THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
State Baseball Champions Crowned at Fox Cities Stadium
Kimberly (23-8) scored three times in the top of the sixth inning and went on to beat Sun Prairie 4-2 in the State spring baseball Division 1 championship game at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute Thursday evening.
The Papermakers broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning with a two-out, two-run single by Drew Lechnir, and Zach Carney provided Kimberly with an insurance run with a single to cap the three-run rally.
Sun Prairie (25-7) scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning on a ground out to the right side of the infield. Kimberly tied the game in the third inning on a Drew Lechnir single, which scored Zach Lechnir, who doubled in the preceeding at-bat.
Drew Lechnir's two hits and three RBIs powered the Papermakers' seven-hit attack. Cade Hunslinger gave up two runs on five hits in his six innings of work to earn the win on the mound. He received relief help from Ryan Carney, who picked up the save in an inning of relief.
The Cardinals collected six hits in the game, including two by Carson Holin. Alex Oakley belted a double and started the game for Sun Prairie, working 3 2/3 innings and giving up one run on three hits. Joe Hauser was charged with the loss in relief, surrendering three runs on four hits in two innings.
It's Kimberly's third State championship with a Class B championship in 1989 and a Division 1 title in 2007. Sun Prairie finishes runner-up for the first time to go with seven State titles.
West Salem (24-4) won its first State spring baseball crown by downing Waupun (26-6) 8-6 in the Division 2 championship game.
The Panthers scored four runs in both the second and third innings to erase a 2-0 deficit. Four singles and a Waupun error led to three unearned runs in the second, and three hits and two errors produced four unearned runs in the third inning. The big blow was a two-run single by Nick Schultz.
The Warriors scored three runs in the fifth inning to narrow their deficit to 8-5. Drew Behling hit one of his two doubles and three hits in the game to drive in two runs to fuel the rally. Waupun tallied a run in the seventh and had the tying run at the plate to end the game.
Ryan Beirne and Zach Ihle each had two hits to pace the West Salem offense. Starter Alec Gorski was credited with the victory on the mound. He struck out two while yielding five runs on seven hits through four innings. Hunter Wakefield earned the save, yielding one run on three hits in three innings of work.
Behling's three hits and three RBIs led the Waupun offense. Jak Lenz contributed with two hits and three runs scored. Caden Bronkhorst's efforts on the mound were curtailed by a lack of support behind him. Seven of the eight runs given up were unearned.
West Salem earns the title in its third straight State Tournament appearance. Before switching to the spring season, the Panthers made seven appearances in the State summer baseball quarterfinals. Waupun finishes runner-up in its seventh State experience.
Aquinas captured its second State spring baseball championship with a 10-0 blanking of Laconia (13-12) in the Division 3 final.
The Blugolds scored all the runs they would need in the first inning. They plated two unearned runs aided by two Spartans' fielding errors. Aquinas added a single run in the second inning on a home run by Nick Schlicht. Leading 6-0, the Blugolds added four insurance runs in the seventh inning, two coming in on a triple by Sean Dee.
Jess Ondell tossed a three-hit shut out with five strikeouts to notch the victory on the hill for the Blugolds. Only one Spartan base runner advanced to third base in the game. Ondell also collected a pair of hits at the plate and drove in a run. Schlicht led Aquinas with three hits, a pair of RBIs and two runs scored.
The Spartans' three hits were singles by Seth Gosse, Drew Gunnink and Andy Abler. Brady Madigan pitched six innings and allowed just one earned run with six strikeouts. He was charged with the loss. Hunter Engelhardt yielded four runs in his one inning of relief.
The Blugolds' first State title came in 2007. Laconia finishes runner-up in its first State appearance.
Athens (21-7) won the Division 4 State spring baseball championship with a 2-0 shut out over Independence/Gilmanton (23-6).
Klay Ellenbecker scattered six hits over seven scoreless innings to record the win on the mound for the Fighting Bluejays. He struck out four and walked one, and he allow just one runner to reach third base in the game.
Seth Coker collected a pair of hits and drove in both runs to lead the Bluejays' five-hit attack. His two-run double in the first inning accounted for the game's only scoring.
Jesse Pientok had two of the Indees' six hits in the game, and Dayne Keenan was saddled with the loss. He pitched 5 2/3 innings and surrendered two runs on four hits while striking out eight.
It's the Bluejays second State title. They also won the Class C championship in 1982. Independence/Gilmanton finishes runner-up in the co-op's first State appearance.