GRAND CHUTE, Wis. – Denmark won its second consecutive Division 2 championship and three other divisions crowned champions during the 2022 State Baseball Tournament at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium Thursday.
The third-seeded Vikings (28-3) successfully defended the title they won last season with a 6-5 win over fourth-seeded Jefferson (24-8) in a rematch of last year’s championship game participants.
Hayden Konkol belted a one-out, walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh to score Abe Kapinos, who had singled earlier in the inning and advanced to second on an Ethan Ovsak single.
Denmark scored single runs in each of the first three innings to take a 3-2 lead. Jefferson had tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the third with a two-run home run over the centerfield wall by Tyler Butina. The Eagles scored twice again in the fourth inning to take a 4-3 lead on a Vikings’ throwing error and an RBI single by Evan Neitzel.
The Vikings regained the lead at 5-4 with a pair of runs in the fifth inning on a wild pitch and a ground out, but the Eagles pushed another run across in the sixth inning to knot the score at 5-5 on a run-scoring double by Aiden Divine.
Kapinos, Ovsak and Konkol each had a pair of hits to lead the Denmark nine-hit attack. Kapinos scored three times, and both Konkol and Rheis Johnson drove in two runs for the Vikings. Lucas Miller was credited with the victory, working 2/3 of an inning without surrendering a base runner.
Tyler Fredrick had two hits for the Eagles, and Butina was the losing pitcher, giving up three runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings of relief.
The Vikings have advanced to the title game in each of their four State appearances, winning their second title, and the Eagles finished runner-up in their eighth experience at State.
In Division 1, sixth-seeded Milton (24-7) rolled over eighth-seeded Bay Port (24-7) with a six-inning 11-1 victory in the title game to the claim the championship in a bracket where all the higher-seeded teams fell in the quarterfinals.
The Red Hawks scored all the runs they would need in the first inning and failed to score in only one inning. Milton’s six runs in the first frame were fueled by six hits, an error and two wild pitches, sending 10 players to the plate in the inning.
They added a run in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Broden Jackson and two more in the fourth and fifth innings. Jackson drove in two runs with a triple in the fourth, and a fielder’s choice and an unusual play ended the game in the fifth. With the bases loaded, Braylen Vande Berg appeared to have walked to drive in the game-ending run, but he didn’t touch first base in the celebration that ensued and was called out, but the runner on third was ruled safe at the plate.
The only run scored off Red Hawks pitching came in the top of the fifth inning on a bases-loaded single by pinch-hitter Austin Holton.
Jackson went 3-for-3 at the plate and drove in three runs to lead the Red Hawks. Jack Campion and Alec Campbell each collected two hits, and Gavin Kilen and Braylen Vande Berg drove in two runs. Michael Birkhimer was the winning pitcher. He gave up a run on five hits with five strikeouts in four innings.
John Nickel clubbed a double as one of the Pirates’ five hits. Isaiah Grimm started and suffered the defeat on the hill for Bay Port, yielding seven runs on seven hits in 1 1/3 inning.
Milton wins its first title in its first State experience. The Pirates finished runner-up for the second straight season in their 14th tourney appearance.
Fourth-seeded Cuba City (23-4) won the Division 3 championship by doubling-up on second-seeded St. Croix Falls (26-3), 8-4, in the final.
The Cubans scored the game’s first runs on a two-run single by Jackson Soja in the first inning. The Saints cut their deficit in half with a run in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Brady Belisle, which drove in Adrian Scott, who had doubled.
Each team added a run in the second. Will Busch singled home a tally for the Cubans, and Oliver Schmidt had an RBI single for the Saints. St. Croix Falls added a pair of runs in the third inning to take a 4-3 lead with an RBI triple from Belisle, who then scored on a sacrifice fly.
The rest of the scoring was all Cuba City. They added three runs in the fifth. Soja drove in his second run with a fielder’s choice and Max Lucey connected on a two-run single. In the sixth, the Cubans scored on a passed ball and a bases-loaded walk.
Kobe Vosberg had a pair of doubles to power the Cubans' 10-hit attack. He also scored three times. Lucey and Will Busch also had two hits, and Soja drove in a game-high three runs. Blake Bussan was the winning pitcher, tossing 6 2/3 innings and giving up four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.
Belisle had two hits and two RBI to pace the Saints' offense. Dylan Smith started for St. Croix Falls and was charged with the loss on the mound, giving up seven runs on nine hits.
It was the Cubans’ first championship in two trips to the State Tournament. St. Croix Falls places second in its second journey to State.
Top-seeded Regis (23-1) won the Division 4 gold trophy as a result of its 12-3 win over third-seeded Bangor (22-6) in the championship game.
The Ramblers erased a 4-3 deficit in the fifth inning with five runs, and added three more runs in the sixth inning for insurance. They swiped a State Tournament-record 15 bases in the game.
Both teams scored a pair of runs in the first inning. Sam Knickerbocker drove in both runs for the Ramblers with a single after a pair of walks and three steals set up runners at second and third with no outs in the inning. The Cardinals responded with four hits in the bottom half of the inning, including a run-scoring triple by Ashton Michek, who later scored on a single by Chase Horstman.
Bangor scored a run and led 3-2 after back-to-back doubles by Dawson Daines and Bryce Peterson in the second inning, but Regis erased the lead with two runs in the third on an RBI infield single by Zander Rockow and a Cardinals’ error.
The Ramblers five-run fifth inning was highlighted by an RBI triple off the bat of Rockow and a two-run single by Alex Leis. Rockow’s double in the sixth added another run, and Matt Vesperman belted a two-run double in the inning.
Rockow fueled the Regis offense, going 3-for-3 at the plate, including a double, triple, three runs scored and three driven in as well as three stolen bases. Leis also swiped three bases in the game. Cooper Dykes was credited with the win on the mound for the Ramblers, throwing five innings, giving up eight hits and three runs.
Mathieu Oesterle was the only Cardinal with multiple hits in the game with two. Eli Tucker started and was the losing pitcher, surrendering seven runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Regis wins its second State championship in its fourth State appearance, and Bangor is runner-up in its fourth experience.
State Tournament Complete Results & Box Scores