American Legion team defeats New London, loses to Menasha
By Greg Seubert
Waupaca’s American Legion baseball team should have a handful of games under its belt by now.
Instead, the team has only played twice and split its first two Fox River Valley American Legion Baseball League games with Menasha and New London. Menasha handed Waupaca a 4-0 loss June 20 and Waupaca opened the season two days earlier with an 11-8 win over New London.
As in the past, Waupaca is competing in the league’s West Division with New London, Menasha, Kaukauna, Shawano, Seymour and Bay Port.
Kyle Douglas is back to coach the team and takes over for Nate Goggins. The roster includes 16 players and many of them suited up for Waupaca High School’s team that came up one win away from advancing to state.
“It’s a good group of guys and they’re excited to play because they want to build on that,” Douglas said. “Summer baseball is a good opportunity for everyone to fine-tune their game. The goal is not to win every single game. The goal of summer baseball is to have fun and learn more about the game.”
Menasha 4, Waupaca 0
MENASHA – Menasha’s Chris Van Handel held Waupaca hitless.
“Their pitcher had a great performance,” Douglas said. “Walker (Smith) pitched well enough to win against a good team. When you play a good team, you have to manufacture runs and guys can’t make mental mistakes.”
Waupaca 11, New London 8
NEW LONDON – Waupaca took advantage of errors and walks to score five runs in the second run against the Clippers.
Owen McCann hit a two-run triple as part of a four-run fourth inning.
“He hit it about 390 feet, which would’ve been a home run in most parks, but not Hatten Park,” Douglas said. “We came out sluggish to start, but got the bats going.”
Shane Olson and Brandon Watts added RBI singles for Waupaca, while Smith had two hits and drew three walks.
New London stayed in the game with two runs in the second, one in the third and five in the fourth, but Waupaca came up with three runs in the top of the seventh.
Waupaca will host Green Lake at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 25, before returning to West Division play with five games in three days.
The schedule includes a doubleheader at Kaukauna Monday, June 29; a home doubleheader with Bay Port at 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 30, at Lakemen Fields; and an 8 p.m. rematch at home Wednesday, July 1, with Menasha.
Rainouts and other factors have caused Waupaca’s season to get off to a late start, according to Douglas.
“We should be nine games into the season and we’ve only played two,” he said. “Baseball’s a game where you have to get a lot of repetition. Kids are working and have summer vacations where they’re away from the game for a week. All I ask is when we have a game that they show up and give 100 percent.”