The New London Clippers American Legion baseball team went 3-0 in regional play last weekend to earn a trip to the state tournament in Onalaska. The Clippers will play Rhinelander at 9:30 a.m. Friday as eight teams battle for the state title and a chance to represent Wisconsin at nationals.
New London has not been to the state tournament since 1993, and has not won a state title since the early 1950s.
As a team, New London batted .360 on the tournament. Ethan Thiel batted .580, while Nick Wunderlich hit .500. Luke Listle and Austin Huntley both hit .340, while Dylan Lathrop hit .333.
Ben Mocadlo hit .500 during the regular season, winning the batting title. Hunter Paul will play at the state all-star game, while Nick Wunderlich and Payton Hofherr will represent New London at the divisional all-star game.
New London 12, Shiocton 5
The Clippers fell behind early, but battled back to win the game behind some timely hitting and big innings in the middle part of the game. Payton Hofherr pitched five innings and earned the win, while Ethan Thiel closed out the last two innings of the game.
New London 6, Shawano 3
New London has lost three out of four games against Shawano this year (including high school games), but the Clippers scored their first five batters in the first inning and never looked back. New London added a run in the sixth, and Shawano never threatened until the seventh inning, but only scored one run.
Matt Ott pitched a complete game, striking out five and allowing five hits.
New London 10, Shawano 6
The Clippers faced Shawano once again with a regional title on the line, scoring in nearly every inning. Austin Huntley pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs. Luke Listle pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing one run.
With the game tied at 5-5, New London scored three runs on a series of bunts. A suicide squeeze plated one run. The next batter also bunted, and two runs scored on a Shawano throwing error. The next batter also attempted to bunt, but popped out to the catcher.
New London will open the double-elimination tournament at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3, against Rhinelander, joining teams from Beaver Dam, Menasha, Sturgeon Bay, Menomonie, Holmen and Onalaska.
Meanwhile, Clintonville and Weyauwega-Fremont came up short in the championship games of their respective Class A regionals. Clintonville fell to Waupun 5-1 July 29 in Clintonville, while W-F dropped a 6-4 decision to Nekoosa July 28 in Nekoosa.
New London’s games will be played at Rick Stuhr Memorial Field in Onalaska. To get to the field, take the U.S. Highway 53 North exit off of Interstate 90 near La Crosse, turn left on Main Street and turn right on Sand Lake Road (County Trunk S).
The schedule for the tournament is:
• Friday, Aug. 3: Game 1: Rhinelander vs. New London, 9:30 a.m.; Game 2: Beaver Dam vs. Menasha, noon; Game 3: Sturgeon Bay vs. Menomonie, 2:30 p.m.; Game 4: Holmen vs. Onalaska, 5:30 p.m.
• Saturday, Aug. 4: Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 3 loser, 10 a.m.; Game 6: Game 2 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 12:30 p.m.; Game 7: Game 1 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 3 p.m.; Game 8: Game 2 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 5:30 p.m.
• Sunday, Aug. 5: Game 9: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 loser, noon; Game 10: Game 5 winner vs. Game 8 loser, 2:30 p.m.; Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 5 p.m.
• Monday, Aug. 6 (pairings to be adjusted to match teams that have not previously met or have not played since the first round): Game 12: Game 9 winner vs. Game 11 loser, 2:30 p.m.; Game 13: Game 10 winner vs. Game 11 winner, 5 p.m.
• Tuesday, Aug. 7 (if three teams remain, Game 11 winner will receive bye into Game 15): Game 14: Game 12 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 2:30 p.m.; repeat if necessary, 5 p.m.