GREEN BAY, Wis — The division 1 boys baseball sectional in northeast Wisconsin may have had four of the best teams in the state when all was said and done. And it was the FRCC versus the FVA in a battle right to the final out.
In the first game of the day at Joannes Stadium, Kimberly came back from being down 6-1 to beat De Pere 9-8. The Redbirds scored once in the top of 7th inning but ended up leaving the bases loaded. Preble also had their hands full with Hortonville in the second game and not only managed to come back and tie the game up, the won it 8-7 in 8 innings.
That set up a showdown between the Kimberly baseball program that has been to state five straight years, and the Preble boys who have made the trip to Fox Cities Stadium three times in a row. Last year the Hornets beat the Papermakers in the opening round of the championships in the quarterfinals 3-2. After a pair of scoreless innings, Preble’s ace was a difference maker at the plate. With the bases loaded, FRCC player of the year (for the third year in a row) Max Wagner smashed a triple all the way to the wall in centerfield that would clear the bases for a 3-0 lead and he knows how huge this is for the program.
“I mean this means a lot. This is our fourth year going back and I want this to be the year, but we don’t know that yet. I mean we have had so many chances to win it, but hopefully this is the year.”
In the 5th inning, the Hornets Josh Nicklaus hit a sacrifice fly to right field that brought home Connor Shefchik to make it a 4-0 advantage. Ben Graff added some insurance with an RBI double in the 7th inning en route to a 5-0 sectional final win over Kimberly. The victory not only ending the Papermakers win streak this season at 17, they also ended Kimberly’s run of 5 straight trips to the championships in Grand Chute. Wagner went six shutout innings on the mound and Preble reliever Bryce Miller shut down the Papermakers in order to close out the contest. Hornet’s head coach Andrew Conard knows how hard it is just to get the championships and realizes how rare this opportunity is.
“It’s always exciting to get a chance to play at Fox Cities Stadium and a chance to compete against the best teams in the state. I mean it’s a honor. We are so much looking forward to it and it sounds like we are going to be playing bright and early, so earlier the better from our stand point”
Preble is headed to state for the fourth straight year and they will face Burlington on Tuesday, June 11 in the D-1 Quarterfinals at 8:00 a.m.
WIAA Sectional Finals
Green Bay Preble 5
Fond du Lac 7
Sheboygan North 3
West De Pere 13
St. Mary Catholic 3
Sturgeon Bay 2
Gibraltar/Washington Island 3