Scandinavia advances to BABA final
By Greg Seubert
The Waupaca Lakemen won five straight Badger Amateur Baseball Association Grand Championships from 1976-80.
The team accomplished that feat again Aug. 27 with a 3-0 win over Hortonville in the Dairyland League Grand Championship. The win is the fifth straight title for Waupaca, which won a BABA Grand Championship in 2019 and Dairyland championships in 2020, 2021 and 2023.
Meanwhile, this year’s BABA Grand Championship will feature the same two teams as last year, as Scandinavia defeated Clintonville 13-4 and Antigo/Polar topped Little Falls 4-2 in BABA semifinal games.
Scandinavia and Antigo/Polar will meet at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3, at Kratz Park in Antigo. Antigo/Polar won last year’s championship with a 6-1 win.
Waupaca 3, Hortonville 0
Luke Behm’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning added to Waupaca’s 1-0 lead.
The Lakemen opened the scoring in the fourth, as Jake Pankratz scored on Walker Smith’s single.
The score remained 1-0 until Behm’s home run that also scored pinch runner Eric Brehmer.
Waupaca outhit the Stars 5-2. Winning pitcher Cam Seidl struck out 14 batters over eight innings and Jack Egan struck out two more batters in a scoreless ninth inning to pick up the save.
“I’ll tell you what, if there’s a better pitcher in amateur baseball in the state, I want to see him,” Lakemen manager Andy Wanty said. “Maybe Jack’s a close second, but he doesn’t get to pitch very much on Sunday because Cam has the wheels rolling and we just let it roll.”
Connor Roesler and Ty Dreier had Hortonville’s hits.
“It’s my fifth year as a manager and five Grand Championships in a row,” Wanty said. “It’s special each year for whatever reason. Every year, it’s a new group of guys. The faces change, but the culture stays the same. The Lakemen culture is to win baseball games and do it right. We’ve been pretty good at it for a lot of years. It never gets old, ever.”
The Stars handed the Lakemen their only league loss – 5-2 – in June.
“It always feels good to get Hortonville,” Wanty said. “They always have great pitching and that was the name of the game today. It was going to be a battle to the end. Our run in the fourth was a huge run. You have to score to win. They didn’t score and we did.”
- Seidl and Behm were named the Dairyland’s outstanding pitcher and hitter, respectively. Seidl was also named the Grand Championship’s most valuable player.
Scandinavia 13, Clintonville 4
Ben Lee hit a home run and drove in six runs to help lead the Vikings over the A’s.
Marcus Jaworski picked up the win on the mound and Jesse Dickert had three hits for Scandinavia. Lee, Gus Turner Zick and Sterling Lutz added two hits for the Vikings.
Turner Doornink had two hits, including a home run, to lead Clintonville at the plate.
Brock Smejkal took the loss.
Antigo/Polar 4, Little Falls 2
Winning pitcher A.J. Kirsch had two hits as Antigo/Polar ended the Loggers’ season.
Jed Weix also had two hits for Antigo/Polar.
Chris Dunn went the distance for Little Falls, gave up six hits and struck out eight batters.
Kyle Finger had two hits for the Loggers.