New Richmond baseball team upsets Rapids, but can't take down Chippewa FallsThe New Richmond baseball team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the WIAA Division 1 playoffs last Tuesday when the Tigers upended Wisconsin Rapids.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The New Richmond baseball team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the WIAA Division 1 playoffs last Tuesday when the Tigers upended Wisconsin Rapids.
The Tigers put up a hearty effort in last Thursday’s regional finals, but they weren’t able to get a second upset. They lost to Chippewa Falls 5-1, ending New Richmond’s 2012 season. The Tigers finished with a 9-12 record.
The Tigers, seeded 12th, went to Wisconsin Rapids last Tuesday and shocked the fifth-seeded Red Raiders in 10 innings, 4-3. It was a bit of revenge for the Tigers after Rapids ended the Tigers’ 2011 season in the WIAA playoffs.
As the 12th seed, the Tigers were the highest seed in the state to advance into the second round of WIAA baseball regionals.
Zac Parfitt came through with the game-winning hit in the top of the 10th inning for the Tigers. With Andy Kittel on second base, Parfitt singled between the Rapids first and second basemen, bringing Kittel around to score.
Drew Durham pitched the bottom of the 10th inning to finish off the win, striking out two Rapids batters.
Justin Johnson earned the pitching win, working the first nine innings. Johnson allowed six hits and two earned runs.
“J.J. pitched a whale of a game,” said Tiger coach Chad Fehrman.
The Tiger offense started the game with two scoring rallies. Durham led off the game with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly from Kittel. The Tigers increased their lead to 3-0 when Jeremy Leavens cracked a two-run homer in the second inning.
In Thursday’s game both teams played nearly error-free ball. But the three errors in the game turned out to be pivotal.
Chippewa scored in the first inning on a Tiger overthrow. The Tigers tied the score in the top of the fourth inning. Josh Kizer led off the fourth with a walk and he moved to second on a wild pitch. Kizer was able to score when the Chippewa Falls shortstop couldn’t handle Kaleb Kier’s grounder.
The tie didn’t last long. Chippewa Falls got a double to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, then a hit batter. Those runners would score on an errant pickoff throw. Chippewa added two more runs in the fifth inning.
Durham started on the mound against Chippewa, working into the fifth inning, allowing two earned runs. Chippewa Falls got five hits in the game, but the Tigers were limited to one hit, a single by Kizer.
Fehrman said the Tigers didn’t have the success they’d hoped for this season, but they can be proud that they were playing much better at the end of the season. The coaches want to build on that late success.
“The best thing we can do is concentrate our time on what we did correctly in the Rapids game,” Fehrman said. “Next year we have to have a better conference record.”