WINNECONNE, Wis. (WFRV) – After losing six seniors from last year’s state championship team, even legendary Denmark baseball coach Bill Miller wasn’t sure his team could get back to elite form after the first week of practice.
Just over 10 weeks later, the Vikings are headed to the state tournament again.
Denmark survived a rugged sectional Tuesday at Winneconne, shutting down Chilton 2-0 thanks to 6.2 scoreless innings from pitcher Jaycob Dittmer in the sectional final.
The Vikings won their regional semifinal, regional final, and sectional semifinal games by one run each.
The North Eastern Conference champs started the scoring in the top of the first inning, playing as the road team in the matchup of one-seeds. But a single tally in the first frame would be the only number on the scoreboard for the next four innings as both teams extinguished multiple scoring threats from their opponents.
In the fifth inning, Denmark finally gave itself some breathing room when Ethan Ovsak chopped a high bouncer toward third base and beat out the throw for an infield single, scoring Nolan Perry on some heads-up two-out baserunning from second.
After two more innings of nervous baseball, the Vikings finally slammed the door in the seventh, with Dittmer getting the first two outs and Lucas Miller closing things out by coaxing a ground ball to – fittingly – Dittmer at the shortstop position.
Denmark (28-2) will join Altoona, Jefferson, and St. Thomas More for the Division 2 state tournament in Grand Chute next week.