Legion AA Northwest Regional: Helena Senators advance to Championship Sunday

An early lead for the Viroqua American Legion baseball team quickly vanished, but Noah Mathison helped Post 138 battle back before it earned a 6-5 extra innings victory over Wahpeton (N.D.) on Sunday to finish pool play at the Division II Central Plains Tournament unbeaten.

Viroqua, which will play in the championship game on Monday, rallied with two outs in the top of the eighth to score the go-ahead run.

Kamden Oliver drew a walk, Mathison reached on an error and Ashton Swanson singled to load the bases for Casey Kowalczyk, who drew a walk after facing a 2-2 count.

Griffin Olson, who entered in relief of starting pitcher Andrew Bomkamp, then sat Wahpeton down in order in the bottom of the inning to secure the win.

Bomkamp pitched seven innings and allowed five runs, all in the second inning. That erased Post 138’s three-run first inning, which was made possible by a two-run home run by Oliver and a solo home run by Mathison.

Mathison hit another home run in the top of the third to bring Viroqua within 5-4, and his RBI single in the sixth tied the game.

Mathison finished 3 for 4 with 3 RBI, while Kowalczyk and Clayton Slack had two hits apiece. Oliver drove in two runs.

Post 595 allowed at least four runs in three innings as it lost its third and final pool play game.

A single by Ryan Steffes drove in two runs in the bottom of the first inning and a single by Isaac Petersen drove in another in the second to bring La Crescent within 4-3 after Antigo scored four in the top of the first, but Antigo responded with two runs in the third, four in the fourth and six in the fifth.

Braden Abnet drove in two runs in the fifth, but Post 595 couldn’t extend the game.

Petersen finished 2 for 3 and was the only La Crescent player with multiple hits.

Mason Bills, who allowed nine runs on 12 hits in 3⅓ innings, was charged with the loss.

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