By Paul Lecker
PLOVER – De Pere scored four times in the top of the second inning to take control early and pulled past Plover 10-3 in an elimination game at the 2021 Class AAA Wisconsin American Legion State Baseball Tournament on Friday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Park.
De Pere (17-7) moves on to the final day of the tournament and will play another elimination game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against Oshkosh (23-2), a 12-4 winner over La Crosse on Friday night. La Crosse (16-6), as the last undefeated team in the double-elimination tournament, earns a spot in the championship game against the winner of De Pere and Oshkosh at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. La Crosse and the De Pere-Oshkosh winner move into next week’s Central Plains Regional in South Dakota. Both games Saturday will be live at zaleskisports.com.
De Pere was able to get to Plover pitcher Bryce Ehr in the second. Ehr hit two batters, one with the bases loaded, and Ausitn Litts delivered a two-run single to give De Pere a 4-0 lead.
Plover got one back in the bottom of the inning when Marcus Jaworski led off with a single, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on an error. However, De Pere struck back with a run in the third on a solo home run by Kaden Kosobucki, a no-doubter to deep left-center field.
The Black Sox (20-10) had their best chance for a big inning in the fourth. Jaworski had a one-out single and after a fielder’s choice force out at second, an error and an infield single and a throwing error allowed Lucca Weinkauf to score.
Brycen Cashin followed with a walk to load the bases before De Pere pitcher Luke Brosig coaxed Tommy Drohner into a tapper back to the mound to end the threat.
Plover cut the deficit to 5-3 in the fifth when Austin Beyer led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Thomas Hunt, but that would be it for the Black Sox.
Brosig retired the final six batters he faced before reaching his pitch limit. De Pere added a run in the sixth and four more in the seventh, and Braydon Skendandore retired the final two batters in the bottom of the seventh to end Plover’s season.
Litts finished with three hits and three RBIs, and Kosobucki, Bennett Spaeth, Wyatt Fischer and Benji Henke each had two hits for De Pere, which had 12 in all.
De Pere 10, Plover 3
De Pere 041 001 4 - 10 12 3
Plover 010 110 0 - 3 5 2
WP: Luke Brosig. LP: Bryce Ehr.
SO: Brosig (6 1/3 inn.) 3, Braydon Skenandore (2/3 inn.) 0; Ehr (5 2/3 inn.) 4, Jon Nafe (1 1/3 inn.) 0. BB: Brosig 2, Skenandore 0; Ehr 2, Nafe 0.
Top hitters: DP, Josh Brud 1x4, RBI; Austin Litts 3x4, 2B, 3 RBIs; Kaden Kosobucki 2x4, HR, 3 runs, RBI; Bennett Spaeth 2x4, 2 runs; Wyatt Fischer 2x4, 2B, run, RBI; Derek Weber 1x2, 2 runs, RBI; Benji Henke 2x4, 2 runs, RBI. P, Austin Beyer 1x3, 3B, run; Marcus Jaworski 2x3, run.
Records: De Pere 17-7; Plover 20-10.
2021 Class AAA Wisconsin American Legion State Baseball Tournament
July 27-31, at Veterans Memorial Park, Plover
Tuesday, July 27
Game 1 –La Crosse (14-5) 4, Oshkosh (20-2) 3
Game 2 – Superior (21-5) 4, Manitowoc (13-6) 3
Game 3 – De Pere (15-6) 6, Stevens Point (13-10) 2
Game 4 –Plover (19-8) 10, Racine Norsemen (18-4) 2
Wednesday, July 28
Game 5 – Oshkosh (21-2) 8, Stevens Point (13-11) 0, Stevens Point eliminated
Game 6 – Manitowoc (14-6) 9, Racine (18-5) 5, Racine eliminated
Game 7 – La Crosse (15-5) 6, De Pere (15-7) 2
Game 8 – Plover (20-8) 3, Superior (21-6) 1
Thursday, July 29
Game 9 – De Pere (16-7) 10, Manitowoc (14-7) 0, Manitowoc eliminated
Game 10 – Oshkosh (22-2) 6, Superior (21-7) 5, Superior eliminated
Game 11 – La Crosse (16-5) 7, Plover (20-9) 5
Friday, July 30
Game 12 – De Pere (17-7) 10, Plover (20-10) 3, Plover eliminated
Game 13 – Oshkosh (23-2) 12, La Crosse (16-6) 4
Saturday, July 31
Game 14 – De Pere (17-7) vs. Oshkosh (23-2), 1:30 p.m.
Game 15 (State championship) – Game 14 winner vs. La Crosse (16-6), 4:30 p.m.