Watertown blew a five-run lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, but responded with a five-run rally in the top of the eighth inning to fend off Fort Atkinson 12-7 in a Badger East baseball game on Friday at Jones Park.

The Goslings (12-7, 8-5 in conference) looked to be in command in the late innings after scoring four runs in the fifth and two more in the seventh to take a 7-2 lead.

Fort Atkinson (3-17, 2-11) refused to fold, scoring five in the seventh to extend the game. Dane Brost’s three-run homer to right off reliever Brady Martin tied the game at 7-7.

Nathan Kehl led off the eighth with a double to left and Connor Lehman sacrificed him over and reached on an error. Steven Gates broke the tie with a ground ball single to left.

Evan Sellnow sacrificed Lehman over to third, and Lehman later scored on a wild pitch. With two away, catcher Taylor Walter hit a two-run double to right. Nathan Walter capped the rally with a line drive single to right.

Gates retired the Blackhawks in order in the home half of the eighth, closing it out with a strikeout.

“I thought Fort Atkinson did a great job of battling and pushing the game into extra innings,” Watertown baseball coach Andy Cashin said. “They scored five in the bottom of seventh and earned it. The way our kids responded in the eighth was mental toughness. They keep getting better.”

Sellnow hit a solo homer in the first inning. Gates had three hits and drove in three runs.

Fort starter Ryan Schoenherr allowed five earned on nine hits, fanning six, in 5 2/3 innings. Sheldon Burnett was tagged with seven runs (three earned) on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings to take the loss.

Leadoff hitter Braeden Sayre singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brost in the first. Brost was hit by a pitch in the fourth and later scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-1 Blackhawks.

In the Fort seventh, Schoenherr got the rally going with a single up the middle and Braden Hausen, who was 2-for-4, added a one-out base knock to center that scored Schoenherr. Nate Hartwig then singled in a run before Brost’s aforementioned homer.

The Blackhawks host Delavan-Darien on Monday at 5 p.m.

WATERTOWN 12, FORT ATKINSON 7 (8)

Watertown 100 042 05 — 12 16 1

Fort Atkinson 100 100 50 — 7 10 3

WP: Gates

LP: Burnett

Watertown (ab-r-h-rbi) — Gates 5-2-3-3, Sellnow 4-2-2-1, Martin 4-2-1-1, Schauer 5-0-1-2, T. Walter 5-0-2-2, Clifford 3-0-0-0, Joslyn 1-0-1-0, N. Walter 1-0-1-1, Hinkes 5-0-1-0, Kehl 4-2-2-0, Lehman 3-3-2-1 Totals 40-12-16-11

Fort Atkinson (ab-r-h-rbi) — Sayre 3-2-2-0, Hartwig 4-1-2-2, Brost 3-2-1-3, Schrader 2-0-0-0, Burnett 2-0-0-0, Kucken 2-0-0-0, Narkis 3-0-1-0, Broadhead 2-0-1-0, Schoenherr 2-1-1-0, Hartman 2-0-0-0, Seavert 0-0-0-0, Reuth 1-0-0-0, Hausen 4-1-2-1 Totals 30-7-10-6

2B — W (Lehman, Kehl, T. Walter 2, Schauer), FA (Hausen)

HR — W (Sellnow), FA (Brost)

Pitching — HO: Lee (W) 7 in 6.1, Martin (W) 3 in 0.1, Gates (W) 0 in 1.1, Schoenherr (FA) 8 in 5.2, Burnett (FA) 8 in 2.1. R: Lee (W) 5, Martin (W) 2, Gates (W) 0, Schoenherr (FA) 5, Burnett (FA) 7. SO: Lee (W) 6, Martin (W) 0, Gates (W) 2, Schoenherr (FA) 6, Burnett (FA) 1. BB: Lee (W) 2, Martin (W) 1, Gates (W) 0, Schoenherr (FA) 0, Burnett (FA) 1

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