GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) - In an extra inning thriller in the Division 3 State baseball semifinals, Laconia advanced 5-4 against Iola-Scandinavia in nine innings.
Laconia Spartans sophmore Bryce Engelhardt's sacrifice bunt, helped by an Iola-Scandinavia throwing error was the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. Engelhardt then got out of a jam in the bottom of ninth with a pop out to send the Spartans to its first ever state baseball championship game.
The Spartans took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning when Iola-Scandinavia sophomore Carter Kurti singled with 2 outs to bring in the tying run to send it to extras.
Laconia then took the lead in the eighth when Seth Gosse singled up the middle to take a 4-3 lead just to see Iola-Scandinavia tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Thunderbirds Bryce Huettner grounded out but allowed Ethan Olson to score. Spartans were able to get out of the inning on a pop up by Justin Sivertson to go to the ninth.
In the top of the ninth, Laconia sophomore Bryce Engelhardt laid down a sacrifice bunt down the first baseline. T-Birds Carter Kurki sailed the throw over first base, junior Trevin Henker was able to score from first base taking a 5-4 lead.
Iola-Scandinavia then loaded the bases in the ninth inning. With Laconia's Englehardt on the mound with two outs, the sophomore was able to get T-Birds senior Nick Hansen to pop out ending the game.
Laconia (13-11) advances to the D3 State Championship against Aquinas (20-10) on Thursday, June 15 at approximately noon. Aquinas defeated Cumberland 7-0 Wednesday afternoon.
Laconia advances to its first ever state championship game.