The Sheboygan Legion Post 83 did not get a chance to repeat as Class AAA State Champion.
After winning the title for the first time last year, Sheboygan was eliminated in the regional playoffs on July 22 and finished with a 23-13 record.
“They had a lot to be proud of,” manager Steve Goes said. “Winning 20 games again, which is not a given. For the most part, we played really well. (We were ranked No. 1 in the state for the first time). We won the Baraboo Tournament for the first time. We won the Sheboygan Tournament for the second time. So there were definitely some highlights. We beat Plover four times and they’re one of the best teams in the state. We beat a lot of teams that (advanced) to the state tournament.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t get back there, but given how hard our regional is … That’s baseball sometimes.”
Sheboygan was ranked No. 4 when the regional began July 19, but the team suffered a 5-0 loss to No. 3 Oshkosh in the double-elimination tournament.
Two days later, Sheboygan beat Hartford, 3-1, and then No. 1 Fond du Lac, 5-4, thanks to a walk-off suicide squeeze bunt by Kameron Meyer that scored Lars Kurgal in the bottom of the seventh inning after the team blew a three-run lead in the top of the frame.
“I told the guys if we get Lars on, we’re going to win the game,” Goes said.
But Oshkosh beat Sheboygan, 5-0 again, to end its season.
“Having a few days to reflect on it, it was one of the more disappointing ends to a season I’ve had,” Goes said. “Unfortunately in legion, you’re judged on how you play for a weekend. We left 48 guys on base in those four games and only scored eight runs. So we had plenty of traffic on the bases. It felt like in key spots we were lacking big hits. … It was frustrating from an offensive standpoint.”