Dons unable to advance to title game
By Mike Warren
APPLETON – In their first WIAA state tournament appearance, the Columbus Dons baseball team lost their semifinal contest to Bangor 9-8 on June 15, at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute.
The Dons led 3-2 going into the top of the seventh inning, but then allowed seven Bangor runs while committing two costly errors, and the Cardinals went on to win the game.
After four scoreless innings, Columbus Catholic struck first, by scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, on a single by Cole Timmler. The Cardinals came back to tie the game in the top of the sixth.
The Dons answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth, on an RBI triple by Brock Bennington. But Bangor blew the game wide open in the top of the seventh. In a disastrous inning for the Dons’ defense, the Cardinals sent 12 men to the plate, and scored seven runs on five hits, as Columbus committed two errors, walked two batters and hit another.
The Dons did make a valiant comeback attempt with a rally in the bottom of the seventh. Columbus scored five runs in the last of the seventh, but left the tying and winning runs on base, as Xane Adler drilled what looked like the game-winning hit to right field. But a diving catch by Bangor right fielder Samuel Cropp ended the game, and the Columbus rally fell one run short. Earlier in the inning, the Dons loaded the bases, then Blake Jakobi drew a walk, and Brock Bennington got hit by a pitch.
Timmler then came to the plate and drilled a two-run single to right field. But with two men on and two outs, Adler’s line drive to right field ended the game.
In a one-run ball game, Columbus stranded 12 baserunners. Blake Jakobi took the loss in relief of Emmitt Konieczny, who allowed two runs on six hits over six innings.
Timmler led the Columbus offense with three singles and four runs batted in. Bennington went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
The Dons end their season 20-4.
See the June 22 print edition for photos.