The Division 1 field has been pared down to two teams vying for the State title following action Thursday at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute, Wis.
Michael Marchese singled in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning to advance Sun Prairie (26-5) into the Division 1 title game in pursuit of its third straight championship with an 8-7 victory over Janesville Parker (23-6).
The Vikings scored in each of the first three innings and took a 5-2 lead with three runs in the third inning, which included a two-run home run by Conner Osmond. The Cardinals tied the score with three runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by Conner Funnell’s two-run single.
Fielding lapses in both halves of the fitth inning led to a pair of runs for both teams to extend the tie to 7-7. The score remained unchanged until Marchese’s heroics in the eighth.
Funnell had a pair of hits for the Cardinals, and Mitch Keel was credited with the victory in relief. Zach Bailey had three hits including a double and Conner Osmond add a pair of hits to lead the Vikings' offense.
In the second semifinal, Kimberly (21-7) scored all the runs it would need in a four-run first inning en route to a 15-1 clubbing of Wilmot Union (23-4).
Walks that eventually scored accounted for three of the four runs plated by the Papermakers in the first inning. Kimberly added a run in the fourth inning and scored five runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to erase any doubt of the game’s outcome.
Mason Schnese collected four hits, including a home run for the Papermakers. Travis Vander Hyden added three hits and three RBI, and Nate Thyssen had a pair of hits with three RBI. Scott Schreiber recorded the victory, giving up just one run on two hits with eight strikeouts through six innings.
Sun Prairie will play Kimberly for the Division 1 State title Thursday at 6 p.m. The State Tournament resumes Wednesday at 8 a.m. with Division 4 semifinal action.
DIVISION 1 QUARTERFINALS
Two-time Division 1 defending champion Sun Prairie (25-5) advanced to the semifinals by ousting Stevens Point (26-3) 5-3 to open the 2014 State Spring Baseball Tournament Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute, Wis. Thursday.
It was a rematch of the 2013 Division 1 championship finals also won by the Cardinals. Trailing 3-2 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, Sun Prairie tied the game on a throwing error on a grounder to shortstop. Coby Oswalt drove in a pair of runs on a single to center to provide the margin of victory.
Oswalt had two hits in the game, as did Michael Marchese, to lead the Cardinals offense. Sam Lund pitched a complete game to record the victory on the hill. Michael Froehlich collected three hits, and Aaron Winch chipped in with a pair of hits to lead the Panthers offense. Cal Giese was saddled the the loss.
Janesville Parker (23-5) advanced to play Sun Prairie with a 4-3 win over Bay Port (22-7) in the second quarterfinal of the day.
Trailing 2-1 in the top of the sixth inning, Brock Welch clubbed a pinch-hit, etwo-run single to left field to give the Vikings a 4-2 lead. The Pirates answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning to cut the deficit to 4-3, but Hunter VanZandt retired Bay Port in the bottom of the seventh with the tying run on third base to preserve the Vikings lead.
Troy Albrecht and Joey Maier each had two hits for the Pirates, who led in the hit column, 9-4. Kakota Klein yielded just four hits with relief help from Joe Baier in the loss.
Wilmot Union (23-3) edged Middleton (21-9) 2-1 in the their Division 1 quarterfinal match-up.
The Panthers struck first with a solo home run by Dustin McFarlane in the second inning. They added another in the third on a Garrett Bogucki RBI single. The Cardinals scored their lone run in the fifth inning when a lead-off walk eventually came around to score on a Jackson Keeler single, one of his two hits in the game.
Bogucki had two hits for the Panthers, and Alec Haluzak went the distance on the mound to record the win, surrendering one run on seven hits. Kasely took the loss, giving up a pair of runs on seven hits.
Kimberly (20-7) used a four-run third inning to open a 5-0 lead en route to a 10-0 victory in six innings over Harford (7-16) in the Division 1 quarterfinals. The Papermakers advance to play Wilmot Union in the semifinals.
Leading 1-0 in the fourth, Scott Schreiber extended the Papermaker lead with a run-scoring single, and Nate Thyssen and Brice Swick each contributed RBI doubles in the fourth inning. Another run scored on a throwing error by the catcher to third base on a wild pitch. They added three insurance runs in the fifth, including a two-run triple by Mason Schnese, and end the game with two tallies in the sixth inning.
Swick was the winning pitcher, tossing a shutout and yielding just three hits in six innings. Thyssen led the Papermakers offense with three hits, and Travis Vanden Hyden added two hits.
Sun Prairie plays Janesville Parkersemifinals at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Wilmot Union versus Kimberly game will immediately follow.