The DeForest prep baseball team fell a win short of making a return trip to sectionals.
The Norskies opened the WIAA Division 1 postseason with a 5-2 victory over visiting Beaver Dam in the regional semifinal on May 28.
“It was a big day for our team after losing to Beaver Dam the week prior,” DeForest coach Harold Olson said.
In the regional final on May 30, DeForest came up short, 3-1, to host Sun Prairie.
“The team gave a great effort against a traditional powerhouse in Sun Prairie,” Olson said.
The Norskies, who played in the sectional semifinal last season, finished the year 13-12 overall.
The loss to Sun Prairie marked the end for the Norskies’ senior class of Jake Purcell, Trey Kirchberg, Luke Beyer, Carson Patzner and Jared Stuttgen.
Beaver Dam 2
It was a revenge game for the Norskies, who lost to the Golden Beavers by the same 5-2 score just 10 days before the regional matchup.
It took DeForest a few innings to get going in the regional semifinal, but when they did break through, it was in an impressive fashion.
The Norskies got all the offense they would need when Jake Purcell blasted a grand slam home run to left field in the bottom of the third inning.
Beaver Dam cut the lead in half, 4-2, in the top of the fourth inning, thanks to a solo home run by Wesley Biel and RBI single by Adam Chase.
The Norskies tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth, as Trey Schroeder scored on a single by Ayden Austin.
Purcell went 3-for-3 to lead DeForest at the plate.
Norski pitchers Cal Olson and Mason Kirchberg combined on a three-hitter. Olson, who earned the win, had a strikeout and four walks in five innings, while Kirchberg struck out two in two frames of relief on his way to the save.
Brandon LeBeau took the pitching loss for Beaver Dam. He had a strikeout and three walks in just over four innings of work.
Sun Prairie 3
Despite out-hitting the Cardinals 8-3, the Norskies were not able to generate enough offense in the regional championship.
Sun Prairie had two of its three hits in the bottom of the third inning, when the Cardinals plated all three of their runs to break a scoreless tie.
Jacob Powley came home on a wild pitch for the first run in the bottom of the third.
Spencer Bartel came through with a double to score Carson Shepard for the second Cardinal run. Bartel then came home on a single by Matt DePrey.
DeForest had a chance to get on the scoreboard early. Justin Hausser had a one-out double in the top of the first inning, but was unable to score.
The Norskies got back-to-back one-out singles from Purcell and Austin in the fifth frame, but a double play ended the threat.
DeForest finally broke through in the top of the seventh. Trey Kirchberg led off the inning with a walk and scored two batters later on a two-out single by Jack Olver.
The Norskies had the bases loaded when the game ended on a strikeout.
Purcell and Austin both had two hits to pace DeForest’s offense.
Keagon Kauffman got the start on the mound for the Norskies. He had four strikeouts and four walks in four innings.
Nat Simonson also pitched for DeForest and recorded two strikeouts and a walk.
Noah Wendler, who had two strikeouts and three walks, got the pitching win for Sun Prairie, while Carson Fluno earned the save.