The Tomah American Legion Post 201 Juniors baseball team gained a split with Sparta Thursday.
Tomah’s 16-and-under squad lost the opener 9-4 before claiming a come-from-behind 7-6 victory in the nightcap in a doubleheader at Dennis Senz Field. The first game was seven innings, and the second game went five innings before darkness arrived.
Tomah owns a 6-5 record in the Chuck Hockenberry Division of the Coulee Region American Legion Baseball League. The record includes a 2-1 loss at Holmen July 2.
Thursday’s nightcap was tied 6-6 after 4 ½ innings before Jairon Pierce led off the fifth with a walk and took second on a wild pitch. Brett Pierce tapped an infield single that sent Jairon Pierce to third, and a wild throw allowed him to score the winning run.
Tomah tied the game in the bottom of the fourth after Caden Harmel belted a two-run single.
After Sparta scored a run in the first, Tomah scored three runs in the bottom of the frame. Jairon Pierce led off with a double and scored on a pair of wild pitches. The rally continued when Dakota Riedesel reached on an error and scored after Harmel blasted a long double over the rightfielder’s head. Tucker Francis capped the rally with a single that scored Harmel.
Tomah scored its other run in the second, when Brett Pierce laced an RBI single.
Riedesel was the winning pitcher. He came on with one out in the second and allowed just one run and four hits the rest of the way.
In the first game, Tomah scored its first run in the bottom of the first, when Braden Pierce led off with a double and scored on a Justin Gerke single.
Sparta scored the game’s next nine runs, a rally that included a two-run homer by Brett Stuessel over the rigthfield fence in the top of the sixth.
Braden Pierce and Gerke both had two hits for Tomah.
Tomah didn’t score again until the sixth, when Francis drew a bases-loaded walk. Tomah got two more runs in the seventh thanks to two Sparta errors and a wild pitch.
Tomah will get a week off before heading to the District 5 Regional 16-and-under tournament in Sparta starting Friday, July 13. Tomah’s first-round opponent is Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau. The other first-round matchups in the double-elimination tournament are Holmen vs. Wisconsin Rapids, West Salem vs. Baraboo and Sparta vs. Onalaska. The winner advances to the state tournament July 20-24 at Viroqua.