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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It was do-or-die for the New Richmond and Somerset baseball teams last Thursday. Both teams knew the losing team would see their chances of a Middle Border Conference championship all but disappear. It was New Richmond that kept its hopes of an MBC championship alive, with an 8-1 win over Somerset. With the win, New Richmond remains one game behind undefeated Ellsworth in the conference standings.
Freshman Nick Widing twirled a three-hitter to lead Somerset's baseball team to a 3-2 win over Frederic last Tuesday. Widing pitched the complete game for the Spartans. At times he clearly overpowered Frederic's hitters.
The first time Rachel Poppy was invited to a lacrosse practice, she thought her friend was joking. She soon found out what lacrosse was about. And like many, she became hooked on what has become the fastest growing sport in America. Poppy said there are two groups of people, those who love lacrosse, and those who don't yet know about the sport. Poppy is a 2004 New Richmond High School graduate who attends Gustavus Adolphus College. Though she had never seen a lacrosse game before she went to college, Poppy started in the first game she ever played.
The New Richmond baseball team is staying right on the heals of Ellsworth in the Middle Border Conference pennant race. New Richmond posted three more conference wins in the past week, over Webster, Glenwood City and Unity. The Tigers have only one conference loss, which came against Ellsworth. No team has been able to stop Ellsworth yet in conference action. New Richmond plays a key game in MBC play this Thursday, when they host Somerset in a 7 p.m. start.
After spotting Glenwood City an 8-1 lead, the Somerset baseball team rallied to win Monday's Middle Border Conference baseball game, 11-9. Junior Austin Seibel made the comeback possible. Seibel came on to pitch in the fifth inning and he retired all nine batters he faced. Somerset's play matched the weather in this game. The first innings were played in a rain that ranged from a mist to a downpour. The clearing of the skies seemed to come simultaneously with the turnaround in Somerset's play in the game. Calin Hehling started on the mound for the Spartans.
Somerset will be among the growing number of Wisconsin school districts to offer an alternative school. This fall, an alternative school will be part of the offerings at Somerset High School. An alternative school gives students who are at risk of not being able to graduate another option to receive a high school diploma. Somerset High School principal Lynn Hudnall said she hopes to have a teacher and assistant hired for the alternative school in the next few weeks.
New Richmond pitcher Tyler Stoeklen threw the first no-hitter of his varsity baseball career last Thursday, silencing the Baldwin-Woodville offense in an 8-0 Tiger win. The win raises the Tigers' Middle Border Conference record to 5-1 for the season. Stoeklen mixed his fastball and sharp-breaking curveball well to keep the B-W hitters off stride. Stoeklen struck out 10 batters, walking three and hitting two Blackhawk batters with pitches. B-W never got a runner to third base in the game. "Tyler's becoming a pitcher, not a thrower," said New Richmond coach John Ball.
The Somerset baseball team was involved in two close finishes last week, winning one and suffering a heart-breaking loss in the other. The loss came last Thursday at Ellsworth. Somerset rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 6-4 lead. Ellsworth, the undefeated Middle Border Conference leader, then charged back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to topple the Spartans 7-6. The win came last Tuesday.
Even Mother Nature cooperated to help make the first New Richmond Millers Fathers' Day Tournament a success. The adult baseball tournament hosted by New Richmond's city team featured good baseball with good crowds for most of the games. The tournament started Friday night and finished early Sunday evening. The Stillwater Loggers were champions of the tournament, beating the Ellsworth Hubbers 7-0 in Sunday's championship game. New Richmond's team won once in its three games in the tournament. The Millers took over the tournament this year.
One strike away. That's how close the New Richmond baseball team came to finishing off a 4-3 win over Ellsworth Monday night. But that final strike never arrived.