In a game filled with bizarre events, the Gibraltar Vikings came up just short of heading to the state tournament, falling 5-3 to Athens in the WIAA Division 4 Sectional Final in Crivitz.
The first break of the game went in favor after freshman third basemen Sam Lindenberg was able to temporarily force Seth Coker off the mound after a long but great at-bat. With Dayne Diethelm on the mound for the Blue Jays, Dominic Krauel fouled off a pitch that appeared to be caught by the first baseman Dakota Willhemssen, but the ball bounced off the fence with a second chance in Krauel in hand. He responded with run scoring triple and was later driven home by Alex Laughlin on his RBI double.
The Blue Jays, who had already made one two-run comeback earlier in the day in the sectional semifinal, scored on an errant throw by Luke Steebs and a drop third strike charged to catcher Andras Szakala. The Vikings would give up the lead on sacrifice squeeze bunt by Cobie Ellenbecker, but would get it back an inning later on another RBI hit by Laughlin. The Vikings would threaten to break the game wide open in the sixth inning, but came away empty handed after a couple miscues.
The Blue Jays would take the lead for good in the top of 7th after Szakala made a diving catch on a bunt, only to see his throw to third bounce off the base runner's helmet into left field. One batter later, the Blue Jays would score an insurance run on an RBI single.
Trevor Reinhardt followed up his perfect game with another gutsy performance in his final game as a Viking, going 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs but only one earned, and striking out five.
POSTGAME INTERVIEW WITH GIBRALTAR COACH JAY KITA