GAME OF THE WEEK (May 29–June 5)
WIAA D4 BASEBALL SECTIONAL FINAL: Belmont 14, Bangor 1
MUSCODA — The Belmont baseball team is going to state for the first time in school history.
The Braves scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning and cruised to a 14–1 five-inning victory over Scenic Bluffs Conference champion Bangor in the championship game of Wednesday’s WIAA Division 4 Riverdale Sectional final.
“I am at a loss for words right now,” said Belmont head coach Trevor Kattre after capturing the program’s first-ever sectional championship trophy. “We have a great group of young men on this team. I am so proud of these guys. They have worked so hard to get here. They deserve it.”
Senior Colin Austin went 4-for-4 with a double, a stolen base, a run scored and five RBI and two runs scored to lead the Belmont offense, which batted around in three of its four innings, while sophomore Riley Christensen struck out five and allowed just one unearned run on three hits in the five-inning complete game victory.
Austin led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and promptly stole second base. Senior Ethan James and junior Brady Wedig drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. After a lineout, junior Cody Lindholm reached on an error to drive in a run, then junior Luke Kamps drew a bases loaded walked to make it 2–0.
Bangor (16–5) removed starting pitcher Dylan Sprain after his third walk of the inning, but reliever Hank Reader proceeded to walk Justan Ernst, Shane Frieberger and Kolton Westemeier to make it 5–0, and Austin capped the rally with an RBI single.
Christensen pitched a 1–2–3 second inning, the led off the Braves’ three-run third with a double. Kamps drove in a Christiansen on a fielder’s choice and later scored on Austin’s two-run single to make it 9–0.
The Cardinals an unearned run in the third, when Sprain led off with a double and came into score on a Belmont error, but the Braves put the game out of reach with a five-run fourth inning.
Belmont sent 11 batters to the plate. After Ernst walked and Frieberger and Westermeier singled to load the bases, Austin delivered a two-run double to make it 11–0.
Coach Trevor Kattre’s Braves advanced to the sectional final with a 6–2 victory over De Soto (18–8) earlier in the day. Austin with 2-for-4 with an RBI double, Christensen had two hits and drove in a pair of runs, and Ethan James (5–3) allowed just one hit and struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings to earn his fifth win of the season.
Belmont (17–9) will now face undefeated Southwest Wisconsin Activities League champion Mineral Point (25–0) in a D4 state semifinal game next Wednesday at approximately 10:30 a.m. at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute. The second-ranked Pointers blanked the Braves 4–0 in a non-conference game on May 23.
Top-ranked and defending D3 state champion Webster (28–0) meets defending D4 state champion Athens (18–4) in the other D4 semifinal at 8 a.m.
WIAA Division 4 sectional final
Belmont 14, Bangor 1
(from Wednesday, June 5 @ Muscoda)
Bangor....001 00 — 1 2 4
Belmont..630 5x — 14 8 2
Leading hitters — Bel: Colin Austin 4x4. 2B — Ban: Dylan Sprain; Bel: Austin, Riley Christensen.
W — Riley Christiansen (3–2, 5IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 5K, 0BB). L — Dylan Sprain (0.1IP, 1H, 5R, 4ER, 0K, 3BB).
WIAA Division 4 sectional semifinal
Belmont 6, De Soto 2
(from Wednesday, June 5 @ Muscoda)
De Soto....000 002 0 — 2 2 3
Belmont...301 200 x — 6 8 1
Leading hitters — D: Beck 2x3; B: Colin Austin 2x4, Riley Christensen 3x4. 2B — B: Austin.
W — Ethan James (5–3, 5.2IP, 1H, 2R, 1ER, 8K, 3BB). L — Zink (5.2IP, 8H, 6R, 2ER, 7K, 3BB). SV — Luke Kamps (1.3IP, 1H, 0R, 3K, 1BB).