Denmark wins back to back state titles, Bay Port falls to Milton
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Winning back to back championships is one of the hardest things to do in sports. Just ask the Denmark Vikings.
In 2021, the Vikings had to win a pair of games in the same day to bring home gold from the state baseball tournament. A feat they would need to accomplish once again to repeat.
Their semifinals match-up against Pewaukee was moved from Wednesday night to Thursday morning at Nienhaus Field in Appleton. Pewaukee themselves looking to accomplish a rare feat, winning all three major state titles in the same athletic year. That’s with football and basketball already in the books, and it looked like Pewaukee was on their way to the state championship game.
The Pirates held at four run lead heading into the top of the seventh inning with just three runs from sending the defending champion Vikings home. Denmark responded like a champion should, though. Scoring seven in the top half of the inning, and then throwing out the potential tying run at home.
The same kind of heroics were needed in the state title game against Jefferson. Rheis Johnson had a pair of RBIs early to put the Vikings in front, but Jefferson kept fighting back. Even briefly taking the lead.
Once again heads up base running by Abe Kapinos proved to be key in the sixth as he came on home a wild pitch to put Denmark in front. Jefferson responded with an RBI double by Aiden Devine tied the game at five, but just like the Pirates, Jefferson got greedy looking to take the lead with the last out coming at home plate.
Denmark got the big hit they needed in the bottom of the seventh. With a pair of runners aboard, senior Hayden Konkol delivered what he said was the first walk off of his life. A double to the wall in right field to score Kapinos and give Denmark their second straight state championship.
“I can’t believe this is real right now. It’s a dream come true. As a kid this is all you dream about, hitting a walk off in the state championship. I mean, it’s incredible. To see my team coming after me, knowing all the things they did for me, and just how I can give back to them there,” said Hayden Konkol.
The day didn’t go as planned for the Bay Port Pirates in the division one championship game against Milton.
The game time was moved up due to the same weather that postponed Denmark’s semifinals match-up with Pewaukee from the day before.
The Red Hawks came to play right from the bat. Bay Port threatened in the top half of the first, but Milton blew the game open early by putting six runs on the board.
Bay Port’s incredible run as a seven seed in their sectional, and eight seed at the state tournament, came up one win short of a championship. Falling to Milton 11-1 on Thursday afternoon.
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