The wait is worth it as Papermakers get a wild win


GRAND CHUTE (WLUK) -- Kimberly baseball coach Ryan McGinnis has won a lot of games, but Tuesday night (or Wednesday morning) might have been a first.

The Papermakers' offense was not at its best against Eau Claire North, but the they managed to find a way to score two runs and it was enough. KImberly scored both of its runs on wild pitches, one on a suicide squeeze play in the sixth inning, as Kimberly advanced to Thursday's Division 1 state title game after beating North, 2-1, at Fox Cities Stadium.

The game was originally scheduled for about an 8:30 p.m. start but started at 11:29 p.m. because of a rain delay and a 10-inning game between Arrowhead and Sun Prairie, the other Division 1 semifinal. The game ended at 1:03 a.m.

Kimberly-Eau Claire North boxscore

It didn't bother starting sophomore pitcher John Nett, who pitched a five-hitter, striking out three and walking four.

"We were ready to go no matter if it was later or earlier," Nett said. "Everybody played great and we were ready for it."

McGinnis was asked if he ever won a game on a wild pitches and he said, "Good question, I don't know."

Kimberly (22-8) managed three hits, much different from its game earlier in the day when it pounded out 14 hits in an 11-2 win over Waunakee in a semifinal.

"It's a long road and just being in an arena tonight, this afternoon, being able to play Thursday night, that's what it's all about," McGinnis said. "Be in competitive environments and testing your mettle. I'm so proud of our guys.

"They know how to battle, they know how to compete. They stay together and they don't flinch."

Thursday's title game is a rematch of the 2014 title game won by Sun Prairie, 5-2.

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay

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