The Viroqua American Legion Post 138 baseball team opened their 2018 summer season splitting a pair of doubleheaders last week, dropping a twin-bill to Onalaska on May 6 and then bouncing back with a double-dip sweep over Holmen on May 9.
Onalaska at Viroqua, May 6
The 138’ers were defeated 7-3 in the season opener, in the first of two games played at the Park Bowl. The game was tied at 1-1 entering the fourth inning before the visitors plated five runs to grab a 6-1 lead. Viroqua scored single runs in their half of the fourth and fifth innings, but it was too little too late to turn the tide in the game.
If you just glance at the statistics, one may think the outcome might have been different. Each team rapped out 10 hits in the contest. Viroqua had five extra base hits, Onalaska three. Onalaska committed three errors and the 138’ers just one. The difference was that Onalaska made the most of their opportunities, with nine of their hits and seven of their RBI’s coming from three of the first four hitters in their lineup. Viroqua’s 10 hits, on the other hand, were scattered among seven hitters.
Dane Bach (Hillsboro) led the offense for Viroqua slamming a trio of doubles in three trips to the plate and drove in a pair of runs. Hunter Vikemyr chipped with a single and a double in three plate appearances and drove in the other Viroqua run.
Ryan Zemla took the loss working four and two-third innings, allowing all seven runs on eight hits, striking out four and walking three. Andrew Wedwick and Nick Stekel combined to shutout Onalaska over the final two and one-third innings.
Viroqua vs. Onalaska, May 6
Game two was a pitcher’s duel between Viroqua’s Ryan Hannah and Onalaska‘s R. Miller, with the visitors prevailing with a 3-1 win. Dalton Burkhardt cracked a one-out double, promptly stole third and gave Viroqua a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Vikemyr.
Hannah kept it that way through three innings before Onalaska scored all of their runs in the top of the fourth, on a bases-clearing three-run double by Ray Heilman. Both teams were held to just four hits in the contest.
Vikemyr came on in relief with one out in the fourth and was literally un-hittable, striking out all eight batters he faced over the final two and two-third innings, with 31 of the 40 pitches he threw crossing the strike-zone.
Miller held the 138’ers off the board through six innings to earn the win and C. Schultz tossed a scoreless seventh to pick up the save.
Viroqua at Holmen, May 9
Wedwick helped pitch and hit Viroqua to a 5-2 victory over the Holmen 17-under-team in the first game of a twin-bill in Holmen on Saturday.
Wedwick went 3x4 at the plate, scored a run and drove in a pair to lead the offense, and was also dominant on the mound, tossing six and 2/3rd innings of five-hit ball to earn the pitching win. Brett Skrede needed just three pitches to record the final out and secure the win.
All five Viroqua runs came from the top three hitters in the order, with Hannah going 1x3 (r, rbi), Wedwick 3x4 (r, 2 rbi), Vikemyr 2x3 (2b, 2 rbi). Mason Skrede added a double, Casey Hammond collected two hits in three trips to the plate and scored a pair of runs and Clayton Slack was 1x1 with a run scored.
The 138’ers scored eight runs on just six hits, taking advantage of eight walks issued by four Holmen pitchers, in route to an 8-4 victory in the second game. Viroqua utilized a balanced offense scoring in six of the seven innings and then held off a two-run seventh inning rally by Holmen to literally walk away winners.
Holmen out-hit Viroqua by a 13 to 6 margin, with the bases on balls proving to be the difference in the game.
Mason Skrede struck out five and walked only one, in six solid innings to pick up the win. Casey Hammond and Brett Skrede combined to put out the Holmen uprising in the bottom of the seventh and secure the victory.
Viroqua’s six hits were scattered among five players. Slack was 1x3 (r), Wedwick 1x4 (r), Vikemyr 1x2 (2r), Burkhardt 1x3 (2b, rbi), Mason Skrede 1x3 (rbi) and Stekel 1x2 run.