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WIAA baseball: Milton wins regional title behind the pitching of Jack Campion

By John Barry, 06/02/22, 10:30AM CDT

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MILTON 

Jack Campion and the Milton Red Hawks are sectional bound. 

The senior right-hander pitched six solid innings and scored a pivotal run in the fifth inning to lead Milton to a 4-3 victory over Waukesha North in a WIAA Division 1 regional championship game. 

Top-seeded Milton (20-6) earned a spot in the Oregon sectional and will meet fifth-seeded Wales Kettle Moraine (13-10) in a sectional semifinal at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Oregon High School. 

A victory would send the Red Hawks into the sectional final at 4 p.m. against Oconomowoc (21-5) or Mukwonago (12-14). 

Campion was lights out for six innings before tiring in the seventh. He struck out six and allowed only two earned runs. Michael Birkhimer came on to pick up the save by recording the final three outs. 

“Obviously it’s playoff time,” Campion said. “My coaches trust me on the mound, and I know the players behind me trust me just like I do them to go out and make plays, which they did once again tonight. I just had to go out and do my thing. 

“We hadn’t played our best coming into the playoffs (losing four straight), so we really increased our focus at each and every practice coming into this game. And as a team, I think we were really locked in today.” 

Milton got on the board first with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Owen Holcomb and Ashton Goll delivered back-to-back RBI singles to give the Red Hawks the lead for good at 2-0. 

Campion raced home on Jordan Bundy’s RBI groundout in the fifth to make it 3-0, and Brayden Bastian’s clutch two-out RBI single in the sixth gave the Red Hawks an insurance run they desperately needed. 

Eighth-seeded Waukesha North (12-12) got three runs in the top of the seventh and had the tying run on first with nobody out. Birkhimer got a strikeout and two ground-ball outs to Campion to preserve the victory. 

“We found a way,” Milton coach Kris Agnew said. “I have so much confidence in Jack, and we were kind of holding him back all season for a game like this, and he came up big. And for Michael to come into the game in a situation like that really shows you how tough he is, too. 

“All we wanted as a team was for a chance to play on Tuesday at sectionals, and now we get that chance. We had some real quality at-bats today and have been working really hard on tacking on runs. Today, we needed that last run and that big hit by Bastian.” 

Kettle Moraine and Milton did not play during the regular season. The Lasers were fourth in the Classic Eight Conference, and much like Milton, struggled to end the regular season—losing four of their last five games. 

MILTON 4 WAUKESHA NORTH 3 

Wauk N 000 000 3 — 3 6 0 

Milton 000 211 x — 4 6 1 

Leading hitters—WN: Warzynski (2B); M: Kilen (2B). 

Pitchers (ip-h-r-er-so-bb)—WN: Pockat (L, 4-4-2-2-1-3), Robertson (2-2-2-2-1-2); M: Campion (W, 6-6-3-2-6-1), Birkhimer (S, 1-0-0-0-1-0). 

 

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