Aquinas heads to state after near perfect start to postseason
Blugolds two wins away from WIAA Division 3 state championship
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — The Blugolds final practice Monday was moved indoors thanks to the rain, not an ideal setting with Division 3 state championship on the line. The situation did however provide an opportunity for the team to hear from a guy who knows a few things about the state tournament in Appleton.
“Coach Thornton came in today to talk to us today and it was great,” said right fielder Chris Curti. “I mean, the guy has been to the state tournament, what 18 different times? Even though he is a Central guy, he told us he is pulling for us this weekend.”
Marathon (26-2) is next up Wednesday afternoon, and these two teams have past history at state. Aquinas is trying to avenge a 2010 loss to the Red Raiders in the state championship game. This meeting also marks another chapter in a storied rivalry between the two skippers.
“Coach Warner and I were college teammates at UW-La Crosse together,” said head coach Scott Bagniefski. “He was a first baseman, and I was a shortstop. It is a good rivalry, but a friendly rivalry as well. I know Marathon is going to be very well prepared.”
Junior Alex Shulte gets the ball in the semifinal behind an offense that outscored opponents 37-0 in four previous postseason games, including a recent lift from a player with a brand new identity.
“They announced ‘left fielder – Bill Bettis,’ and I was just like that does not make sense,” said left fielder Tim Bettis. “How do you get Bill from Tim?”
Two runs batted in and a highlight catch on defense later, the legend of Bill Bettis was born.
“They tell me all the time, ‘Bill Bettis had the game of his life yesterday and we want to keep Bill, we do not want Tim back,”said Bettis.
The winner of the Aquinas and Marathon semifinal will meet either Chequamegon (21-6) or Lake Country Lutheran (26-2) in the WIAA Division 3 state title game on Thursday.