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Whitnall baseball earns split, keeps division lead

Serio, Mentkowski strong on mound

July 2, 2013

Despite playing just two games last week, and earning just a split in them, the Whitnall baseball team stayed on top in the Woodland Conference East Division.

The Falcons blanked Shorewood 7-0 on June 24 on a two-hitter by ace Josh Serio, then dropped a 1-0 game to New Berlin West on June 27 as Sam Mentkowski took a tough defeat.

The split left Whitnall at 11-5 in the division, 21/2 games ahead of second-place South Milwaukee.

The Falcons (12-7 overall going into this week) met Shorewood on Wednesday and close Woodland play at 5 p.m. Friday at New Berlin Eisenhower.

The WIAA tournament then begins Tuesday with regional action.

In the June 24 game with Shorewood, Serio struck out 13 and walked four in seven innings.

"He has a good fastball and locates it well," head coach Ben Krey said. "The speed is tough to catch up to, and when he mixes it with a good curveball, he is tough to hit."

Serio improved to 4-2 on the season, and those two losses were by scores of 2-0 and 2-1.

Mentkowski led the offense by going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in, while Zach Sutton was 2-for-4.

In the loss to New Berlin West, Mentkowski allowed just three hits in seven innings with four strikeouts and three walks. The Vikings tallied their only run in the sixth.

"We had runners in scoring position," Krey said. "There was a failed squeeze play with a runner out at the plate. In another inning, we had men at first and second and hit a line drive to second base for a double play."

Despite that loss, Krey is optimistic about the upcoming playoffs.

"We can put a competitive team on the field every day," the coach said. "We have strong pitching. We just need clutch hits. We also had only one error last week, and we are cutting down on our mental mistakes."

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