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St. Croix Central Legion baseball team finally returns to field

The chances to take the field have been few and far between for the St. Croix Central American Legion baseball team.

The Panthers went to Bloomer last Wednesday to play their first game in two weeks. As the Panthers were about to take the field, the skies opened up with a heavy downpour that forced the cancellation of the game.

The weather finally cooperated long enough for the Panthers to play on Friday. They went to Plum City, where they lost 14-4 in six innings.

The Panthers had to start the game with eight players, so they recruited an eighth grader, the younger brother of one of their players from Hudson. The rest of the players arrived during the second inning.

Mike Sauer started on the mound for Central. Plum City took advantage of the Panthers’ low numbers, scoring eight runs in the first two innings. Central coach Jason Koele said that once the team had its full complement of players, it was quite competitive with Plum City. The Plum City team has players from several communities from the southern end of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference.

Central got its first run in the fourth inning. Owen Schwechler singled, stole second base and scored on a wild pitch. The Panthers had their chance to do more damage in that inning. They were retired with the bases loaded.

Central’s biggest inning was the sixth, when they took advantage of a struggling relief pitcher. Six consecutive Panther batters walked, with two scoring on wild pitches and the third run coming across on a bases-loaded walk.

“We worked the counts pretty well,” Koele said. “There was a little rust, a little unfamiliarity,” Koele said of the slow start. “As the game progressed, we looked more like we should.”

The Panthers face another extended break in their schedule. They don’t play again until July 9 when they host Bloomer.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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