The Fort Atkinson Generals played their style of baseball to near perfection Sunday.
Fort Atkinson defeated McFarland, 8-0, in a Sunday League Home Talent game Sunday afternoon in McFarland.
Starting pitcher Drew Dunkleberger tossed a two-hit complete game and all but one starting Fort Atkinson player collected at least one hit in the win.
“This is our ideal scenario,” Fort Atkinson manger Sam Hartwick said. “Really good pitching, everyone in our lineup except for one spot had a hit. We played good defense. If we can play a perfect game I think this is as close as we can get.”
Dunkleberger struck out six batters in his complete game-performance.
Dunkleberger’s victory marks the fifth time this year a Generals pitcher has thrown a complete-game win in Sunday League action. Fort Atkinson, who is 5-2 on the season, is 5-0 in those games.
“It was nice to get him on the mound and let him go to work,” Hartwick said. “I know he was looking forward to this and really stepped up.”
Of the five complete games, four have come from a different starting pitcher.
“Being able to have four pitchers go, you don’t have to rely on the same arm every week,” said Generals third baseman T.J. DiPrizio. “Toward the end of the year, pitchers can get tired. Keeping those arms fresh is an awesome thing to have.”
After a scoreless first, Matt Sweeney drove in DiPrizio in the top of the second for the first run of the game.
In the same half inning, Dunkleberger helped himself out on the mound by scoring on a wild pitch.
Hartwick, who got the start at first base, doubled in the inning and then scored on an error to make it 3-0.
The Generals continued to plate runs in the third inning with RBIs from DiPrizio and Dunkleberger to extend the advantage to 5-0 by the end of the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, it looked like the Generals were in a bit of trouble.
The Muskies (1-4) loaded the bases with no outs. However, Dunkleberger forced a pop out and then pitched into a double play to end the inning unscathed.
“That’s great pitching to pitch out of the jam,” DiPrizio said. “He kept his cool and didn’t walk anybody home.”
“It kept our confidence going and I think it really took some wind out of their sails,” Hartwick said.
DiPrizio knocked in a run in the top of the fifth to make it 6-0, and the score stayed that way until the eighth when Hartwick drove in a run with a fielder’s choice.
It would be the last score of the game.
The Generals continue to stay in the hunt in the Southeast standings. Before the victory against McFarland, Fort Atkinson was tied for third with Jefferson (4-2).
“If we win the games that we feel like we should win, we’ll be right there at the end,” Hartwick said. “We’re a confident group, I believe our guys can beat anyone on any given day. If we continue to have performances like today we’ll be in a great spot.”
The Generals next Sunday League game will be Sunday versus Utica at Jones Park in Fort Atkinson at noon.
FORT ATKINSON 8, McFARLAND 0
Generals 032 010 020 — 8 10 1
Muskies 000 000 000 — 0 2 2
Pitching (ip-h-er-bb-so) — FA: Dunkleberger (W-9-2-0-4-6); M: Wedvick (L-4-4-2-3), Hanson (3.2-7-3-2-4), Schreiber (1.1-0-0-0-2)
Leading hitters — FA: Crandall 2x4 (2B), Davis 2B, DiPrizio 2x5, Harwick 2x3 (2B)