Panther nine denied third straight state tournament berth
ALTOONA - Mitch Stalsberg's 16 strikeouts plus no errors on Viroqua's part helped the No. 9 ranked Blackhawks upend No. 3 Ellsworth 2-0 in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal match-up Tuesday afternoon at Bement Field in Cinder City Park.
EHS was held to just three hits. Their best chance the Panthers had to score runs came in their last at bats as they put two runners on with the winning run at the plate. But Stahlsberg fanned two batters in the inning to end the game.
Ellsworth was also hurt by five errors and several past balls, one of which led to Viroqua's first run in the first inning as Zach Trautsch scored with two outs. He scored again in the third on an RBI-single from Dustin Stalsberg.
Ellsworth pitchers Brady Yanish and Logan Armstrong held Viroqua to just five hits, all singles. EHS's outfield made several spectacular catches including one from Eric McGregor in left and Dan Giese in right field and two such catches by Dennis Schutz in centerfield
The Panthers concluded their 2014 season at 18-4 overall and Middle Border Conference co-champions and regional champions. Viroqua went on to beat Somerset 10-6 in the championship game to make its first trip to the state tournament since 1985. Somerset beat hayward in the first semifinal played yesterday by a 2-0 score.