Home of the 2011, 2012 and 2017 Land O' Lakes Grand Champions!
Brookfield at Sussex - Sunday 1 pm
Brookfield 5 Pewaukee 3
The Bulldogs got a huge effort from Mike Mierow in relief of a strong outing from starter Greg Basthemer and came up with the big Lake Country win over Pewaukee. Mierow pitched 3-1/3 innings and gave up no runs on 2 hits while striking out 4. Basthemer pitched 5-2/3 innings and gave up 3 run on 8 hits while striking out 3 and walking 3. Brandon Buelow provided a big lift for the Bulldogs at the plate with a 2-run homer and finished with 2 hits and 3 RBI. Mike Jacobs had a huge RBI single. Mierow and Dan Barwick each had a hit. The Bulldogs travel to Sussex with first place on the line Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 pm.
Bulldogs eye another LOL West title
LAND O’ LAKES Brookfield 8-1 this season
By Chuck Delsman, Freeman Correspondent
BROOKFIELD — Winning baseball games on a consistent basis has not been a problem for many years for the Brookfield Bulldogs in the highly competitive Land O’ Lakes Western Division. They’ve captured four league championships in the last 10 years. And that winning tradition is continuing again this season.
Coached by Jason Booth for the 19th consecutive year, the Bulldogs are off to a fast start, leading the Lake Country Division with an 8-1 record. Their only blemish is an 8-7 loss suffered to another LOL West perennial powerhouse the West Bend 7-Up on May 27. Since that defeat, Brookfield has put together four impressive wins in a row and appear headed to another big season in the two-division, 14-team league.
Always a serious title contender, the Bulldogs appears to be as good as any team in the league. But to repeat as league champs, they’re going to have to fight off expected serious challenges from the likes of Sussex, Pewaukee and Lannon in the Lake Country Division and the 7-Up and crosstown rival Brookfield Blue Sox in the Suburban Division.
Brookfield Bulldogs’ Mike Jacobs throws the during a Land O’ Lakes West Division game this season.
"Team chemistry is the one constant that we’ve maintained in all of our years of success," Booth said. "The guys have bought into one goal and that’s working together to win championships. We throw individual stats out the window. The players hold each other accountable to be committed to the team. For the most part,we have our whole team showing up to all the games over the course of the season, which breeds success. You see other teams across the league missing a bunch of guys on certain weekends."
The Bulldogs won back-to-back LOL Grand Championships in 2011 and 2012, when the Lakes program was still a four-division league. That marked just the second time since the first year of the Land O’ Lakes in 1922 that Brookfield teams won consecutive titles. The Brookfield Lakers No. 1 captured three straight LOL titles in 1982, 1983 and 1984.
Since the LOL Western Division went on its own in 2016, the Bulldogs have a composite record of 36-9 — best in the league. Booth has a roster loaded with very productive players. Pitching is good, hitting is solid and the Bulldogs always play good defense. And that’s always a winning combination in any league at any level.
There’s little doubt that one of the rocks of the franchise is longtime starting pitcher Greg Basthemer. In his 16th season with the Bulldogs. He’s been one of the most consistent pitchers the division has ever seen. The veteran righthander is off to a fast start this season, sporting a 5-0 record and an ERA of 1.61 — second best in the league. Basthemer won his 100th career LOL West win earlier this season and has a career mark of 103-48. In that span he’s got a career ERA of 3.06 with 862 strikeouts and just 333 walks.
"I was so proud of Greg reaching the century mark in wins earlier this season," Booth said. "It’s really a tough thing to do, especially in a division as tough as the West is. He doesn’t have an overpowering fastball. He just has pinpoint command of the strike zone. He knows how to mix his pitches and has been around long enough to know a lot of the hitters and how to pitch the. I look forward to celebrating the day he is inducted into the Hall of Fame."
But there are other veteran guys who have played key roles in the team’s success. Slugging first baseman Scott Booth — hitting .484 this season — has been one of the league’s best hitters in his 14 seasons with the team. Second baseman Mike Jacobs and center fielder Kris Franzen are in their 14th year with the team and are both productive players as are catcher Mike Mierow, shortstop Randy Sobczak, third baseman Bill Gorman and outfielder/pitcher Josh Lemke.
The Bulldogs have had good luck adding younger players to the team on a regular basis to bolster their attack. Some of those players include outfielder Dan Barwick, infielder Curt Pyral, outfielders Quinn Hyndiuk and Brandon Buelow and pitchers Matt Ausloos and Jon Keane.
"We’ve had good luck mixing the younger players with the older players," Booth said. "That’s been a big key for us. And I have to mention that we picked up Jeff Lueck in 2011 and he was a big part of us winning back-to-back championships. He’s still helping us out. He played at Menomonee Falls for years and then came over and played well for us."
Adam Sarauer of the 7-Up leads the batting race with a .562 mark. He’s followed by Jake Sutherland of Menomonee Falls at .519, Matt Parrent of 7-Up .500, Tanner Williams of Monches .500, Nick Heting of Menomonee Falls.481, Michael Szeszol of 7-Up .480, Trevor Wesline of Sussex .471, Billy Bynum of 7-Up .464, Mike Mierow of the Bulldogs .461 and Tim Kahle of the Brookfield Blue Sox .458. Jason Kalman of Lannon and Wesline have the most RBIs with 13 each and Scott Booth, Sarauer and Nick Schreiber of Sussex have 12 each. Mitch Dubnicka of Monches has 11 RBIs. Basthemer has the most pitching wins with five and Tyler Adams of 7-Up has four. Troy Kenkel of Lannon is the ERA leader at 1.42. Others with good numbers are Basthemer at 1.61, Brian Henschel of Pewaukee 1.96 and Ben Versnik of the Blue Sox 2.14.
Brookfield Bulldogs’ Dan Barwick stands in the batter’s box during a Land O’ Lakes West Division game this season.