One year after losing to Waupun 11-1 in five innings, the Ripon American Legion team put up a better fight last week Thursday.

But one bad inning hurt its chances to pick up a victory.

Ripon allowed three runs in the third inning and could never recover en route to a 5-2 home loss.

“Pretty much that one inning was the story of the game,” Ripon head coach Keith Cluppert said. “Otherwise, we hung in there right until the end. Looking at last year, we were beat 11-1 in five innings. So we went the [entire] game and were within reach the whole time. It was a good step up.”

Owen Krueger, who started on the mound for Ripon, faced four or fewer batters in four of the other six innings — which included retiring the side in order three times.

He was hurt by two hit batters, one walk and two clutch hits in the costly three-run third inning.

“He hasn’t pitched in a while, so for him to come in and pitch that well was big,” Cluppert said. “... He needs to keep us in the game and he did that. Obviously, he can’t control how [Ripon’s batters are] hitting the ball. We need the bats to be consistent all the way down the lineup. That would help a lot.”

Read the full story in the July 3, 2014 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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