Hofa Park wins Dairyland title over Shawano

Three-run seventh lifts Panthers to win

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Jimmy Lacy delivers a pitch during the Dairyland League Grand Championship Game in Hofa Park on Sunday.

The Shawano Lobos and Hofa Park Panthers were the cream of the crop in the Dairyland League this summer.

Despite facing an early deficit, Hofa Park was able to rally past Shawano with a three-run seventh inning to claim a 7-4 victory. The championship was the Panthers fourth straight and fifth in the past six years.

Shawano and Hofa Park posted identical 12-2 records in league play, earning 7-0 marks at their home parks and 5-2 records on the road. After earning the top two seeds for the postseason, it was only fitting for the two teams to work their way through the playoff bracket and into the Dairyland League Grand Championship Game, which was played this past Sunday at Hofa Park’s Krumrai Memorial Field.

Shawano took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a two-run home run by Chase Henning.

Hofa Park started its comeback in the bottom of the fourth when Doug Coe launched a solo homer to cut the deficit in half. The Panthers surged ahead in the fifth when Tyler Jacobson delivered a two-RBI single to center.

Shawano had an answer in the sixth, tying the game on a RBI groundout by Jimmy Lacy.

The tie game was short-lived, as Coe led off the next inning by belting a deep home run to center field. The Lobos again had an answer in their next half inning, as Dylan Berg’s double plated Ryan Coffey from third.

Hofa Park took control of the back-and-forth contest in its half of the seventh, scoring all three runs after two quick outs. After Rob Scheuttpelz reached on an error, he stole second before scoring on a Jacobson single. Adam Frost followed with a two-run blast for the final runs of the game.

Matt Zittlow started the game for Hofa Park and picked up the win after working the first seven innings and striking out six batters. Jacobson pitched the final two innings to earn the save. He struck out three batters and only had one batter reach against him.

For his play at the plate and on the mound, Jacobson was named the game’s MVP.

Lacy started the game for Shawano and pitched all eight innings, striking out two batters along the way. Coffey led the Lobos with three hits while Berg and Grant Bystol each had two.

Lacy was honored as the league’s top pitcher while Pulaski’s Jason Infusino was the top hitter.