CLINTONVILLE — Waupun American Legion Post 210 varsity baseball head coach Derrick Standke had an urgent message for his team prior to the opening round of the Class A state tournament on Wednesday.
“We have big goals, but ultimately we have to win game number one and that starts with winning the first pitch of every at-bat and every time you’re in the field,” Standke told his squad. “You’ve got to win that first pitch.”
That’s exactly what Post 210 did when the Wild Turkeys shut out Iola Post 14 by a score of 2-0.
Poor weather pushed the 9:30 a.m. start time back to noon. The conditions contributed to Waupun one error, charged to third baseman Caden Bronkhorst in the seventh inning.
But Standke wasn’t worried about it because “it rained up here all morning. We were running behind and the field conditions were less than ideal. I mean it’s one you don’t want to have, but in the conditions we were playing in, you can deal with it.”
Bronkhorst made up for it, going 2-for-2 with a double that put runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom of the fifth. After Carter Kuslits flied out, Jak Lenz ripped a single down the right-field line to drive in Bryce Burmania.
Collin Witthun’s sacrifice bunt brought Bronkhorst home for Wild Turkeys’ second run.
“He can hit,” Standke said of Bronkhorst. “He’s probably one of our top three or four average hitters as far as average goes. With our pitchers, I really like to let our pitchers just focus on pitching. If we can DH, then we’ve got someone capable of doing it.”
Brenden Bille got the win for Post 210, tossing just 74 pitches in six innings, striking out four along the way.
“Brenden was dialed in pitching again,” Standke said. “He had four hits and the same kid had two of them. He pitched well.”
With the win, Waupun will play the winner of Prairie Du Chien at 3:30 p.m. today.
“The table is set for us good here and we’ve just got to continue to do what we do,” Standke said.
WAUPUN 2, IOLA 0
Iola 000 000 0 - 0 4 0
Waupun 000 020 x - 2 5 1
Pitching (ip-h-er-bb-k): Iola – Connor Kurki (L, 6-5-2-1-1). Waupun – Brenden Bille (w, 6-4-0-0-4). Drew Behling (1-0-0-1-2).
Leading hitters (two or more): Iola – Caleb Loken 2x3. Waupun – Caden Bronkhorst 2x2. 2B: Iola – Connor Kirki. Waupun – Reece Homan, Caden Bronkhorst.