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West Salem baseball team Division 3 state champs

West Salem senior Jake Whitbeck, shown scoring a run during last season's WIAA Division 2 state baseball tournament, had six hits during a doubleheader sweep of Westby on Tuesday. The Panthers have won a share of the Coulee Conference title and can win it outright by by beating G-E-T on Thursday.

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.

Ryan Beirne mug


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.


Assistant Sports Editor

Todd Sommerfeldt has covered sports for the La Crosse Tribune since 2003 after doing the same previously in the Fox Cities and Rock County.