BARABOO — Despite its record, the Wisconsin Dells Post 187 American Legion baseball team has played opponents tough this season.
Post 187 went to battle again on July 5 but were ultimately done in by a big inning against Portage in the opening game of the Baraboo Summer Classic. After pulling within one heading to the bottom of the sixth inning, Wisconsin Dells gave up nine runs to suffer a 13-3 loss to the Warriors at Mary Rountree Evans Field.
Dylan Anchor went 2-for-3 to lead Wisconsin Dells, who committed six errors in the loss.
“The bottom of the sixth was a little rough there with an error at first base,” Wisconsin Dells coach Aaron VanSchoyck said. “It was just a few ground balls found some grass, a couple hard hit balls and some bloopers, and in the end it turned into nine runs for Portage.”
Post 187 (1-5) kept the Warriors quiet in the early going, limiting Portage to just three hits in the first five innings, despite allowing four runs. Wisconsin Dells eventually got something going in the top of the sixth inning when it scored a pair of runs to make it 4-3.
Matt Getgen got things going for Post 187 when he belted a triple to the wall in center field. He would quickly trot home on an RBI single by Anchor to pull Wisconsin Dells within 4-2. After a flyout by Marty Koenig, Dylan Conroy came through with the big hit, ripping a double to right center field to score Anchor and cut the Warriors lead to 4-3.
A groundout by Brooks Slack moved Conroy to third but Portage’s Ryan Schultz kept Post 187 from tying things up as he struck out Josh Bilotta looking to end the threat.
“Those were big and kind of a booster for Getgen and Conroy, some of the younger kids that played JV last year,” VanSchoyck said of the runs off the extra base hits.
The momentum generated in the top half quickly fizzled out however as Portage responded in the home half of the inning, scoring nine runs, all with two outs.
Matthew Miles singled before being forced out on Colton Brandsma’s fielder’s choice. Wisconsin Dells had a chance to get out of the inning when Portage’s Noah Pixler hit a chopper to first, but Post 187’s Bilotta was unable to make the play.
The miscue kept the inning alive and the Warriors took advantage as they blew things open with six straight hits, including a two-run double by Konnor Smith and a two-run single by Pixler, to end the game via mercy rule.
The sixth wasn’t the only inning when errors cost Post 187, as the Warriors added a pair of unearned runs in the fifth inning to build off a 2-1 lead. Brandsma and Logan Carlson reached on consecutive errors to open up the inning when Bilotta’s foot was off the bag on a pair of plays at first base.
Brandsma later scored on a groundout by Smith before a passed ball allowed Carlson to speed home for a 4-1 lead, before the Warriors fended off Post 187’s final push.
“The two innings we committed errors in, Portage did a good job capitalizing on both of them, but if we play clean defense the whole way it was going to be a one-run game like you saw going into the middle of the sixth,” VanSchoyck said.
Portage took an early 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning before Wisconsin Dells got on the board with a run in the top of the second when Anchor scored on Slack’s groundout. Post 187 failed to do any more damage however, leaving runners on the corners in the frame and mustering just one hit over the next three innings.
Despite the offensive struggles during that time, Post 187 was able to keep the Warriors weighed down, stranding four Portage runners on base from the second through the fourth.
“It was more of a positive for the pitchers to just keep with it and the defense stayed with it, making the plays they had to make to keep it a one-run game,” VanSchoyck said.
Even in defeat, VanSchoyck was pleased with the team’s effort and the pitching given the tight circumstances of five games in three days. Post 187 had more opportunities to develop its pitching in the remainder of the rain-shortened tournament.
After having Saturday’s games against Viroqua and Sheboygan rained out, Wisconsin Dells dealt with Baraboo and Reedsburg in Sunday’s finale. Post 187 battled to the end, but suffered a 2-1 loss to the host Bandits before closing out the tournament with an 8-6 loss to the Beavers.
Wisconsin Dells 010 002 — 3 6 6
Portage 200 029 — 13 11 1
Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — WD: Anchor (L; 2.1-3-1-1-2), Michalsky (2-0-0-3-2), Getgen (2.1-6-6-1-1), Conroy (0.0-2-2-1-0). Por: Schultz (6-6-3-0-8).
Leading hitters — WD: Anchor 2x3. 2B — Conroy. 3B — Getgen. Por: Mittlesteadt 3x4, Bauer 2x3. 2B — Mittlesteadt 2, Smith, Thomson.