Sixers end Firecracker Classic with three wins as host
By Jacob Heid
The Firecracker Classic hosted by the Stevens Point Sixers is an annual occurrence at Bukolt Park around the Fourth of July holiday.
This year, the Sixers collected three wins out of four games from Jun. 30 through Jul. 2 to take second place.
Stevens Point began the tournament with a bang, beating Middleton in eight innings, 3-2, on Jun. 30.
The Sixers found themselves down in the sixth inning and rallied in the final two frames to come away with the win.
The Sixers continued their winning ways later that evening, holding Oshkosh to three runs in a 6-3 victory.
Two more games came along on the weekend, beating Beaver Dam 9-3 in the nightcap on Jul. 1 and falling to Oshkosh in the last game of the afternoon on Jul. 2.
Point and Oshkosh traded with one another and handed each other the only losses of the weekend.
Here’s a look at the last two games of the weekend.
Game 1 – Sixers 9, Beaver Dam 3
After scoring nine runs in the first two games of the weekend on Jun. 30, the bats continued to put up runs early against Beaver Dam.
Benett Klish, a Minnesota-Duluth baseball commit, got a one-out hit to get things going in the bottom of the first.
Deacan Koback followed that up with a single and later advanced the two to second and third for Caden Adam.
Adam drove in his teammates with a stand-up double, putting the Sixers ahead 2-0.
Stevens Point kept traffic on the bases in the first, adding two more runs to take a 4-0 lead into the second inning.
Pitcher Josh Opiola kept Beaver Dam off the board after getting two runners on, keeping a four-run cushion.
The Sixers loaded the bases in the bottom of the second, adding two more runs with two outs in the inning.
Klish got on base for a third time in three innings, making it a 7-0 game in the bottom of the third.
That lead remained until the fifth inning when Beaver Dam finally added its first run, putting the deficit to six, 7-1.
It didn’t take long for an answer from the home team, putting up a single run in the next half inning to extend the lead again.
All Stevens Point needed was one more run after Beaver Dam got within five, 8-3.
Braylon Smola closed out the win for the Sixers in the seventh, getting to 3-0 on the weekend.
Game 2 – Sixers 2, Oshkosh 6
Winning the first matchup between these two teams on the first day gave the Sixers confidence going into this one on Jul. 2.
A 0-0 game in the second inning turned quickly in Stevens Point’s favor.
Adam made his way to second base with no outs in the bottom of the second.
That brought up Pacelli’s Asher Jordan, who answered in a big way.
On a 3-2 count, Jordan lifted a ball sky-high that drifted over the left-field wall for a two-run home run.
Oshkosh answered with one run, putting them behind 2-1 until the fourth inning.
They tied the game at 2-2 before pressuring some more with two runners on and no outs.
A big five-run inning became the difference in the game.
Stevens Point got no more than one runner on base for the rest of the game, except in the seventh.
The home run in the second inning is as far as the Sixer offense got in the final game of the weekend.
Stevens Point’s next game will be vs. Oshkosh for the third time in a week. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jul. 8, in Oshkosh.