Waupaca baseball’s first trip to state since 1969
By Greg Seubert
Talk about home field advantage.
Because of a No. 1 seed and being able to host a sectional, the Waupaca baseball team didn’t have to play a game in the WIAA state tournament away from home.
Those four wins included sectional wins June 7 over Valders and Oconto Falls. An 8-3 win over Oconto Falls gave the Comets their first sectional championship since 1969 and the team has advanced to the Division 2 state semifinals, set for Wednesday, June 15, at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute.
Waupaca will play West Salem at approximately 8:30 p.m. The winner of that game will play Lodi or Milwaukee Lutheran for the Division 2 state championship at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 16.
Waupaca 8, Valders 2
The Comets scored four runs on six hits in the bottom of the first inning against the Vikings in the sectional semifinal.
Valders cut the lead in half with a pair of runs in the fifth, but Waupaca added four more in the bottom half of the inning.
The Comets outhit the Vikings 10-2. Jason Ellie got the win on the mound and Brandon Watts worked the last 2 2/3 innings to pick up the save.
Walker Smith and Johnny Popham had two hits for Waupaca.
Waupaca 8, Oconto Falls 3
Both teams scored a run in the first inning, Waupaca regained the lead with a run in the top of the fourth and came up with five more in the fifth.
The Panthers came up with two runs in the seventh, but went into the inning trailing 8-1.
Smith went the distance and held Oconto Falls to three hits. Hayden Neidert had three of Waupaca’s 12 hits, while Jake Popham and Max Menzies added two each.