Members of the Union Grove High School baseball team console each other after the Broncos lost to Antigo, 8-3, in the WIAA Division 2 state championship game Thursday in Grand Chute. (Photo by Mike Ramczyk)

Antigo towering home run, big inning end Broncos’ season

By Mike Ramczyk

Correspondent

Jake Zimmerman and his mix of slow curves, change ups and occasional fastballs had the Antigo lineup off balance all game.

In fact, the Union Grove Bronco baseball team clung to a 3-2 lead with two outs in the fifth inning Thursday night at Fox Cities Stadium, a mere seven outs away from the school’s first state championship.

But after several deep fly balls wound up in Grove gloves, one mighty swing trumped Zimmerman’s trickery and changed everything.

Antigo’s Logan Doering smashed a towering two-out, two-strike home run just inside the right-field foul pole to give the Red Robins a 4-3 lead, and the wheels fell off with four more in the sixth as Antigo knocked off Union Grove, 8-3, in the WIAA Division 2 state championship game.

“It’s tough,” said a dejected Zimmerman after the game. “You always dream about playing in the state championship and winning it, but we were inches away from that dream. We just lost, I guess, at the end of the day.”

“On the home run, I assumed I could blow it past him because he was behind the first two. I thought I could’ve gotten him. I kind of aimed it high. I was fine, I was over it, but then they just kept piling up hits.”

After the game, leadoff hitter Owen Erickson (1-for-4) said the home run was a devastating turning point.

“Seeing a home run here, that’s kind of like a big deal,” Erickson said. “You’re at state, you don’t expect a kid to hit a home run like that.”

“This sucks. We worked way too hard for it to end like this. But I couldn’t be any prouder of these guys. I couldn’t be happier.”

Union Grove saw its 16-game win streak snapped and ended the season 27-4.

Antigo (21-5) won its first state title.

For the full story and complete coverage in stories and photos of Union Grove trip to the state tournament, pick up a copy of the June 21 edition of the Westine Report.