JANESVILLE - The Rock County River Monster's fast start to the summer continued in a big way Tuesday night at Riverside Park.
The local AAA Legion squad battered traditional power Madison in a doubleheader, defeating the Impact 4-2 and 12-0 on a picture-perfect evening for baseball.
The River Monsters, coming off their only loss of the season after five straight victories to start the summer, rallied from a 2-0 deficit in game one before putting the Impact out of their misery in five innings in game two.
Although clearly pleased with the performance of his squad, Rock County coach Rich Raisbeck also told a cautionary tale regarding the sweep.
"Madison is a really good team," Raisbeck said. "And what you see early in the season, especially during the week, might not be what you see later in the season, or on a weekend. I told the guys not to get overconfident based on these games, because we'll see these guys again, and it might be a completely different looking team."
In the opener, Turner's Drew Ries gave the River Monsters five solid innings to earn the win after allowing three hits and two runs.
"Drew might not have had his best stuff tonight," Raisbeck said. "But he's a tough kid. He grinded it out and stuck with it. Bottom line is, he did his job."
Rock County trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth when they jumped on Madison for three runs to take the lead. Jared Emerson got the rally started with a one-out double. After Sam Nemetz walked, Tyler Aasen had the game's big hit, an RBI double that plated Emerson, while Nemetz came around to score when the throw home sailed over the catcher's head to tie the game.
"I've been struggling a little bit with the bat to start off the year," Aasen said. "I figured I needed to come through with a base hit there and get everybody going, because we started a little slow."
Zach Zahler followed with an RBI single to put the Monsters ahead for good.
Rock County added an insurance run in the fifth when Corbin Ovist and Micah Overlay executed a perfect double steal, with Ovist sliding just under the tag of the Madison catcher to make it 4-2.
"We started out a little slow in that first game," Raisbeck said. "Our bats were heavy. But we got into the swing of things. They gave us the opportunity to get a little aggressive, and they made some miscues that we capitalized on, and that was all it took."
Game two lacked any of the drama the opener showcased. Rock County jumped in front with four runs in the first inning, including an RBI double from Cory Walker and a pair of bases loaded walks.
The River Monsters scored five more times in the second, with Walker chipping in a two-run double, and three more runs in the bottom of the fourth sealed the victory.
Aasen was terrific on the mound, allowing five hits and no walks while striking out six. The Evansville graduate became the third Aasen to play Legion ball for a Beloit-based team, joining his father Troy and brother Trevor, a Parkview graduate.
"In a game like that, you can't even look at the scoreboard," Aasen said. "You've just got to focus on every batter and throw strikes and hopefully it works out in your favor."
• UP NEXT: Rock County will be back in action Thursday when they host Whitewater at Riverside Park. The doubleheader is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.