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|Paynesville Press - August 13, 2003|
Legion teams wins state title
Paynesville's American Legion baseball team clobbered Nashwauk-Keewatin 15-5 in five innings on Sunday in Ely to claim the state title in Division II American Legion baseball. Paynesville swept three games over the weekend, also beating New York Mills 3-1 in the semifinals on Saturday and Jackson 10-7 in the opening round on Friday. |
This is the first state title for the local American Legion team. Their previous best finish was in 1999, also in Ely, when they took second, losing 4-3 to Nashwauk-Keewatin in the state final. Welcome home story
Pictured with their state title and sportsmanship trophies are: (sitting) Jamie Paul, John Hemingson, Justin Butkofski, Trent Hansen, and Derek Stanger; (kneeling) coach Dan Stanger, Chris Beier, Cody Flanders, Chad Stang, Ryan Hess, and coach Tim Beier; (standing) coach Brad Skoglund, Mike Mueller, Jordan Haag, tourney MVP Adam Kampsen, Bobby O'Fallon, and Mark Andrie,
On Sunday, Paynesville (now 16-11) had 16 hits, including three homers, and scored 15 runs, scoring in all five frames before ending the game with the ten-run rule.
Paynesville jumped to an 7-0 lead, scoring three runs in the first inning and four in the second. Coach Brad Skoglund said he instructed leadoff hitter Jamie Paul to swing at the first pitch against Nashwauk-Keewatin to set an aggressive tone. Skoglund figured Paul would get a fastball to start the game; instead Paul chopped a curve for an infield hit.
The next batter, John Hemingson, singled to the gap on a hit and run, with Paul scoring all the way from first base, putting Paynesville on the scoreboard.
In the game, Paul and Hemingson - along with #9 hitter Derek Stanger - did a great job of setting the table. They each had two hits and combined they reached base ten times and scored eight runs.
In the second inning, Stanger, Paul, and Hemingson all walked, loading the bases for tournament MVP Adam Kampsen, who cleared the bases with a grand slam homer.
"I don't think that's the guy you want to walk three guys to face, as hot as he's been," said Skoglund. "He just crushed it."
Nashwauk-Keewatin scored two runs in the bottom of the second, but Paynesville answered with a run in the third, as Chad Stang doubled and scored on a single by Stanger.
Justin Butkofski pitched a complete game against New York Mills, as Paynesville won in the semifinals on Saturday, 3-1. Butkofski went 4-4 in the championship on Sunday, hitting two homeruns.
Nashwauk-Keewatin scored two more runs in the third, but Paynesville answered again in the top of the fourth, as Kampsen singled and Justin Butkofski hit a two-run homer.
Skoglund said the game was still scary despite Paynesville's early lead. The team did a great job keeping the bats going each time that Nashwauk-Keewatin scored. "They scored and we answered right back," explained Skoglund. "Baseball is a game of momentum."
Paynesville put the ten-run rule into effect by scoring five runs in the fifth inning. Kampsen had a two-run single, and Butkofski hit a three-run homer.
For the game, Kampsen and Butkofski each had four hits and each drove in six runs.
Paynesville was playing in their fourth state Legion tournament in the past seven years and fifth overall (including Paynesville's first state appearance in Legion baseball in 1953). Paynesville was third in 1997 in Virginia, second in 1999 in Ely, and third in 2000 in Truman (when they beat Nashwauk-Keewatin 3-1 in the first round).
Paynesville will now advance to the national tournament in the Central Plains Region. In the eight-team, double-elimination tourney, Paynesville will start with a game against Westby, Wis., on Thursday, Aug. 14, at 5 p.m. in Viroqua, Wis. (See shaded box for more details.)
Paynesville 3, New York Mills 1
Skoglund said New York Mills was a very solid fundamental team, reminding him of Paynesville.
Paynesville struck first, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second as the bottom half of Paynesville's lineup got five straight hits. "Everybody contributed," said Skoglund. "That was nice. Everyone had a role and did their job."
Tournament MVP Adam Kampsen had nine hits in 13 at bats, including three homers. He drove home 13 runs and scored seven runs.
With one out, Jordan Haag singled, Hemingson singled, and Trent Hansen doubled home Haag. Stang singled to drive home another run, and Cody Flanders singled to load the bases, but Paynesville stranded the runners.
Paynesville added another run in the bottom of the fifth, as Paul doubled and scored on a single by Adam Kampsen.
Butkofski pitched six scoreless innings to start the game, helped by the errorless defense, including a double play in the fourth inning. He allowed only two hits in the first six innings. New York Mills got three hits in the top of the seventh, including two doubles, to score their only run of the game.
For the tournament, Paynesville's pitchers did not have their best stuff, said Skoglund, but they threw strikes, got outs with curve balls, and were helped by solid defense.
Paynesville 10, Jackson 7
Kampsen, who was named the tournament MVP, led Paynesville at the plate, going 4-4 and hitting a pair of three-run homers. In three games, he had nine hits in 13 at bats (.692 average), hit three homers, had 13 RBIs, and scored seven runs.
Already leading 2-0, Paynesville scored five runs in the bottom of the third, with Kampsen hitting his first three-run homer of the game. Hansen and Stanger also drew bases-loaded walks to drive in a run each in the third.
After Jackson closed within 7-5, Kampsen hit another three-run blast in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jackson scored two runs in the top of the seventh to make the final score 10-7.
Kampsen also scored in the first inning, when he and Butkofski singled and he scored on a wild pitch. In the second inning, Hemingson singled, stole second, and scored on a single by Hansen.
Central Plains Region Tournament
Viroqua is located 25 miles southeast of LaCrosse, Wis., on U.S. Highway 14/61. All games will be played at the Viroqua Park Bowl. (See map below.)
The eight-team, double-elimination tournament features three teams from Wisconsin and one team each from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Kansas, and South Dakota. The tournament starts on Thursday and ends on Sunday.
Central Plains Region
Thursday, Aug. 14
Friday, Aug. 15
Saturday, Aug. 16
Sunday, Aug. 17
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