Prairie du Chien baseball ends a fine season

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Prairie’s Gavin Gillitzer pitched an excellent game in defeating Viroqua 2-1 in eight innings in the sectional opener in Brodhead Tuesday. (Photos by Marissa Weiher, Monroe Times)

Jon Nicholson gets ready to make the catch on a close play at second base in the second inning versus Viroqua.

Jon Nicholson reacts after reaching first base on a bunt in the first inning against Viroqua in Brodhead in the sectional opener.


Blackhawks defeat Viroqua but lose to Markesan

By Ted Pennekamp


The Prairie du Chien Blackhawks defeated Viroqua 2-1 in eight innings in the first game of the WIAA Sectional played in Brodhead on Tuesday. 

Gavin Gillitzer was brilliant on the hill as he pitched all eight innings for the Blackhawks, allowing only 4 hits and 1 run while striking out 6 with no walks. 

The Blackhawks scored both of their runs on squeeze bunts. The first run was scored in the fourth inning with a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Dylan Coleman, scoring Hunter Davis, who had singled to start the inning. Mark Welter squeezed in the winning run in the eighth, scoring Aaron Neisius from third to secure the victory. 

Gillitzer led the Blackhawks at the plate going 2 for 3 with a walk. Jon Nicholson was 1x2. Hunter Davis was 1x2 with a run scored. Clayton DuCharme was 1x3. Prairie du Chien had 5 hits.

Prairie du Chien then advanced to the championship game against Markesan (22-5), who had defeated Lakeside Lutheran earlier by a score of 6-1.

Both teams were strong on the hill, but Markesan was just a little bit stronger at the plate, handing the Blackhawks the loss, 3-1. 

Ryan McGrath started the game for the Blackhawks, pitching three innings, giving up 3 runs, allowing 4 hits and striking out 4, while walking 1. Dylan Coleman finished the last three innings, allowing no runs while giving up 3 hits and walking 4 with 1 strike out. 

Gavin Gillitzer again led the Blackhawks at the plate going 2 for 3 with a double. He also had 1 walk. Tyler Smock was 1 for 3. The Blackhawks had 3 hits in the contest.

Prairie scored their lone run in the fifth inning on a fielder’s choice from Jon Nicholson, scoring Coleman from third. 

The Blackhawks finished the 2019 season with a record of 19-3. They finished as the champions of the Southwest Wisconsin Conference for the sixth straight year, with a record of 8-2. Prairie du Chien was also the regional champions for the fourth straight year.

"We had tremendous leadership from some of our seniors throughout the spring season," said Prairie du Chien Coach Mark Pedretti. "We had some great exciting games during our WIAA tournament run for our fans. Myself and our coaching staff would like to thank the support of the community and our great fan base throughout the season."

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