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A gritty win

by Chris Conley

EVERYTHING EVERGREENS (FOX SPORTS WAUSAU-WSAU) The Evergreens lost a 1-run lead in the 6 th inning against last-place Wausau-East. There were more defensive errors, two huge base running mistakes, and not a lot of hitting. And none of that matters. Everest rallied for three runs in the 7 th ,gave one back, and held on for a 7-6 win. Wausau-East stranded the tying and winning runs in scoring position.

Actually, it was a quality win. Good and gritty. And it allows Everest to claim a share of second place in the final Wisconsin Valley Conference standings.

My generally-upbeat feeling about the game is based on two things: between injuries and scheduling, the Evergreens nearly ran out of pitching. Logan Langbehn and Bryce Hines, who've spent most of the season with the JV, kept things close in a pressure-filled game. And, with the season on the line, the Evergreens managed to produce runs in their last at-bat. Coming through in the clutch makes up for earlier mistakes.

The other teams that tied for second-place were Merrill (lost to SPASH 6-0 yesterday) and Wausau-West (lost to non-conference opponent Rhinelander, 5-4). The Evergreens, Blue Jays and Warriors all finished at 6-6 in the conference. Wisconsin Rapids could have also claimed a share of second place, but they lost yesterday to Marshfield 1-0.

This weekend Everest plays at the Middleton Invitational against Kimberly at noon and Middleton at 2:30. These are both upper-quality teams -- the kinds that await in the state regionals and sectionals. Both games will be on Fox Sports Radio AM-1390 FM-93.9. The playoffs start next week. Everest has a home game against Rhinelander on Tuesday at 5pm. The Hodags finished their regular season at 6-10. The winner will play at Antigo next Thursday.

Chris Conley