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Several Cubans play key roles in Cuba City's state tournament berth
celebration Cuba City
Cuba City freshman Tyson Richard (far left) gets chased into the outfield by his excited teammates after driving in the game-winning run in Tuesday's sectional final game. Richard knocked in Riley Rosenkranz in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Cuba City to a 3–2 victory over Viroqua and send the Cubans to state for the first time in 67 years. - photo by photo by Tom Gunnell
Jackson Soja
Cuba city senior outfielder Jackson Soja drove in three of the Cubans' four runs in their 4–1 WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinal victory over Deerfield held at Prairie du Chien High School on Tuesday, June 7. - photo by By Tom Gunnell

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.

By Jason Nihles, The Platteville Journal / Fennimore Times / Boscobel Dial

Kobe Vosberg, Sr., P/IF, Cuba City baseball
Vosberg (7-1) earned the win in Cuba City's 4–1 sectional semifinal victory over Deerfield after tossing six scoreless innings, yielding two hits and walking three with nine strikeouts. He also went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored in the game. Vosberg then went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles in the Cubans' 3–2 nine-inning sectional final victory over Viroqua. He doubled and reached third in the bottom of the seventh, but was stranded there sending the game into extra innings. 

Riley Rosenkrantz, Jr., 2B, Cuba City baseball
Cuba City second baseman Riley Rosenkranz used an all-out head first dive to slide in safely for the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning in a thrilling 3–2 victory over Viroqua in a WIAA Division 3 sectional final contest held at Prairie du Chien High School last Tuesday. Rosenkranz was hit by a pitch to start the Cubans’ ninth and he moved up to second on an errant pick-off attempt. Junior catcher Reece Rosenkranz laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance his twin brother to third, then freshman Tyson Richard hit a grounder to shortstop to drive in Riley Rosenkranz for the winning run.

Tyson Richard, Fr., 3B, Cuba City baseball
Freshman Tyson Richard came through in the biggest at-bat in nearly 70 years of Cuba City baseball when he delivered a game-winning RBI fielder's choice to score junior Riley Rosenkrantz from third base for the winning run in last Tuesday's 3–2 sectional final victory over Viroqua at Prairie du Chien. After Rosenkrantz was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, moved to third on a wild pick off attempt and third on a sac bunt, Richard hit a grounder to shortstop that plated Rosenkrantz. The Cubans poured out of the dugout to mob Ri. Rosenkranz at the plate, and then Richard was chased into the outfield and piled on by his jubilant, state-bounded teammates.

Blake Bussan, Sr., P/OF, Cuba City baseball
Bussan got out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom the seventh inning to close out Cuba City's 4–1 sectional semifinal victory over Deerfield. He then then started and went eight innings the championship game win, allowing two runs on seven hits, before reaching his pitch count for the day.

Mason Reese, Sr., SS/P, Cuba City baseball
Reese (3–0) worked around a two-out walk in the top of the ninth to hold the Blackhawks scoreless and pick up the win in relief in Cuba's 3–2 sectional final nine-inning victory over Viroqua. He also went 1-for-4 and tied the game in the fifth when he singled and came in to score on an error. Reese also went 1-for-3 with a run scored in the 4–1 semifinal win over Deerfield and played strong defense at shortstop in both games.

Jackson Soja, Sr., OF, Cuba City baseball
Soja drove in three runs in the Cuban's 4–1 sectional semifinal win over Deerfield last Tuesday. Mason Reese reached on a dropped third strike and scored on an error following a base hit by Vosberg, while senior Jackson Soja brought in Vosberg with a sac fly to make it 2–0. The score remained stuck there until the sixth when Soja drilled a clutch two-out, two-run double to extend the Cubans’ advantage to 4–0.

HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Noah Kirsch, Sr., Lancaster boys golf

KOHLER – On the shoulders of defending D3 state champion Noah Kirsch, the Lancaster boys golf team competed at the WIAA State Boys Golf Championship on June 6-7, at Blackwolf Run in Kohler. For Kirsch, it was his third trip to the state championship, where he placed 20th as a freshman and first as a junior. For the Flying Arrow team, it was the first time Lancaster had sent the entire squad since 2015 when the Arrows finished third.

With a two-day team score of 380, this year’s Flying Arrow squad finished fifth of eight teams, shooting a 380 on the first day and a 367 on the second. Claiming this year’s division 3 state title was the home team from Kohler, who shot a two-day score of 643, which was just five strokes better than the second-place team from Cambridge.

In his quest to repeat as the Division 3 state individual state champion, Kirsch led the Flying Arrows with a two-day score of 152. On a rainy and wet first round played on Monday, June 6, Kirsch shot an eight-over-par round of 80, putting him in a tie for eighth place heading into the final round played the next day. Kirsch concluded his first round five strokes behind the first-day leader, Trey Oswald of Parkview.

On the second day though, Kirsch improved by eight strokes, shooting an even-par round of 72 to climb his way near the top of the leader board. Shooting the lowest score of anyone in the field on the second day, Kirsch improved his standings by six spots, finishing in a tie for second place.

Able to maintain the top spot and win this year’s D3 state title was Oswald, who again shot 75 on the second day, finishing with a two-day total of 150, two strokes ahead of Kirsch and Reece Breitenbach of Kohler.

Kirsch, who will play at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in the fall, concluded a sensational high school career with two Southwest Wisconsin Conference Player of the Year honors, two individual regional titles, two individual sectional titles, a state runner-up title and a state championship title.