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Coming up short in championship

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031424 onlaska one

By Clay Lilley

Onalaska baseball traveled to Weimar to play in the 47th Annual Weimar Invitational last weekend, finishing with a 2-2 record and second-place trophy.

The Wildcats started the tournament Thursday against the Burton Panthers. They fell behind early, giving up four runs in the first inning and couldnt recover, losing by a final of 6-4. Patrick Roth was 3-for-4 at the plate with three singles, Thad Lilley went 2-for-4 with a double and two stolen bases, while Brayden Topkins was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.

Onalaska’s first of two games Friday was against the No. 8 ranked Class 2A Bosqueville Bulldogs. In a back and forth game, the Wildcats took the lead in the fourth inning, scoring three runs on two doubles, then held the Bulldogs scoreless in the top of the fifth to get the win 6-4. Lilley went 2-for-2 with a walk and scored three runs, Wyatt Reyes went 1-for-3 with an RBI-double and scored a run, and Lucas Jackson went 1-for-2 with a big two-RBI double in the fourth.

Onalaska pitchers freshman Roth and senior Brody Hoover were superb on the mound, getting the 3-1 win against the Rosebud-Lott Cougars Friday afternoon. The Wildcats held an early lead until the fourth inning, when the Cougars tied it up 1-1 on four bunt attempts and three errors. The Wildcats bounced back in the bottom of the fourth, scoring two runs and taking a 3-1 lead. Hoover came in for the starter Roth in the fifth and held the lead, securing the win over Rosebud-Lott. Jackson went 2-for-3 with an RBI-double, Topkins went 1-for-2 with an RBI-double and a walk, Roth pitched four innings and allowed one run and no hits with two strikeouts. Hoover pitched three innings, and allowed no runs on one hit with two strikeouts.

The win against the Cougars setup a rematch against Burton in the championship game Saturday afternoon. Coach Cody Pinkert decided to go with senior Ryder Humbird-Smith as the starter against the Bulldogs. In his first varsity start, he threw three innings, giving up three runs on two hits and struck out four. Burton added another run in the fifth to make the score 4-0. Onalaska had only two hits through six innings, a triple by Lilley in the third and a bunt single by Conner Ruiz in the sixth. The Bulldogs scored two more runs in the top of the seventh, making it a 6-0 game. Finally, in the bottom of the seventh, the Wildcat offense came alive with four hits, a sacrifice, walk, and an error, but it wasn’t enough. Burton was victorious 6-4 once again. Ruiz went 1-for-2 with a run scored, RBI, and base on balls. Roth went 1-for-2 with a run, RBI and walk.

The ‘Cats will be back to district play this week with a series against the Trinity Tigers. They play in Trinity Tuesday and return to Onalaska Friday night, with both starting at 7 p.m. Friday will be Senior Night to celebrate this year’s graduating class. 

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