Plover will host 30th Dan Schlutter Central Wisconsin Classic
Portage County Gazette
By John Kemmeter
The Plover Black Sox will face some of the top American Legion Baseball teams in the state this weekend when they host the 30th Dan Schlutter Central Wisconsin Classic at Veterans Memorial Park and Woyak Park.
The Black Sox (21-10) will play four games in three days from Thursday through Saturday, July 11-13, with the Third-Place Game and Championship Game scheduled for Sunday, July 14.
“It’s a true test for us, with the teams that finished No. 1 and 2 in the state last year,” said Plover manager Wayne Sankey. “There are good teams that we always bring in, that we like to see before we get into the Regional.”
Ranked fourth in the state in AAA in the Wisconsin Baseball Central Legion midseason rankings last week, Plover is one of three teams that reached the AAA State Tournament last year that will compete in the Central Wisconsin Classic this weekend.
The Black Sox are in Pool 1, along with last season’s State Champion Sheboygan, reigning State Runner-up and 2017 State Champion Eau Claire, and 2015 and 2016 State Champion Madison.
Plover, which won the 2014 AAA State Title, will play each of its games at Veterans Memorial Park, while a total of four games will be played at Woyak Park over the weekend.
Pool 2 will consist of Superior, Manitowoc, Watertown and Rock County from Beloit.
“There’s Sheboygan and Eau Claire, and Madison’s typically a strong team,” said Sankey. “The new team this year is Superior, and it’s nice to see somebody else in there.
“Manitowoc’s the mainstay that comes all of the time, and Watertown,” he said. “We split with Rock County earlier in the year, and they’re a pretty solid team.”
Plover is set to open against Eau Claire at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, and then take on Superior in a non-Pool Play game at 8 p.m. Friday, July 12.
The Black Sox are scheduled to play a pair of games Saturday night to close Pool Play, as they are set to take on defending Central Wisconsin Classic Champion Madison at 5:30 p.m., and Sheboygan at 8 p.m.
The second-place finisher from Pool 1 will play the second-place finisher from Pool 2 in the Third-Place Game at 11 a.m. Sunday, with the Pool 1 winner against the Pool 2 winner in the Championship Game at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Last season, Plover lost to Sheboygan in the Third-Place Game to finish 3-2 at the Central Wisconsin Classic, while the Black Sox are set to follow with their regular-season finale at Wausau Monday, July 15, before the Region 2 Regional is at Bukolt Park in Stevens Point July 19-22.
“We’ve been playing good, but we can still play better,” said Plover shortstop/pitcher Brett Ehr. “We’ve got to fix some stuff, clean some stuff up, but we’ve haven’t hit our peak yet.
“So that’s always a good sign, that we’re coming down the stretch, and we can still hit our peak,” he said.
“It’s coming to an end here in a hurry, and we want to be playing our best ball at the end of the year,” said Sankey. “And that’s why I like to test us in a good tournament with traditionally deep AAA teams.”
30th Annual Dan Schlutter Central Wisconsin Classic
Thursday, July 11
Game 1: Sheboygan vs. Madison (two points) at Veterans Memorial Park, 5 p.m.
Game 2: Plover vs. Eau Claire (two points) at Veterans Memorial Park, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 12
Game 3: Madison vs. Rock County (one point) at Veterans Memorial Park, 10 a.m.
Game4: Eau Claire vs. Manitowoc (one point) at Veterans Memorial Park, 12:30 p.m.
Game 5: Watertown vs. Sheboygan (one point) at Woyak Park, noon
Game 6: Manitowoc vs. Rock County (two points) at Woyak Park, 3 p.m.
Game 7: Watertown vs. Superior (two points) at Veterans Memorial Park, 3 p.m.
Game 8: Eau Claire vs. Sheboygan (two points) at Veterans Memorial Park, 5:30 p.m.
Game 9: Plover vs. Superior (one point) at Veterans Memorial Park, 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 13
Game 10: Manitowoc vs. Watertown (two points) at Veterans Memorial Park, 10 a.m.
Game 11: Superior vs. Rock County (two points) at Veterans Memorial Park, 12:30 p.m.
Game 12: Eau Claire vs. Madison (two points) at Woyak Park, 3 p.m.
Game 13: Watertown vs. Rock County (two points) at Veterans Memorial Park, 3 p.m.
Game 14: Superior vs. Manitowoc (two points) at Woyak Park, 5 p.m.
Game 15: Plover vs. Madison (two points) at Veterans Memorial Park, 5:30 p.m.
Game 16: Plover vs. Sheboygan (two points) at Veterans Memorial Park, 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 14
Game 17: Second place Pool 1 vs. Second place Pool 2 at Veterans Memorial Park, 11 a.m.
Game 18: First place Pool 1 vs. First Place Pool 2 at Veterans Memorial Park, 1:30 p.m.