RICHLAND CENTER – The Clintonville American Legion Post 63 Diamond Cats made their fifth consecutive trip to the State American Legion Baseball Tournament last week. Clintonville has won the state tournament three out of the last five years, but had to settle for third place this year. The team played well and earned the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award.
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Patrick VanDaalwyk got the win on the mound, while Austin Paisar was 3×4 with a double. VanDaalwyk added a double, and Garrick Morgan, Nate Simpson, Mike Hogen and Chase Stenson each had a hit.
Stenson took the loss, while Paisar contributed a hit to the Clintonville offense.
Paisar earned the win and was 2×2 at the plate, while Jake Riemer and Kevin Ignacio each had hits in the game.
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Stenson picked up the win and led the offense with a double, while Paisar, Hogen, Riemer and Ignacio each added hits.
VanDaalwyk took the loss but came up with a double and Clintonville’s lone RBI. Paisar was 2×4, and Simpson, Stenson and Matt Hendricks all had hits.
“It took Jordan ‘The Puma’ Jess to knock the Diamond Cats out of the tournament,” commented Coach Bill VanDaalwyk. “Jess is one of the best pitchers in the state, throwing between 88 and 90 miles per hour consistently. He also has a curveball that drops off the table, and his pitching proved to be the difference.
“With Ripon choosing to throw ‘The Puma’ twice against us, it shows the quality of team we have and their respect for us,” VanDaalwyk said. “Jess will be playing baseball at Minnesota for the Golden Gophers.
“The tournament was balanced throughout, with any team having the ability to win the whole thing,” continued VanDaalwyk. “Communities represented included Clintonville, Bruce, Wisconsin Dells, Richland Center, Northern Door, Ripon, Viroqua, and Nekoosa.”
The Diamond Cats brought home the Sportsmanship Award for the tournament. The Richland Center community praised the quality of respect the Diamond Cats presented throughout the state tournament. Coach VanDaalwyk and the rest of the coaching staff appreciate all of the players and their families for representing the Clintonville community with honor and respect.
“When you hear the good comments from the tournament directors, umpires, parents from other communities, hotel workers, and so on, it makes you proud to be a Diamond Cat,” VanDaalwyk commented. “We appreciate everyone who made this happen and hopefully we can get back to the state tournament next year for the sixth time in a row!”