Waupaca (25-4) captured its first State championship by shutting out 2015 champion Milwaukee Lutheran (24-8) 2-0 in the Division 2 final at Neuroscience Group Field in Grand Chute Thursday afternoon.
The Red Knights had a golden opportunity to score the game’s first run in the third inning, but the runner that presumably scored on a single by TD Walker was called out on appeal for missing third base.
The Comets were first to score with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning. Walker Smith led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice. Jason Ellie delivered a single to center field to drive in Walker, and Hayden Neidert drilled a double to center field to score Ellie and put the Comets ahead by the winning margin.
The Red Knights had the tying run on base in the seventh inning with one-out singles by Jesse Soderbeck and Sam Dekker, but two flyouts to center field extinguished the rally.
Smith pitched a gem, shutting out the Red Knights on five hits while striking out two. He also led the team offensively with a pair of hits and a run scored.
Christian Gerner, Nick Winter, Soderbeck, Decker and Walker accounted for the five Milwaukee Lutheran hits. James Wright went the distance on the mound for the Red Knights and suffered the loss despite allowing just three hits. He gave up two runs and struck out four.
The Red Knights finished runner-up in their fifth State Tournament appearance.