For the few fans who were in attendance Wednesday night, they certainly got their money's worth.
With a last-second change to the schedule and the threat of thunderstorms all day, the crowd was sparse at Wildwood Park, to say the least. With the sudden folding of the Manitowoc Bandits, the A's were left scrambling to find a replacement team when the club was set to host three other teams from the area over the course of the next few Wednesdays. The A's couldn't find a replacement, so they stepped up themselves.
The A's took on the nearby Cleveland Wildcats and followed that up by facing the Plymouth Flames.
If the Wildcats, members of the East Shore League who typically play once a week against other smaller communities, roster looked somewhat familiar to long-time A's fans, it should. Five of their nine starts all featured former Sheboygan A's, and in fact, one of them is a current A. Charlie, Nick, and Peter Reschke all suited up for Cleveland, along with Tim Salm, who all donned A's uniforms in the past. Current A's pitcher Mitch Gardner, who also plays with Cleveland, suited up for the Wildcats last night.
In the end, the A's proved to be too much for Cleveland, as the A's cruised to a 9-0 victory behind a combined no-hitter from A's pitchers John VanderPloeg and Eric Schmitz.
In fact, the only thing that stood in the way of a perfect game was a second-inning walk to Peter Reschke by VanderPloeg.
The A's scored runs in each of their six trips to the plate, minus the second inning, finishing the night with 13 hits. Eight of the nine A's starters collected at least a hit in the contest, with rookie Bryce Brogni collecting three to lead the way.
In game two of the evening, the A's took on the Plymouth Flames of the Rock River League.
For the first six innings, the A's continued right where they left off in game one.
Schmitz, who pitched the final four innings of game one, started game two and didn't allow his first hit of the night until the second inning when he already had one out, giving the A's pitching staff 8.1 innings of no-hit baseball.
With two runs in the first, one each in the second and third, four in the fourth, and one in the fifth, the A's sat comfortably with a 9-1 lead entering the seventh.
Kyle Moyer came in to pitch the seventh and got the first batter he faced to ground out. Then things got interesting.
Moyer ran into some control problems, and when he found the strike zone, Plymouth put the ball in play. One by one, the Flames crossed the plate. When it was all said and done, the Flames plated nine runs in the inning and headed into the bottom of the seventh with a 10-9 lead.
In the final frame, however, the A's showed their mental toughness, with a single by Chris Saltzman. Jake Arens followed that up by reaching base after being hit by a pitch, and an error allowed Harry Steldt to reach base to load the bases. After a fielders choice got the Flames to two outs, Travis Slywka hit an infield pop-up that should have ended the game, but the Flames Ryan Schmitz lost the ball and it dropped, allowing two A's runners to score, and win the game 11-10.
Steldt, who came on in relief of Moyer took the victory.
The A's have off Thursday before hitting the road for the first time Friday to take on the Appleton Legends. The team returns home Saturday and Sunday for a four-game weekend set with the Addison Braves. In game one of each doubleheader, the A's will feature $1 hot dogs, and in game two, Bud Light tap beer is $1 off. Saturday's first pitch is at 5 PM, and Sunday is at 1 PM.
The Sheboygan A's are members of the Wisconsin State League and Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League. The A's have helped develop more than 41 players that have reached professional baseball, including 2002 World Series Champion Jarrod Washburn (Anaheim Angels). All Sheboygan A's home games are played at Wildwood Baseball Park in Sheboygan. Connect with the A's on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.comments powered by Disqus