Prior to pulling an upset over Cedarburg in the opening round of the playoffs in 2016, Shorewood's baseball team had gone nine seasons without a postseason victory.

Now, the Greyhounds have regional wins in consecutive seasons.

Ninth-seeded Shorewood capitalized on Whitefish Bay errors with small ball for an early lead and rode a strong pitching performance by Chris Zak in an 8-3 win over the eighth-seeded Blue Dukes on July 11.

The Greyhounds' postseason run ended the following day with a 10-1 loss to top-seeded and top-ranked West Bend West. 

Small ball leads to runs

After a scoreless first inning, Calvin Snyder and Ben Grabowski drew consecutive walks off Whitefish Bay starter Owen Jonas to start the top of the second.

Benji Bussen then dropped down a sacrifice bunt. Jonas committed an error on the play, allowing Snyder to score from second base to give Shorewood a 1-0 lead. 

Luis Roche followed with another bunt, which was misplayed by the third baseman Bennett Frank. Grabowski crossed the plate on the play to make it 2-0. After a strikeout, Eric Mueller made it 3-0 with a successful squeeze bunt to score Bussen. 

Dayton Simenz and Aaron Eimers began the third inning with walks, chasing Jonas from the game. With two outs and the bases loaded, Jonas, now at third base, made an error on a ball hit by Roche that allowed Simenz and Eimers to score.

Jack Schill followed with a two-run single to give Shorewood a 7-0 lead.

Zak takes control

Whitefish Bay got on the board in the bottom of the third. Lamont walked to start the inning, moved to second on a double by Alex Anthony and scored on a single to center field by Cade Garcia. 

Zak was able to work out of a first and third jam by retiring Anthony at the plate on a comebacker, inducing an infield fly from Carson Kimple and striking out Jonas. 

He then kept the Blue Dukes off the scoreboard until the sixth when his errant pickoff throw allowed Kimple to score from third base with two outs to pull Whitefish Bay to within 7-2.

Zak completed that at-bat by walking Frank to put two on before being replaced by Milo Bakos. 

Bakos walked the first batter he faced to load the bases before getting Sean Dole to ground out to Garrison Ferone at shortstop to end the inning.

Shorewood played small ball again to add a run in the top of the seventh, as Bussen squeezed home Snyder. 

A walk, a single by Garcia and a wild pitch allowed Whitefish Bay to score a run in the bottom of the seventh, but Bakos ended the game by retiring Kimple on a ground ball to Eimers at second base. 

Zak allowed two earned runs on three hits with three walks and 11 strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings to pick up the victory. 

The Greyhounds had just four hits offensively, but Whitefish Bay's pitchers walked five, hit two batters and the Blue Dukes committed three errors.

Only one of the five runs allowed by Jonas in his two innings were earned. Both runs Lamont was charged with over four innings of work were unearned.

Garcia finished with a pair of hits for Whitefish Bay, which ended its season at 12-18 overall.

Greyhounds fall to West Bend West

Top-ranked West Bend West proved too much for Shorewood in a regional final July 12, as the Spartans moved on to sectional play with a 10-1 win over the Greyhounds.

West Bend West scored four runs in the third inning to take a 4-0 lead. Shorewood answered with a run in the top of the fourth, but the Spartans scored three times in the bottom of the frame and added three more in the sixth.  

Shorewood finished at 15-17 in its first year under coach Mike Vahovick, a nine-win improvement from 2016.