Black Sox fall twice in Legion Baseball regional
By Jacob Heid
WAUSAU — Summer baseball is rapidly approaching the end of its course for the 2022 season. With a 26-11 record, the Plover Black Sox had an opportunity to play in the 2022 American Legion regional tournament but fell just short in the Wausau regional that was held from July 20-23.
The Sox got through the first round of games with a 2-0 victory over Stevens Point. Plover plated two runs in the bottom of the first inning, allowing starting pitcher Jon Nafe to pitch the way he did. The SPASH pitcher threw a complete game shut-out to get the win. Nafe only gave up three hits and struck out five batters.
In the next game, Plover matched up with Wausau. Like the first game, the Black Sox scored four times in the home half of the first inning, and Plover’s starting pitcher Kenny Schultz pitched a scoreless first couple of innings. In the third, Wausau came storming back, tying the game, 4-4. Plover quickly responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the fifth, taking the lead back. In Schultz’s last inning, Wausau tied the game at five with only an inning left. Schultz would end the night after six innings. He surrendered five runs on seven hits but also struck out 11 batters.
Plover answered the bell in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving the Black Sox a 6-5 lead that would eventually be enough to advance. Tommy Drohner and Brycen Cashin combined for seven hits and four runs offensively in the win.
Jackson Fox would take the mound for Plover in the top of the seventh to close out the game. No hits and no runs given up, the Sox went on to play Marshfield on July 22.
In an early-evening battle, Marshfield took care of business and handed Plover its first loss of the tournament. With it being double elimination, the Black Sox still had an opportunity to advance to Saturday. They ended up playing Wausau on Friday night, the same team they beat 6-5 on Thursday. We all know sports are unpredictable, so could Plover beat the same team twice in two days? Like it says above, sports are unpredictable. Plover and Wausau exploded at the plate on Friday night. The two teams combined for 30 runs in seven innings, with Wausau completing a wild comeback in the seventh inning to win. The Bulldogs beat Plover 17-13 after scoring eight runs in the top of the seventh inning to advance to the regional championship.
In other baseball news, the Jr Black Sox are participating in the Jr State Tournament in Plover. Plover lost to Eau Claire on Friday night, 15-7 but picked up wins versus Little Chute and Sheboygan on Saturday and Sunday. The Jr Black Sox will face Appleton on Monday, July 25, at Memorial Park in Plover.