The Manawa Legion Post 226 Baseball Team traveled to Keshena July 20-23 for the Class A regional tournament. Teams competing included: Clintonville, Manawa, Marion/Tigerton, Bonduel, Menominee and Wittenberg.
In the opening game of the tournament, Manawa faced Wittenberg and got off to a good start. Donnie Sell and Austin Peterson each scored in the first inning to jump-start the offense. Danny Roenz started at pitcher for Manawa and held Wittenberg to two runs over the first four innings. In the top of the fifth inning, Manawa used hits by Corey Sullivan, Roenz, Don Sell and a home run by Austin Peterson to balloon the lead to 9-2. Wittenberg climbed back in the game by scoring three runs off Roenz to bring the score to 9-5 going into the sixth inning. Peterson relieved in the sixth inning and experienced rare wildness. After walking the bases loaded, Peterson was relieved by Corey Sullivan and he was greeted by two hits bring the game to a tie. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Wittenberg used a double and an error to score the winning run.
Having to come back the next day after a disappointing loss is part of the challenge of tournament baseball. Manawa was ready for the challenge. Corey Sullivan started on the mound for Manawa, allowing one run while striking out six batters in the first two innings. Unfortunately, Sullivan experienced arm pain and could not continue. Rob Clary took over pitching duties for Manawa. Offensively, Manawa used hits by Clary, Don Sell, Tyler Hass and Dave Sell to push across three runs in the third inning. M-T came back to score two in the bottom of the third, but Clary used a variety of off -speed pitches to shut the opposing offense down the rest of the game. Manawa scored one in the fifth and one in the sixth to increase their lead. A solid 6-4-3 double play in the bottom of the seventh inning sealed the victory for Clary and Post 226.
Austin Peterson took the ball for Manawa against Bonduel in an elimination game for both teams. Striving for redemption from his struggles against Wittenberg, Peterson came out strong, allowing no runs for the first four innings. Offensively, Peterson's teammates had his back as Manawa jumped out to a seven run lead in the top of the first inning. Despite getting lead-off hits from Don and David Sell, Manawa was down to two outs without a run when Garrett Griffin's infield single scored two runs. Tyler Hass, Brandon Bartel, and Casey Johnson aided Peterson in putting runs on the board with consecutive hits. Peterson battled a good Bonduel team the rest of the game, allowing three Bonduel runs. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Peterson ran out of gas, walking the bases loaded and giving up one run. Danny Roenz relieved Peterson and retired the next three hitters on a strike out and two infield pop-ups.
In their second game of the hot day, Manawa faced a difficult task in defeating opponent Clintonville. Roenz took the ball for Manawa and gave up three runs in the first two innings. In the bottom of the second, Manawa scored three times to tie the game. Rob Clary, Brady Dallman, and Garrett Griffin scored on Donny Sell's double to left field that resulted in two Clintonville fielders colliding. After that inning, Manawa couldn't find the answer to Clintonville's pitching and Clintonville kept the offensive pressure on a depleted Manawa pitching staff. Manawa could not pull anything out of its hat and lost to Clintonville.
Overall, the tournament provided the opportunity for players to step up and perform in challenging conditions as the temperatures were in the mid nineties over the course of the tourney. After the game Coaches Augustine and Roenz thanked the players for good effort and dedication to the team over the season. The following players played in their final game of their legion careers: Danny Roenz, Tyler Hass, Corey Sullivan, Rob Clary, and Brady Dallman.
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