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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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4 Champions Crowned At State Baseball Meet

After fighting weather issues and delays, the WIAA state baseball tournament concluded Thursday, June 19 with four champions being crowned.

Sun Prairie (27-5) won the Division 1 State championship for the third consecutive season by downing Kimberly (21-8) 5-2 in title game at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute.

The Cardinals become just the second program to win three straight championships joining Nekoosa, which won Class B titles in 1980-82.

Sun Prairie drew first blood in the first inning, Connor Funnell led off with a single and eventually scored on a fielding error at first base. Neenah grabbed its first lead in the fourth inning. After a leadoff walk to Griffin Hawley, Ben Carew belted a double to right center to drive him in. The Papermakers took the lead on Mason Schreiber’s RBI single.

Sun Prairie got back to even in the fifth inning on an RBI single to left by Conner Funnell, but the Cardinals failed to capitalize any further, leaving runners stranded on second and third. They regained the lead on a run-scoring single by Drew Hamilton in the sixth, and a sacrifice fly by Justin Krebs provided a two-run cushion. Funnell’s fourth hit of the game expanded the lead to 5-2.

Kimberly attempted a comeback in the seventh inning. With runners on first and third base with one out, the rally was snuffed out by a line drive caught by the shortstop, who threw to first to double-up the runner. 

Ryan Curran pitched a complete game to pick up the win on the mound for the Cardinals. He gave up two runs on four hits. Griffin Hawley suffered the loss in relief of Ethan Taggart for the Papermakers.

-Division 2-

Jefferson (28-3) celebrates its first State championship after a 10-0 win over Viroqua in five innings in the Division 2 championship contest Thursday afternoon. 

The Eagles took command of the game early, scoring three times in the first and five times in the third inning to take an 8-0 advantage. Shoddy fielding victimized the Blackhawks in the first inning leading to all three unearned runs. 

Jefferson loaded the bases with no outs in the third. A two-base error ensued to score the first two runs and set up the big inning. Another run scored on a balk, and Christian Ott and Nate Schrader capped the the inning with a single and sacrifice fly, respectively.

The final two runs were unearned in the fourth inning. Garrett Ebert drove in one of the runs with a ground out and Jared Nelson drove in the final run with a single to center.

Kevin Krause preserved the five-inning shutout by stranding nine Blackhawk runners on base. He gave up four hits and walked six while striking out five.

Tanner Ebert had a pair of hits for Viroqua, and starting pitcher Tyler Bentz was charged with the loss on the mound. The Blackhawks finish runner-up for the third time in three trips to the State Tournament.

-Division 3-

Wisconsin Heights (23-4) dethroned defending champion Oconto (17-7) to capture the Division 3 crown with a 6-0 victory.

Carter Howard tossed a shutout, surrendering two hits and striking out five for the Vanguards. He received all the offensive support he needed in the first inning. The Vanguards pushed across a pair of runs, one on a ground out and one on a Blue Devils’ fielding error.

Wisconsin Heights loaded the bases with three straight singles lead off the fourth inning. Tyler Flamme singled in a run, and Howard hit a sacrifice fly to give the Vanguards a 4-0 lead. They added their final two runs in the sixth inning aided by three Oconto errors.

Hudson Barsness and Marcus Caminiti each collected two hits to lead the Vanguards’ eight-hit attack. The only two hits for the Blue Devils were a single by Brandon Bahde in the first inning and single by Sawyer Koch in the third. 

Howard allowed just two runners to reach third base in the game. Blake Campshure took the loss for the Blue Devils.

-Division 4-

Lake Country Lutheran (32-0) capped a perfect season by winning the Division 4 championship with a a 7-5 defeat of McDonell Central (19-8) in 11 innings, which is the longest game in division history.

The two teams scored more runs in extra innings than they did through regulation by a 12-6 margin. Tied at 3-3, the Lightning scored twice in both the top of the ninth and 10th innings, but the Macks responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of each of those innings.

The Lighting scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the 11th inning and tacked on another three runs on a two-run single by CJ Teske and an RBI single by Murphy Shannon.

Jake Hall had four hits and a pair of RBI, and Chris Kornowski added three hits for the Lightning. BJ Sabol, Shannan and Teski each chipped in with two hits apiece. Aaron Milkert had three hits for the Macks. Zach Gilles Sam Sorensen, Nolan Baier and Robert Ochs each contributed a pair of hits.

Jesse Turner, the fourth pitcher used by the Lightning, was credited with the win in relief. Kendall Dorn suffered the defeat for the Macks.

McDonell Central finishes runner-up for the fifth time in six State Tournament appearances. The Lightning are the first undefeated State champion since Sun Prairie in 2005.


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