Needing to make a statement before Class A Regionals begin at West Salem, the Wisconsin Dells Post 187 American Legion baseball team took part in the annual Baraboo Summer Classic this past weekend at Mary Rountree Evans Field.
Entering into tournament play at 1-4, Post 187 looked to reach the .500 plateau. Instead they slipped further down the rock strewn slope, dropping all three of their games, but even in defeat, all was not lost. The reality was the Dells could have just as easily gone 3-0.
In first round action the Post 187 faced Portage on Friday afternoon beneath a blazing sun. In the visitors role, Wisconsin Dells slipped behind early as a costly first inning error allowed 2 unearned runs to cross the plate, giving Portage a 2-0 lead.
Playing catch-up, the Dells would slice the deficit to 2-1 as Dylan Anchor motored home on the tail end of a fielder’s choice off the bat of Brooks Slack. Portage however, would extend its lead to 4-1 as a pair of Dells errors, along with a passed ball and wild pitch, led to two more unearned runs in the fifth.
Down by 3, the Post 187 mobilized its forces in the top of the sixth, plating 2 runs of its own to pull within 4-3, but once again Portage would respond, this time batting around for nine additional runs to win by the mercy rule, 13-3.
Due to a steady rainfall, Saturday’s schedule was completely washed out, setting the stage for Sunday’s finale.
Sunday would be anything but a day of rest for the Post 187 as they played back-to-back games beginning at 8:15 am with a close encounter of the ‘almost’ kind versus Baraboo Post 26.
Once again in the visitors role, the Dells fell behind early as Baraboo struck for a pair of first innings runs.
Behind the booming bats of Will Michalsky and Anchor, the Dells would cut the lead in half in the top of the third with Michalsky scoring on an RBI double from Anchor. In the hotly contested game, that would be it for scoring as Baraboo hung on to a precipitous 2-1 victory.
For the Post 187, this loss was a tough one to take. The Dells stranded five base runners In the close encounter, including three in scoring position. Now, with hardly any time to catch their breath, the Dells faced off with Reedsburg in what would be the team’s final game of the tournament.
As the home team the Dells got off to a terrific start, posting a four-run first to take command at 4-0. Unfortunately their lead would be short lived as the Post 187’s true nemeses — errors, passed balls, wild pitches and stolen bases — surfaced with tectonic force, costing them the game. In the end, despite a gallant effort, the Dells would fall, 8-6.
In spite of their three losses, for the most part Post 187 was in every game and could have won given a base hit here or there and some tighter defense. As it was, competing against both A and AA teams, the Dells held its own, even though several of Post 187’s top players were absent.
While the Dells came out on the short end of the scoring, they scored big when it came to individual honors as both Michalsky and Anchor were named to the All-Tournament Team. Congratulations to both young men.
As for making a statement, while Post 187 may not have made the declaration they intended, being able to compete with the top teams in the area is statement enough.
“Now on to Regionals” as the late Bobby Kennedy might have said, “and lets win there!”