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Durham helps West win WBCA Classic

New Richmond's Drew Durham helped the West team win the 30th annual Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Classic in Oshkosh on June 28-29.

The West team took the tournament title by going 2-1 in the two days of action. Durham was 1-4 at the plate in the three games, splitting time at catcher for the West team.

The West squad opened the tournament with a 3-2 win over the East team. In the second day of the event, the West was defeated by the North 2-0. In the deciding game of the tournament, the West team topped the South, 4-2.

Durham was one of three Middle Border Conference players who were part of the West team and all three contributed to the championship. Amery's Jake Mullendore made several strong defensive plays and had two hits. Ellsworth's James Georgekas pitched the final innings in the deciding game of the tournament. Other area players who were part of the West team were Alex Call of River Falls and Austin Evenson of Hudson.

Durham said one player who stood out to him from the West squad was Eau Claire Memorial pitcher Jacob Sparger, who was a first team all-state selection. The players never had any chance to practice together before the tournament. In warmups, Durham was introduced to Sparger's fastball, which has been clocked at 90 miles per hour.

"My hand was bruised the rest of the week," Durham said.

Durham said he enjoyed the experience and being part of the championship team.

"The difference was how good our team chemistry was," Durham said. "We had a lot of baseball smart guys."

Durham said he plans to continue playing baseball in college. He will be attending Dakota County Junior College this fall, a Division 1 JUCO program.

Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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