kerkoff.
Mineral Point stopped the bleeding after a pop out to shortstop Landon Thousand.
The Pointers struggled early on against Potosi/Cassville's starting pitcher, Preston Steiner, who didn't give up a hit until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Mineral Point senior Brendan Lynch led-off with a base hit up the middle.
Mineral Point loaded the bases after Luke Kisgen walked and Brady Radtke reached on an error.
The Pointers got on the board when Lynch broke for home on a wild pitch and scored, but that's all Potosi/Cassville would give up, as two runners were left in scoring position.
The Chieftains responded with a run in the top of the fifth, as Steiner helped himself with a lead-off single; Nick Hampton drove him in with a single, bringing the score to 5-1.
Mineral Point kept battling and answered in the bottom of the fifth.
Designated hitter Jacob Phillips led-off with a walk, then left fielder Garrett Finley laid down a bunt and reached first.
Vamstad attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt but was thrown out at first, while Phillips was unable to advance.
Phillips and Finley were eventually able to advance on a wild pitch.
With one out, Lynch stepped in and delivered with an RBI single to the left side, as Phillips scored.
Kisgen followed up with a ground ball fielder's choice to shortstop, as Lynch was throw out at second; Finley scored on the play, as Kisgen picked up an RBI, bringing the score to 5-3.
Both sides went three-up-and-three-down in the sixth.
Mineral Point made a change on the mound in the top of the seventh, as Radtke relieved Vamstad with one out.
Steiner drew a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Vamstad.
With two pitches in, Hampton hit a ground ball to third base, where Vamstad went after coming off the mound, and had an error, as Steiner scored.
But the Pointers got out of the inning after Vamstad caught a pop up.
Down to their final three outs, Mineral Point had back-to-back strikeouts.
Steiner was relieved by Brayden Hutchcroft after getting the punch-outs.
Hutchcroft gave up a walk to Vamstad, then Lynch hit a hard line drive, but it was caught in right field, as Potosi/Cassville escaped with the 6-3 win.
Potosi/Cassville had eight hits on the day; Mineral Point had four.
The Pointers had three errors, as Potosi/Cassville scored three runs on errors, which was a difference-maker.
Despite being given the loss, Vamstad allowed just two earned runs on eight hits, three strikeouts and two walks.
Lynch led the Pointer offense, going two-for-four with an RBI and a run scored.
Landon Thousand had the lone extra-base hit for Mineral Point.
The Pointers fell to 3-3 with the loss Thursday.
Box Score
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
P/C 4 0 0 0 1 0 1 6 8 1
MP 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 3 4 3
Potosi/Cassville pitching
Steiner (W) 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 9 K, 4 BB
Hutchcroft (SV) .1 IP, 0 ER, BB
Potosi/Cassville batting
Udelhofen 2/4, R, 2B
Kruser 0/4, R
Steiner 1/2, 2 BB, 3 R
Kerkoff 1/4, 2 RBI, R
Hampton 1/4
Okey 0/3, RBI, BB
Adams 1/4
Hutchcroft 1/3
Oyen 1/3
Mineral Point pitching
Vamstad (L) 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 3 K, 2 BB
Radtke .1 IP, 0 ER, BB
Mineral Point batting
Vamstad (P/3B) 0/2, 2 BB
Lynch (CF) 2/4, RBI, R
Kisgen (3B/1B) 0/2, RBI, BB
Radtke (1B/P) 0/3
Galle (C) 0/2, BB
Wendhausen (2B) 0/3
Thousand (SS) 1/3, 2B
Phillips (DH) 0/2, R, BB
Finley (LF) 1/3, R