Waupaca drops opener at state
Legion team stays alive in Antigo
By Greg Seubert
This wasn’t the start the Waupaca Legion baseball team was looking for.
Onalaska built an eight-run lead, held Waupaca to three hits and opened the state Class AA Legion baseball tournament July 30 with an 11-1 six-inning win.
The loss dropped Waupaca into the losers’ bracket and the team will face Ahnapee or Medford at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 31. Onalaska will face Kaukauna at 4 p.m. July 31.
Two hits and a pair of errors led to two runs for Onalaska in the bottom of the first inning.
Onalaska added five more runs on six hits in the third to push its lead to 7-0.
Meanwhile, winning pitcher Evan Gamoke retired all 10 of the Waupaca batters he faced.
Waupaca scored its run in the fourth off of reliever Griffin Schultz after Luke Schwenn drew a bases-loaded walk.
Waupaca left the bases loaded in the fourth and sixth innings and had two men on before a double play ended the top of the fifth.
Waupaca was back at the Class AA state tournament for the first time since 2013 by winning the New London Regional.
‘That first game, we were up 1-0 in two pitches,” coach Jay Krcmar said. “We had a triple and hit the guy in on the next pitch. From that point forward, our kids relaxed and just played. We had 14 hits and hit the ball all over the park.
“We talked all regional about hits and defense,” he said. “Hits and defense typically win these types of things. We did that all regional: 36 hits in three games, we scored a lot of runs and really put the pressure on the other team.”
Onalaska came up with 13 hits and made several big plays on defense.
“It’s not easy to get here, so I know our kids didn’t take that for granted,” coach Jay Krcmar said. “Today wasn’t our day for whatever reason,” Krcmar said. “We hit the ball, we just hit it right at them a lot and they made some nice defensive plays.”
The double-elimination tournament, which wraps up Tuesday, Aug. 3, also includes teams from Beaver Dam, River Falls and Antigo.
“I’m proud of our kids,” Krcmar said. “They kept fighting.”
• Another area team, the Clintonville Diamond Cats, are competing in the Class A state tournament in Denmark.
Clintonville opened the tournament July 30 against Altoona. The loser of that game will then play Viroqua or West Salem at 2 p.m. July 31 in the losers’ bracket, while the winner will play at 7 p.m. that day against Viroqua or West Salem.
The tournament also includes teams from Marathon, St. Mary’s Springs, Waupun and Denmark.