By Paul Schmitt
The Luxemburg-Casco Spartans fell one game short of going to state Tuesday in the WIAA Division 2 Sectionals in Clintonville. After defeating Waupaca 4-3 with a thrilling comeback in the sectional semi-final opener, the Spartans were shutout 5-0 by Mosinee in the sectional final.
In the opener, starting pitcher Bryce Tekulve went only 4-2/3 innings and gave up three runs as he battled with a high pitch count including a 41 pitch first inning. Tekulve reached the maximum 100 pitch count in the fifth inning and Noah Lindsley pitched the final 2-1/3 innings to keep the Spartans close. Austin Tlachac made a spectacular over the shoulder diving catch in the sixth inning to save a run and set the stage for the dramatic comeback by the Spartans that benefited from three Comet errors. Jake Theys tied the game with a single in the seventh inning and Kyle Routheieaux scored the winning run when Mason Isenberg’s bunt was mishandled and thrown away.
Mosinee jumped on Spartan pitcher Ian Doell with three runs in the first inning of the sectional final. Nathan Yagodinski came in for Doell and limited Mosinee to just one run on four hits in 4-1/3 innings of long relief. Unfortunately, the Spartan offense could not cash in on opportunities with runners in scoring position including leaving five runners on base in the final two innings.
Luxemburg-Casco (26-4) concluded an impressive spring campaign winning the North Eastern Conference and coming one game from returning to state for the first time since 1990. Mosinee (15-9) will now advance to the state championship in Appleton next week.
You can relisten to the broadcasts of the games “on demand”