6/18/2014 4:16:00 PM Orangemen claim Aquafest title First-time win for fastpitch hosts
Orangemen MVP Venezuelan Erick Chapaaro hurls in Friday’s win
After falling to Bol's Lanes of Baldwin, 3-2, in the winner's bracket final, the Rice Lake Orangemen stormed back and eventually defeated Bol's twice in championship play, 7-6 and 2-1 in nine innings, to capture the title in the 36th annual Rice Lake Aquafest Men's Fastpitch Invitational. It was the first invitational championship for the Orangemen, the only team to have played in all 36 tourneys and the only local team in this year's field. The Orangemen went 5-1 in the tournament played over the weekend at Tate Park. Ten teams, five each from Wisconsin and Minnesota, took part in the weekend meet, once again held in conjunction with the Rice Lake Aquafest celebration. Alex Harrington's two-out single in the top of the ninth inning scored Erick Chaparro with the eventual winning run in the second championship game to lift the Orangemen to the title with a 2-1 win. Chaparro, also the winning pitcher, led off the inning with a base hit and advanced to third on Ryan Thompson's infield single. Chaparro outdueled Bol's Mike Peterson to get the pitching win, striking out 16 and allowing just four hits. Peterson had held the Orangemen to just three hits until the pivotal ninth. One of those hits was a home run by Jason Bottolfson. Bottolfson also homered in the first championship game while going three for four in the 7-6 Orangemen win. Travis Thompson had a pair of home runs, including a three-run, go-ahead shot in the sixth as Rice Lake rallied from an early 5-1 deficit. Thompson knocked in five of the Orangemen's seven runs. Chaparro, who batted two for four, got the pitching win, striking out 10. Peterson, in relief of Dan DuCharme, took the loss. Chapparo's pair of doubles and Harrington's triple were not enough in the winner's bracket final, as the Baldwin Club prevailed, 3-2. Peterson, with relief help from DuCharme, was winning pitcher. Chaparro, despite recording 10 strikeouts, took the loss. The Orangemen opened tournament play with a 6-2 victory over Sawdust City of Eau Claire on Friday night. In Saturday's action, the Orangemen blanked the Minnesota club from Ostrander, 2-0, and followed that up with another shutout victory, 7-0 over Morelli's of St. Paul. After those three straight wins, the Orangemen came up a run short in their first encounter with Bol's Lanes, the defending NAFA state Division A champion. Bol's downed Len's Automotive of St. Paul, 3-2, in their tourney opener, then defeated pre-tournament favorite Tin Cup, also of St. Paul, 7-6. A 13-6 win over La Crosse propelled Bol's to the winner's bracket final. The La Crosse team, piloted by Chetek native Bud Olson, claimed third place honors. Also competing were J.R. Sports of Arcadia and Harley-Davidson of Lewiston, Minn. Named to the 2014 all-tournament team were infielders Max Loew and Sam White of the La Crosse Athletics, along with Zach Bisek and Brett Gamroth of J.R Sports. Outfielders selected were Kory Mickelson of La Crosse, Nate Agard of Ostrander, J.W. Dachel of Bol's Lanes, and Sam Hall of the Orangemen. Orangemen Travis Thompson was named all-tourney catcher, while pitchers selected were Mike Fink of Ostrander, Mike Peterson of Bol's Lanes and the Orangemen's Jason Yetterness. Selected as the tournament's Most Valuable Player was Rice Lake pitcher-designated hitter Erick Chaparro, who is from Maracaibo, Venezuela. Chaparro, the winning pitcher in three tournament games, is living in New Richmond this summer and playing for the Orangemen in weekend tournaments.