Legion team wins Class A regional
By Greg Seubert
The season isn’t over yet for one area American Legion baseball team.
Iola wrapped up a trip to the Class A state tournament July 26 with a 5-4 win over Clintonville and a 2-0 win over Oconto Falls in the final day of the Clintonville/Marion Regional.
Iola opened state tournament play Wednesday, July 29, against Wisconsin Dells at West Salem’s Damian Miller Field.
Teams from Jefferson, Marathon, Viroqua, Osseo, Denmark and West Salem are also competing in the double-elimination tournament, which runs through Sunday, Aug. 2.
Meanwhile, Waupaca hosted a Class AA tournament and ended its season July 24 with a loss to Hortonville at Lakemen Field.
Iola opened the tournament July 22 with a 5-4 win over Clintonville, but dropped a 6-2 decision the following day to Bonduel.
Iola then eliminated Keshena a 15-1 defeat July 24 and stayed alive in the tournament with a 13-3 win over Oconto Falls July 25.
The team needed to knock off Clintonville and Oconto Falls July 26 to earn its first trip to state.
Manawa also competed in the tournament, but fell to Oconto Falls 11-2 July 22 and 5-3 to Keshena July 23.
Waupaca posted a 1-2 record in the tournament, which Menasha ended up winning.
Menasha opened the eight-team regional July 22 with a 6-2 win over Waupaca in eight innings.
The Twins opened the scoring with a pair of the runs in the top of the third inning, but Waupaca tied the game in the bottom of the seventh.
Jon Smolinski drove in two runs for Menasha with a single in the eighth.
Owen McCann drove in both of Waupaca’s runs.
Waupaca then knocked off New London 5-1 July 23.
New London came up with a run in the bottom of the second, but Waupaca took the lead for good with two runs in the third on Hayden Neidert’s two-run single. McCann added a two-run home run in the fifth.
Ryan Dayton picked up the win on the mound.
Waupaca then faced Hortonville July 24, but came out on the short end of a 9-6 score.
The teams went into the fifth inning tied at 3-3 after Waupaca scored twice in the bottom of the first on a Joe Ogden single and once in the second and Hortonville came up with a run in the first and two in the second on Aaron Bonikowske’s single.
Waupaca broke the tie on the fifth on Shane Olsen’s double that scored Dayton, but Hortonville’s Ty Dreier answered with a two-run double in the sixth. Adam Buckingham added a two-run single to give the visitors a 7-4 lead.
McCann scored on an error in the bottom of the sixth to make it 7-5 and Jake Popham added an RBI single for Waupaca, but Dreier came up with an RBI single, his fifth hit of the game, in the seventh.
Buckingham got the win on the mound and Brandon Watts took the loss.