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Bornick powers Bay Port into state semifinals

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

FOND DU LAC – Bay Port baseball player James Bornick didn’t get a chance to play in the field, but he did more than enough at the plate to make up for it.

The senior belted two homers and a triple in the Pirates’ 9-3 victory over West Bend East in a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 state quarterfinal game June 25 at Herr-Baker Field on the campus of Marian University.

James Bornick

Bornick’s triple in the second inning hit the base of the wall in right-center, while his line drive, third-inning blast hit the right-field foul pole.

His second homer of the game, a moon ball over the right-center wall, gave the Pirates an 8-2 lead in the fifth.

“I felt good today,” said Bornick, a left-handed hitter batting sixth in the lineup. “It was a great win for our team, and we’re happy we’re moving on. This was our main goal this year, and we’re one step closer. All three of my hits were off fastballs.”

Bornick came into the game with six long balls on the season.

“Ironically, the triple James hit might have been one of the farthest balls I’ve ever seen a high school player hit,” Bay Port (25-1) Head Coach Harvey Knutson said. “He has a sweet swing – he showed his power and what he can do.”

Bornick came up in the sixth after Eli Frank doubled home a run to make it 9-2, but West Bend East (22-8) chose to intentionally walk him.

“I wasn’t sure what they’d do when I came up,” Bornick said. “It made sense to walk me, but I was hoping they wouldn’t. I saw their coach motion to the catcher and umpire to put me on. It’s not the first time it’s happened to me this year.”

After Bornick’s triple with one out in the second, he scored a batter later when Gavin Rusch’s grounder went under the glove of the third baseman.

Jacob Kleeman and Carl Cano then had RBI singles to make it 3-0.

Bay Port scored four more in the fourth on Bornick’s two-run dinger and a two-RBI double by Matt Perry, which scored Rusch and John Nickel.

Theo Zeidler started on the mound for the Pirates and went four-plus innings.

He allowed three hits, two runs, walked four and struck out three.

Frank pitched the final three innings and surrendered two hits, one run, two walks and struck out three.

Bay Port, the No. 2 seed in the state tournament, will play No. 6 Eau Claire Memorial (22-7) Thursday, July 1, in the state semifinals at approximately 1:30 p.m.

If the Pirates win, they’d play the winner of No. 1 Sun Prairie (27-2)/No. 5 Menomonee Falls (26-3) later that night at 6:05 p.m. for the state title.

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