Burlington’s Chase Ketterhagen heads for home as his coaches and teammates cheer during a WIAA regional final victory over Wilmot June 17. (Photo by Mike Ramczyk)

Surging Broncos make quick work of Demons on way to state

By Mike Ramczyk

Correspondent

Sometimes, a team just has that special “it” factor.

No matter what happens, they have all the key components to success, with talent, performance and even a little bit of luck.

The Union Grove baseball team is definitely that type of buzz saw this season.

Ranked high in the Division 1 state rankings all year, the Broncos feature eight future college baseball players.

Their talent was on full display Monday in a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal at Kenosha Bradford High School.

The second-seeded Demons came in with high hopes after crushing Wilmot for a regional title, although the Broncos run-ruled the Demons in two previous matchups early in the season.

The Demons were once again dominated at sectionals, as the Broncos pounded out 14 hits in a 13-2 rout.

Union Grove scored two, four, five and two runs and didn’t even need a fifth inning to end the game by run rule.

Burlington starter Kale Dietz was coming off a strong win on the mound in the regional semifinal game, but the Broncos got to him with five earned runs in 1-⅓ innings.

Joe Zuleger, the Demons’ other top pitcher, came in to stop the bleeding but allowed seven hits and five more runs in 1-⅔ innings.

All nine Bronco batters had at least one hit, as senior Nick Williams led the way with a 3-for-3 performance with four RBIs.

His brother, Nathan, went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Isaiah Cerfus added two hits and two RBIs, while Owen Nowak tallied two hits.

Grove freshman Beau Bloxdorf and junior Remmi Sweet each added two-run singles.

The Demons went down swinging in the fifth.

Ty Sagedal singled and scored on Joey Berezowitz’s line shot to right field.

Gage Peterson, who pitched a scoreless inning, also walked and scored in the fifth.

Burlington coach Scott Staude gave credit to the Broncos, who went on to defeat Muskego, 7-5, and advance to the Division 1 state tournament for the second time in three years.

Staude compared the Broncos to the 1927 New York Yankees.

“It’s always tough because only one team wins the final game,” Staude said of the Demons, who won 13 of their final 17 games. “We played really well down the stretch. We really competed well. Grove is a really good offensive team, and you just can’t give them extra outs. I am very impressed with their lineup. They’re very solid 1-9, and they have a deep pitching staff. They have a swagger to them, which you need. Every time you punch, they punch back.”

To read the entire story and a recap of the Demons’ regional victory see the June 24 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.