Denmark, Wis. (WFRV) – The Denmark Vikings have seen the top of the mountain, but have yet to reach the summit. Coming up short in their two previous trips to the state tournament.
The good news for the Vikings, both of those trips came long before the current crop even knew what a baseball was. Dating back to 2002 and 2005.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the past 16 years, though, is the confidence needed to survive in a sports with a lot of failure.
“You know if you do strike out, or pop-up, you’ve got to put that behind you. More often than not these guys will come through when the situation does come up,” said Denmark head coach Bill MIller.
The Vikings had the confidence they’d overcome a late deficit in the sectional finals. Trailing Rhinelander for most of the game, Denmark scored three in the bottom of the sixth to punch their ticket to the state tournament for the third time in program history.
“That’s our main approach on things. Get it done and find a way to win, and we’ve been doing that all year. We all knew we were going to score runs. We just had to keep going and keep believing in what we do,” said Hayden Konkol.
“Throughout the year we just kind of take care of our business. Obviously when it comes to the games, you’ve got to be ready to play. You’ve got to come out focused and then go out there and have fun,” said Brennen Miller.
Denmark finished as the state runner up each of the last two times they made it to Grand Chute. That confidence is a big part of what this year’s team hopes will get them over the hump, and bring home their first gold ball on Wednesday.
“I think it’s our team chemistry and our confidence. Honestly, we knew in the beginning of the season this is right where we’d be. So, that’s what we were striving for all year,” said Konkol.
“They have this confidence when the go out on the field. They’ve had a lot of close ballgames throughout the year. Really good pitching throughout the year, good defense, and then some timely hitting to go with it. That’s kind of been the formula all year,” said Bill Miller.
Waiting for the top seed is a double header at Fox Cities Stadium. It’s pretty simple, win two games and they’re state champions. To do that the Vikings will follow the same recipe for success that got them to this point.
“We’ve just got to go out there and play our style of baseball. Pitchers throw strikes, defense makes plays, timely hitting. Go out there and do what we’ve been doing this entire year. I mean we can’t change now,” said Brennen Miller.