GRAND CHUTE––It wasn't dry. It wasn't easy. It wasn't pretty, but the Webster Tigers held on to take a 4-3 win from the Athens Fighting Blue Jays to advance to the Championship game Thursday against the Belmont Braves or the Mineral Point Pointers at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
The Tigers, once again, were the visiting squad and came to the plate first, enduring a light rainfall.
Carsen Stenberg got off to a good start by smacking a double. The next batter, Owen Washburn, singled him home. On an error by the Blue Jays shortstop, Washburn made it to third. Moments later, he was caught leading off for an out and then two successive batters failed to get on base.
Athens failed to score in their half of the first.
Both teams went scoreless in the second.
The third inning saw Webster get one run. Mason Gustafson got on via an error and later scored on a Hunter Rosenbaum single.
Athens got a runner on in the third but left him stranded, but in the bottom of the fourth, the Blue Jays scored once. A single and a double were the two hits that scored the run.
Inning five went blank for both squads.
The Tigers got two insurance runs in the sixth which eventually proved to get the victory. Rosenbaum singled. Then with one out, Brad Sigfrids doubled him home. Coleton Peterson singled Sigfrids across the plate. Matt Buffington also singled but was left stranded.
Athens got two more runs off Tiger pitcher Hunter Rosenbaum in the bottom of the sixth. A single, a Tiger error and a ground out made the score 4-3 for the Tigers. Rosenbaum got the next two batters to fly out and ground out respectively.
Rosenbaum singled in the top of the seventh but was left on base.
In the bottom of the seventh, Jack Washburn came on in relief to pitch for Webster. The first batter walked, but then the Tigers pulled off a 6-4-3 double play to clear the bases. The last batter grounded to second for the third out and the win for Webster.
Rosenbaum pitched six innings, had eight hits and three runs against him, walked none and struck out eight. Washburn went the last inning with one walk allowed.
The Tigers resume their quest for a second State Title Thursday at 9 a.m. at the stadium in Grand Chute.