Following a dejecting loss the night before in the sub-section finals, Upsala-Swanville Area (USA) showed early signs of life in a Section 5A elimination game against Browerville in Cold Spring, May 29.
The Patriots jumped on top right away in the top of the first, scoring twice on a double by junior Austin Johnson.
But after knocking off the top-sided Tigers two days prior, fifth-seeded USA couldn’t pull another upset, falling 8-2 to end its season.
It was the fourth meeting of the season between the two teams, with the first three decided in the late innings.
Browerville won both of the regular season matchups, with USA winning the first meeting of the postseason before the Tigers won the final showdown.
“I wouldn’t say it’s hard facing a team for the fourth time,” USA head coach Adam Gerads said. “By the fourth time you kind of know what the other team has and what to expect from them. We had plenty of guys that threw quality innings for us this year, and I was confident with whoever we threw. The last two games, it just seemed like every time we would walk a guy, the other team would capitalize on it.”
USA lost a deep group of seniors last year, yet still made it to the same round again this season.
“From the beginning of the season, I told the boys that not many people believe we were going to be very good,” Gerads said. “I told them that it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks – if we believe we will be good and keep working, we will do something special.
“I wouldn’t say we did anything special, but we were awfully close to doing something special,” he said. “With such a young group, I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress we made this year.”
USA finished the season with a record of 11-11.
Seniors on this year’s roster included Eric Lampert, Russell Janssen and Zach Kamphaus.
Lampert posted complete-game wins on the mound in the Patriots’ first two rounds of the postseason.
“I am looking for big things the next couple years,” Gerads said. “Losing Eric will be a huge loss, but everyone else will be a year older and hopefully help fill the void left behind. I am hoping these young kids continue to work hard throughout the summer and keep taking those steps forward.”