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Four State Baseball Champions Crowned


The final day of the 2015 State Spring Baseball Tournament determined champions in four divisions Thursday at Neuroscience Group Field in Grand Chute, Wis.

A two-run single by McCauley Cox in the fifth inning propelled Janesville Craig (29-1) to the Division 1 title with a 2-0 victory over Kimberly (26-5) in the championship final.

The Cougars made the two runs stand up with a combined shut out by starter Nick Cramer and Nick Blomgren in relief. Cramer scattered four hits over five innings of work and is credited with the victory. Blomgren pitched the final two innings to record the save.

JT Smithback collected two of the Cougars’ five hits. Ben Carew went 3-for-3 with a double, and Zach Carney added a pair of hits for the Papermakers.  Cougars’ pitching allowed only one Kimberly base-runner to reach third base, and that came in the fifth inning when the Papermakers stranded runners on second and third.

It is Janesville Craig’s fourth State title. The Cougars won Class A championships in 1983 and 1984, and a Division 1 title in 1998. Kimberly has finished runner-up for the fifth time and for the second straight season.

There were anxious moments in the final inning, but Milwaukee Lutheran (19-13) won the Division 2 championship with a 4-3 win over Notre Dame in the title game.

With one out in the top of the seventh, Notre Dame had a runner reach base with a passed ball following third strike. After a stolen base put the runner in scoring position, James Wright struck out the next batter, walked the following hitter and closed out the inning with a strikeout to preserve the victory.

The Red Knights scored first with a single run in the first inning on a successful squeeze bunt by Sam Ruch to score Nick Winter from third. They added a run in the second inning on an infield single by Christian Gerner.

The Tritons tied the game in the third inning when Connor Yakel singled in a pair of runs with two outs. However, the Red Knights answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to close out the scoring in the game. TD Walker drove in the first run of the inning with a single to shortstop, and Ryan Selner delivered a  base hit to center field to drive in the final run of the game.

Gerner and Winter each had two hits to pace the Red Knights seven-hit attack. The Tritons were held to four hits behind the combination of starter TD Walker and reliever James Wright. Walker struck out seven in five innings to post the win. Wright pitched two innings without surrendering a hit to pick up the save.

It was the third State title for Milwaukee Lutheran, which also won titles in 2002 and 2003.

Lake Country Lutheran (28-2) followed last year’s Division 4 championship with a Division 3 title this season after a dramatic 5-4 walk-off victory over Aquinas (27-4) in the final.

The Lightning scored first with a run in the bottom of the second inning on a run-scoring double by Jack Euclide, but the Blugolds responded with a run in the third to tie the game at 1-1. Alex Dee belted a double to drive in Rudy Rott, who walked earlier in the inning.

Lake Country Lutheran regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning on a fielder’s choice that scored Andrew Buran who had walked with one out.

The real fireworks and drama didn’t begin until the seventh inning. Aquinas scored three runs to grab a 4-2 lead. Alex Schulte singled in a run, another scored on a fielding error and one on a sacrifice fly by Jacob Horstman.

Then Lightning struck. After a ground out to start the bottom of the seventh, Lake Country Lutheran cracked four straight sin

State Spring Baseball Recaps

Day two of the State Spring Baseball Tournament featured the Divisions 2, 3 and 4 semifinals at Neuroscience Group Field in Grand Chute Wednesday.

Division 2

Ty Yewman turned in a dominating pitching performance to propel Notre Dame (20-10) into the Division 2 title game with an 8-1 triumph over River Valley.

Yewman struck out 17 batters, which ties for the second most in a Division 2 game in State Tournament history. He brought a perfect game into the fifth and yielded just three hits in the game. The only run surrendered came home on a bad-hop single by Cole Mahoney over the second baseman.

The Tritons opened the game with a run in each of the first two innings. Noah Wleczyk tripled home Sean Green for the first run, and Nick Martzhal doubled in Gage Garrity to give Notre Dame a two-run advantage. The Tritons piled on insurance runs with two in the sixth inning and four more in the seventh to clinch the victory.

Wleczyk went 2-for-2 with a double and a triple, and Martzhal drove in a pair of runs with two hits to lead the Tritons offense, which out-hit River Valley 10-3. Mahoney had two of the three Blackhawk hits.

Milwaukee Lutheran (18-13) rode the left arm of Nick Winter to the Division 2 championship game in a 1-0 blanking of West Salem (23-5) in the semifinals.

Winter tossed a one-hitter, an infield single to second by Ethan Severson in the fifth inning was the only hit he allowed. Severson was the only Panther to reach third base, but was stranded when Winter recorded one of his eight strikeouts to end the threat.

The only run of the game came on a two-out single to left center with two outs in the fifth inning by Christian Gerner. The soft fly ball popped out of the glove of a diving Bailey Valencia. It scored Trey Volkman from second base, who was pinch-running for designated hitter Sam Dekker who singled.

 

Division 3

Aquinas advanced to the final in Division 3 with a convincing 11-3 win over Marathon in the semifinals.

The Blugolds (27-3) jumped out to a 2-0 in the first inning sparked by a run-scoring triple by Alex Dee, who later scored on a sacrifice fly. They increased their lead to 4-0 with a pair of unearned runs in the fifth inning.

After Marathon scored a run in the bottom half of the fifth inning on an RBI single by Karter Underwood, Aquinas  busted the game open in the sixth inning with seven runs on four to expand the lead to 11-1. The big blow was a two-run double by Dee.

The Red Raiders (26-3) avoided application of the 10-run rule in the bottom of the sixth by scoring twice. Both runs came on a Matt Braun double.

Dee led the Blugolds at the plate, going 3-for-3 and finishing a home run short of the cycle. He also drove in three runs and scored three times. Braun had three hits and a pair of RBI for Marathon, which out-hit Aquinas 9-7 in the game. Underwood and Landen Williamson chipped in with two hits apiece.

Alex Schulte pitched five innings to get credited with the win on the mound for the Blugolds. Dee pitched two scoreless innings in relief.

Last year’s Division 4 champion Lake Country Lutheran advances to the Division 3 title game this year with a 9-3 victory over Chequamegon in the semifinals.

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State Spring Baseball Tournament Preview

The 68th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Spring Baseball State Tournament will take place Tuesday-Thursday, June 16-18, at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute, Wis. Ticket prices for the tourney are $8 per session and $14 for an all-day admission ticket. Tickets are available at the stadium.

2015 Spring Baseball Brackets Complete

The brackets are complete in all WIAA Spring Baseball divisions.  Tournament games begin Tuesday, June 2nd in all divisions.

 Division One | Division Two | Division Three | Division Four

 

Spring/Summer Sportsmanship Award Winners Selected

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, in partnership with Rural Mutual Insurance Company, has selected the team Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2014 Spring and Summer State Team Tournaments.

The winners of the prestigious award are New Holstein in girls soccer, Eau Claire Memorial in boys tennis, Arcadia in softball, Oconto in spring baseball and Oak Creek in summer baseball.


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