State Baseball Tournament Preview - Division 1
Wednesday, June 30th, 2021 -- 11:14 AM
The 73rd State Baseball Tournament continues at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute on Thursday with Division 1 semi-finals and championship. Here's a preview of the Division 1 field......
THE LAST TIME: 2019 is the last State Tournament played with the cancellation of the 2020 season and Tournament Series in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eau Claire North won the Division 1 championship with a 5-4 victory over Sun Prairie in the title game.
Semifinals - Thursday, July 1
#1 Sun Prairie (27-2) vs. #5 Menomonee Falls (26-3) - 11:05 a.m.
#2 Bay Port (25-1) vs. #6 Eau Claire Memorial (22-7) - 1:30 p.m.
Championship - 6:05 p.m.
THE DIVISION 1 FIELD: Top-seeded Sun Prairie qualifies for the State Tournament for the 16th time overall and essentially for the second straight time with the 2020 season and tournament canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cardinals finished runner-up in 2019. They have been crowned champions eight times, which leads the membership. They won the Class A title in 1974 and added Division 1 championships in 1994, 1997, 2005, 2006, and three in a row from 2012-14. The Cardinals also advanced to the title game in 2017 and finished runner-up. They battered Janesville Craig 15-2 in five innings in the sectional final hosted at Sun Prairie. They are the champions in the Big Eight Conference this spring. Second-seeded Bay Port returns to State for the 13th time and for the first time since 2015. The Pirates won back-to-back championships in 2009-10 and finished runner-up in 2012. They are the champions of the Fox River Classic Conference this spring and have qualified for State with an 8-7 victory over Kimberly in the Appleton East Sectional final. Union Grove, the third seed, returns to the State Tournament field for the second straight season when taking into account the 2020 season was canceled. The Broncos move up a division after finishing runner-up in Division 2 in 2019, and they fell in the first round in their only other State appearance in 1952. They are the champions of the Southern Lakes Conference this spring. The Broncos defeated Muskego 7-5 in the sectional final held at Kenosha Bradford to earn another berth in the State Tournament field. Fourth-seeded Pewaukee makes it first State Tournament appearance in what was formerly considered spring baseball. The Pirates made three appearances in the summer baseball program, the most recent in 2015. The most notable experience of the three was advancing to the semifinals in 1972. They reach the State quarterfinals this year following a convincing 18-0 win over Franklin in five innings in the South Milwaukee Sectional final. They placed first in the Woodland Conference this spring. The Pirates have outscored tournament opponents by a combined 36-0 in their three games. Menomonee Falls is seeded fifth. The program makes its first appearance in the tournament after making eight appearances in the summer baseball program with the most recent coming in 2018, which was the last season of the summer baseball program. The Phoenix won back-to-back championships in 2015-16 and finished runner-up in 2001 and 2004. It advances to the State Tournament this season with a 6-1 win over Arrowhead in the Arrowhead Sectional final. The Phoenix placed first in the Greater Metro Conference in 2021. Sixth-seeded Eau Claire Memorial is making its 13th trip to State and its first since 2008. The Old Abes won State titles in 1964, 1966 and 1968 and finished second in 1978. They cruised past D.C. Everest 10-0 in five innings in the sectional final hosted by Marshfield. The Old Abes finished fourth the Big Rivers Conference in 2021. Seventh-seeded West Bend East makes its first appearance at State after making 10 appearances in the summer baseball tourney before that season was discontinued in 2018. The last time the Suns advanced to State was in 2015. The three State championships they won came in 1993, 1999 and 2002. They also had a runner-up finish in 1979. The Suns finished runner-up in the North Shore Conference this year. Their path to State was completed with a 3-0 shutout over Manitowoc Lincoln in the Oshkosh North Sectional final. The Suns have not allowed a run in their three tournament games, outscoring opponents by combined 14-0 during the journey. Eighth-seeded Onalaska qualifies for the third time overall and for the first time since 1994. The Hilltoppers furthest advance at State came in their first appearance in 1991 when they advanced to the semifinals before their tournament run ended. They are the champions of the Mississippi River Valley Conference this year. They edged Middleton 2-1 in the final of the Baraboo Sectional to advance to the State quarterfinals.
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