WISNER — The Battle Creek Post 75 Seniors bounced back from a heartbreaking first-round loss to beat Wisner-Pilger/Howells-Dodge 10-2 in the losers bracket of the American Legion Class C state tournament on Sunday at Wisner City Park.

Battle Creek had a 4-1 lead over Malcolm heading into the bottom of the seventh inning on Saturday but wound up losing 5-4.

“You always worry a little bit how guys are going to respond after that loss,” Battle Creek coach Russ Hamer said. “They came back, had a good (batting practice) session, were relaxed and confident.

“We wanted that to transfer to the pitchers and have a complete game — throwing strikes, playing good defense and putting the bat on the ball. They did a good job today.”

Aden Wintz helped Battle Creek add on to its 3-2 lead with a two-run single in the bottom of the third to make it 5-2.

The hit was part of an impressive day for Wintz, whose three hits and three runs batted in were both the best marks on the team.

“I feel like I was just getting an RBI for my teammates, trying to get them to come in,” he said “It’s about the team, and I’m trying to help my team as much as I can.”

In the fourth, a walk with the bases loaded and a sacrifice fly by Parker Claussen plated two more runs. Adam Dominisse singled in another in the fifth to make it 8-2.

Then in the sixth, Kamren Korth and Wintz each hit run-scoring singles to put Battle Creek up by eight, inducing the mercy rule and ending the game.

“I give them a lot of credit. They’ve got a good team,” WPHD coach Ron Lund said. “They hit the ball better, they pitched the ball better and they fielded the ball better.”

Battle Creek got the scoring started in the bottom of the second on a Kaleb Kummer sacrifice fly and a single by Clausen to go up 2-0. Rockney Peck got WPHD on the board in the top of the second with an RBI single.

Will Hamer put Battle Creek back up by two in the bottom of the second with a single. Gavin Nelson answered with one of his own in the top of the third to make it 3-2.

The loss marked the end of the road for Wisner-Pilger/Howells-Dodge. Because it hosted the state tournament, it qualified for the first time since 1994.

Since it knew it would be participating before the season even started, the team wanted to get to a point where it could compete with those who qualify for state. It started the season slowly but was able to get things going as the summer went on.

“We obviously came up short the last two days,” Lund said. “But it was still fun to do it, and I’m glad we got the opportunity.”

Another elimination game awaits Battle Creek, this time against Pender Post 55 on Monday at 2:30 p.m. Russ Hamer’s message to his team comes down to the basics.

“Come play hard, play fundamental baseball,” Hamer said. “But let’s knock a few teams off on the way.”

WPHD 011 000 — 2 5 2

BC 212 212 — 10 14 2

WP: Dylan Amick. LP: Gavin Nelson.

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