MARINETTE — Sheboygan Post 83 knocked off defending champion Eau Claire 5-2 to win the Legion Class AAA state championship at Pedersen Park on Tuesday.
The victory gave Sheboygan its first state title in program history. Nathan Hendrikse pitched a complete game and Post 83 scored five unanswered runs down the stretch to take home the trophy.
Tanner Halvorson hit a solo home run in the first inning to give Eau Claire (28-9) a 1-0 lead early, and he added an RBI single in the second to stretch the lead to 2-0.
That was the only scoring Eau Claire would muster off of Hendrikse. He scattered nine hits and struck out two to get the win.
Sheboygan (27-17) plated three runs in the third to take the lead, with the go-ahead run scoring on a first-and-third base running play. Brent Widder went from third to home to give Sheboygan the lead.
Widder and Nicholas Akstulewicz hit back-to-back RBI singles for Sheboygan in the fourth inning to add two insurance runs, and Post 83 held on from there to grab the championship.
Eau Claire brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh inning, but couldn't do any more. Post 53 was looking for a second straight state championship.
Widder finished 2-for-3 for Sheboygan, while Jaxon Kostka tallied three hits for Eau Claire.
Eau Claire defeated Sheboygan 10-0 in the first game of the evening on Tuesday to set up the winner-take-all state championship game. Levi Schaller tossed a complete game shutout for Post 53.
Both Sheboygan and Eau Claire will play at the Great Lakes Regional next week. Sheboygan opens the regional with a game against Ohio champion Circleville, while Eau Claire faces Michigan champion Midland.
The winner of the Great Lakes Regional advances to the American Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina.