The Shawano Legion baseball team is about to shake off a season of ups and downs, and take the field in Regionals. Shawano opens play in Rhinelander against the host team. Shawano’s season has been hot and cold at times, but Manager Ryan Koening says all that matters is how they play this weekend.
“We have to pull it together for a few days in a row and anything can happen” said Koenig. “I feel really confident with the team that we have this year that we can make a run.”
The Shawano Legion Baseball team is two years removed from their last trip to state, but some remember the feeling.
“Some of those guys remember being part of that and they were really young. You don’t get many opportunities for that and for some of the seniors, this is their last shot to play competitively.”
This year Shawano has found success with leading pitcher Dylan Sumnicht, who is scheduled to start on Wednesday.
The Patriots have won some close games this season, but enter after falling to 8-7 on Monday. Koenig said it is not the best way to go into Regionals, but as they learned two years ago, anything can happen.
Shawano made it to the Regional Championship game against Kaukauna that year, but since Kaukauna was hosting state, they did not need to win that game to advance to State. Once at State, the Patriots turned it on, stringing together enough wins to make it to the Championship game before losing to River Falls.
Koening says he does not know a whole lot about the teams in the Rhinelander Regional, but says they need to have a hot start to be successful.
“You know Rhinelander matched us up with them, because they wanted to play us. They are a really good team” Koening said. “If we can get that upset, anything can happen from there. We can make a run and that will give us some confidence. The way we come out in game one will determine our weekend.”
With a win, Shawano will play the winner of Antigo and Minocoqua. If the Patriots lose, they will play the winner of Merrill and Northwoods on Thursday.