By Dan Flaherty
The Oconomowoc Five-O's were like the rest of us on Thursday night in that they couldn't beat the heat, but they did an outstanding job in beating Hartford on the baseball diamond, as the O's hung a 14-0 whitewash to win a Tri-County Night League game and send themselves into an off-weekend on a high note.
If you look at the scorebook for the opening hitter of the game you'll see that Chandler Ziemann was retired on a 1-3 pitcher-to-first groundout. What the dry scorebook won't tell you is that Ziemann's bullet line drive that glanced off the pitcher before ending in an out set the tone for the night. Oconomowoc crunched line drives throughout the first four innings, as they piled up a 9-0 lead.
In that first inning, Josh Bouche got things started with two outs on a single to right. Derek Nelson and Brett Marshall each followed with singles and it was 1-0. The third inning was when the O's blew the doors off the game. The big blow of a four-hit, two-walk inning that produced five runs was a triple by A.J. Ramirez, the future USC Trojan shortstop. Three more runs came across in the third inning, with Nate Osterndorf's two-out, two-run double being the key hit. Marshall, who was the night's martyr, as he donned the catcher'sgear in the 100-degree heat got his second hit of the night as part of the barrage.
As the final score indicates, Oconomowoc pitching was dominant through the night and it was a team effort. #1 starter Chris Fischer worked his way back from a sore arm and threw two innings. Alex Hahn tossed three more, Ziemann kicked in six outs and Drew Taylor closed the job in a game that was called by run-rule after the O's scored five times in the top of the eighth.
The good wishes of Five-O's Nation go out to Ziemann who will play in Sunday's All-Star Game at Monches. There's no word on whether Ziemann's contract includes a bonus for making the All-Star Game, which begins at 1:30 PM. The O's then resume Tri-County Night League action on Wednesday night against Hustisford and then Land O'Lakes action is back when the team visits the Brookfield Blue Sox on Sunday, a game of enormous consequence in the LOL West playoff push.