The Coulee Conference baseball championship, a share of it anyway, is on the line Thursday with the big game matching up first-place West Salem with Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau for a 6:30 p.m. matchup in Galesville.
The Panthers (9-2), who won last season's WIAA Division 2 state championship, have already clinched a share of the Coulee title after sweeping Westby in a doubleheader on Tuesday night.
The Red Hawks (8-3) are tied with Viroqua (8-3) for second place and beat West Salem 4-3 when a run in the top of the seventh inning allowed them to hold off a two-run bottom of the seventh by the Panthers. G-E-T had just two hits in that game and enters after a doubleheader split with Viroqua on Tuesday.
The Blackhawks (14-5 overall), who have won 12 of their last 13 games, close out the conference season at Onalaska Luther on Thursday. They need a win and a victory by the Red Hawks to get a share of the championship.
The Panthers swept Westby by identical scores of 5-4 on Tuesday and have a hot hitter in senior Jake Whitbeck, who was 6-for-6 with a pair of doubles during the wins over Westby.
Senior Ryan Beirne won the first game against the Norsemen with a double and doubled again while pitching a complete game in Game 2.
Both Whitbeck and Beirne played key roles in West Salem winning last season's state title.