The Viroqua American Legion Baseball team went 3-2 against some of the better Class AAA teams in the state at the Baraboo Tournament over the weekend.
The tournament appearance was the finale to an incredible run of 11 games in seven days for Post 138. Viroqua has cruised out to a 24-9 overall record just past the half-way point of the season.
“It has been fun and we’ve been playing some good baseball,” Viroqua coach Pete Swanson said. “We’ve played good teams.”
Viroqua ended the six-team, round-robin Baraboo Tournament with a 7-4 loss to Stoughton, Sunday. Earlier in the day, Viroqua gave Berlin its first lost of the tournament, 10-2. On Saturday, Viroqua was edged by Portage, 5-4, but came back to beat the home team, Baraboo, 9-2. Post 138 started the tournament on Friday with a 16-0 victory over Dane County.
In other action last week, Viroqua defeated Westby, 10-0, on the Fourth of July; Viroqua swept a doubleheader over Bi-State, 10-0 and 11-4, Wednesday, July 3; Viroqua split a doubleheader at the Metrodome in Minneapolis against Sturgeon Bay (see accompanying story), Tuesday, July 2; and Viroqua defeated Prairie du Chien in a slugfest, 13-10, Monday, July 1.
Stoughton 7, Viroqua 4
In the final game of the Baraboo Tournament for Post 138, Stoughton went up early and used its team speed to keep a lead on Viroqua.
“They have a really nice team, they went to state in Division 1 this spring, so we really have to give them credit,” Swanson said. “We got behind by a few runs and couldn’t keep up.”
Mitchell Stalsberg had a double and three RBI to lead Viroqua at the plate. Tyler Bentz and Dustin Stalsberg split the pitching duties for Post 138, with Bentz taking the loss, striking out two and walking none.
Viroqua 10, Berlin 2
Tyler Trautsch drove in a couple of early runs for Viroqua, as Post 138 got a lead and kept it.
Mitchell Stalsberg threw a three-hitter against Berlin, striking out 13 and walking none. It was a complete game gem.
Trautsch finished the game going 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI. Abe Beckstrand and Tyler Gabrielson each had two hits for Viroqua with Gabrielson driving in two runs.
Viroqua 9, Baraboo 2
In a traditional Saturday night marquee matchup against the tournament host, Viroqua worked into a 5-1 lead by the end of three and ended up winning by seven.
Trautsch pitched for Post 138 striking out six and walking none while tossing a five-hitter.
Viroqua’s offense was equally as entertaining with Beckstrand and Gabrielson each hitting 3-for-4. Dave Crandall hit 2-for-4 with a double. Zach Trautsch and Mitchell Stalsberg each hit 2-for-5 with both of Stalsberg’s hits being doubles.
“Crandall knocked in a couple runs for us in the first inning and Tyler pitched a really strong game,” Swanson said. “Abe had a three-hit game. We hit the ball well.”
Portage 5, Viroqua 4
Viroqua was on the losing-end of a one-run game earlier in the day, Saturday, to Portage.
Portage actually had a 5-0 lead going until the sixth inning, when Viroqua finally got to Portage’s pitching and put four runs on the board.
Tyler Trautsch was 2-for-4 at the plate for Viroqua. Crandall did the pitching for Post 138, striking out three and walking just two over six innings.
Viroqua 16, Dane County 0 (5)
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Swanson said that Dane County fielded a young team on Friday night and Viroqua put up eight runs in the first inning.
Dustin Stalsberg pitched four innings, striking out five and walking none. Brandon Mickelson pitched one inning of relief for Viroqua. Dane County totalled just four hits.
Viroqua had 13 hits with Tyler Trautsch and Gabrielson each going 3-for-3, Joey Huber hitting 2-for-2 and Beckstrand hitting 2-for-3.
Viroqua 10, Westby 0 (6)
Usually when Viroqua and Westby battle, it’s a tooth-and-nail contest.
That wasn’t the case on the Fourth of July, as Post 138 won by the 10-run rule in six innings.
Bentz pitched an amazing two-hitter for Viroqua, striking out four and walking just two.
Proverbial fireworks were provided by Tyler Trautsch’s two, two-run homers and another two-run homer by Mason Joholski. Mitch Stalsberg also was 2-for-2 at the plate.
“It’s surprising that’s the way the game turned out, because they’re usually much closer than that,” Swanson said.
Viroqua 11, Bi-State 4
Viroqua scored 11 runs on 11 hits in the nightcap of a doubleheader it swept against Bi-State, Wednesday, July 3.
Tanner Elbert was the winning pitcher for Post 138, as he struck out five and walked four. Huber finished the game for Viroqua on the mound. Bi-State collected just six hits in the contest.
Tyler Trautsch was 2-for-2, Elbert was 2-for-3 and Bentz was 2-for-4. Bentz and Mitchell Stalsberg each homered for Viroqua.
Viroqua 10, Bi-State 0 (5)
Dalton Tryggestad pitched for Post 138 scattering seven hits while striking out two and walking one in getting the complete-game win.
Viroqua’s highlights on offense were impressive as Crandall went 3-for-4 with two doubles, Tyler Trautsch went 2-for-3 with a double and a homer, Mickelson went 2-for-3 with a double and Mitchell Stalsberg, Huber, Gabrielson and Tryggestad all had two hits.
“We hit the ball really well,” Swanson said.
Viroqua 13, PdC 10
Post 138 was down 4-1 before a key 10-run rally in the fourth inning, Monday, July 1.
“We were coming off winning our home tournament and we weren’t too sure about which pitchers to throw,” Swanson said. “We ended up having seven-straight hits in the fourth inning and we kind of slugged our way through the game.”
Viroqua threw three pitchers and had just one error in the contest. Beckstrand was credited with the pitching win with one strikeout and one walk in five innings of work.
On offense, Viroqua collected 19 hits. Beckstrand was a machine going 4-for-4 with four RBI. Crandall went 3-for-5. Meanwhile, Bentz, Tyler Trautsch, Huber and Gabrielson each had two hits. Bentz and Joholski doubled.
Viroqua hosts the La Crosse Raiders in a doubleheader on Thursday night at the Park Bowl with the first game beginning at 6 p.m. Post 138 then makes the long road trip to Ely, Minn., for the Ely Tournament, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.