The Baraboo Post 26 American Legion baseball team put all the pieces together Sunday night.
Pitchers Brendan Fitzpatrick and Zach Gaffney combined to throw a three-hitter, while the host Bandits came up with key defensive plays and timely hits in a 4-1 win over Portage at Mary Rountree Evans Field.
The win capped the Baraboo Summer Classic, a rain-shortened tournament that saw the Bandits go 2-1. Baraboo lost to Viroqua on Friday and lost Saturday's games due to rain before recording wins over Wisconsin Dells and Portage on Sunday.
Baraboo steadily pulled away from Portage. The teams were tied at 1 after an inning of play, as Andy Mittlesteadt drove in Portage's lone run of the night with a sacrifice fly in the top of the first.
Fitzpatrick stranded baserunners at second and third in the top of the third, inducing a groundout that was dug out of the dirt by first baseman Calvin Peterson.
The Bandits took the lead for good in the bottom of the third. Shortstop Payton Steiner drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Peterson reached on an infield single, with Steiner coming around to score on a throwing error. Quinn Mueller drew a walk and Keagan Marking was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Logan Hammermeister, who singled to right field to give the Bandits a 3-1 lead.
Portage's half of the fourth inning ended when Marking caught a ball in center field and doubled off Peterson at first base.
The Bandits tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth. Peterson hit a two-out double off reliever Matthew Miles, then scored on Will Gunnel's single up the middle that gave Baraboo a 4-1 advantage.
Gaffney came on in relief with no outs and a runner at second in the top of the fifth. The first batter he faced lined out to Steiner, who dove in the hole and threw it to second for a double play. The next batter grounded out, as Gaffney allowed just one baserunner — a two-out single by Hayes Hensler in the sixth — in his three scoreless innings.
Miles allowed one baserunner over his final two innings, as Steiner doubled with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. The Bandits came up empty when Peterson flew out deep to right field.
Peterson and Clayton Teasdale, who went 2 for 3 in the 2-1 win over Wisconsin Dells, represented Baraboo on the all-tournament team, while Mittlesteadt and Logan Carlson were Portage's representatives.
The Bandits, who have turned it around since starting the season with six straight losses, are scheduled to begin AA American Legion regional play July 18 against Onalaska in Holmen. The AA state tournament will be held July 26-30 at Woodside Sports Complex in Mauston.