By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – Green Bay Preble baseball player Jeremy Jahnke picked a good time for the game of his life.
In a makeup game days before the postseason begins, Jahnke had a two-run double to tie the game in the sixth inning and a three-run homer in the eighth to help propel the Hornets to a 12-6 Fox River Classic Conference victory May 27 over Green Bay Southwest.
Jahnke’s double to right in the sixth came with Preble trailing 5-3 and two out.
His three-run blast to left in the eighth put the Hornets up 9-5.
“I’ve not had a game like this in my career,” Jahnke said. “I went up to the plate with confidence and did what I could.”
On the double, Jahnke said he got an outside fastball from Southwest pitcher Ashton Guderyon – a pitch he poked over the right fielder’s head.
Jahnke said he hit a few home runs in Little League, but this was his first career homer in high school.
“It was an inside fastball, and I turned on it,” he said. “I worked on that all offseason – I didn’t miss it.”
Preble Head Coach Clint Petasek said he’s been impressed by Jahnke, the No. 9 hitter in the lineup.
“He’s been getting it as of late,” he said. “He’s shown good improvement, so he’s been getting more playing time.”
Petasek also said he was happy to make up the game, even though it comes right before the postseason.
“It helped us stay sharp,” he said. “We didn’t overwork our pitchers and got a win.”
After Preble grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Ian Johnson, the Trojans scored three runs in the second.
Leadoff hitter Mason Meyer, who was 3-for-4 in the game, had an RBI single to score Guderyon.
The Hornets closed the gap to a single run in the top of the third inning on an RBI single by Reese Berg.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Southwest went up 5-2 on an RBI double by Jaicee Foster, who eventually stole third base but came up gimpy on the play with an apparent lower leg injury.
Pinch-runner Jace Proski eventually scored on a wild pitch.
With the game tied 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Trojans had a runner on second with two outs, but Connor Hefling’s line shot was snagged by Preble second baseman Aiden Hoffman, ending the inning.
In the seven-run, seventh-inning by the Hornets, they sent 12 batters to the plate and collected seven hits.
Besides Jahnke’s blast, Hunter Barlament, Hoffman, Johnson and Ben Hess had RBI in the inning.
The Hornets earned a No. 6 seed in their respective sectional bracket and host No. 11 Kaukauna Tuesday, May 31.
“I think the top four teams (Kimberly, Ashwaubenon, Hortonville, Appleton North) were concrete,” Petasek said. “I was hoping for a 5 (seed), but at the time, we weren’t in second place (in the FRCC).”