(WFRV) – After heavy storms throughout the area on Wednesday night, the D2 State Baseball Semifinals were moved from Fox Cities Stadium to Nienhaus Field in Appleton and it set up for a wild day of baseball on Thursday that ended in gold for the Denmark Vikings.
After rallying in the top of the seventh inning versus Pewaukee to pull off the 9-8 victory to punch their ticket to the D2 State Championship, the Denmark Vikings had to play just a few hours later at Fox Cities Stadium against Jefferson for the gold.
It was a back and forth game all throughout. After four innings of baseball, Jefferson had the 4-3 advantage – but Denmark rallied all day long and took the one run lead in the bottom of the 5th. Jefferson tied it up at five in the 6th inning, which set up for a moment that Viking players and fans won’t forget.
With the game knotted up at 5 in the bottom half of the 7th inning, Abe Kapinos singled to right field and Ethan Ovsak singled to center field which brought Hayden Konkol to the plate with the winning run in scoring position.
Konkol played hero with a walk-off, game-winning double that ended his senior year with a win at state and back-to-back D2 State Championships for the Denmark Vikings. Konkol told reporters after the game that Thursday’s game winning hit was his first ever walk off.
“I can’t believe this is real right now. It’s a dream come true. I mean, when you’re a kid, this is all you dreamed about – hitting a walk-off in the state championship”, said Konkol. “It’s incredible. To see my team coming after me knowing all of the things they did for me, just how I could give back to them there.”
“The kids are unbelievable. They just have that fight, they never give up. You saw that in the semifinals game and you saw it in the championship game. It’s kind of been like that all year. Just never give up”, said Denmark’s head coach Bill Miller. “They put so much time into it. They’re so happy right now and I’m happy for them because this is the way they wanted to end it and it’s great for them.”
Denmark’s Owen DeGrand pitched four innings giving up three hits and three earned runs. Konkol went 2-4 with 2 RBI and Abe Kapinos went 2-3 with 3 runs scored.
The Vikings finished the season with a 28-3 record and crowned the WIAA Division 2 State Champions.