The Verona 15U baseball team went 3-0-1 to capture the championship at the Wisconsin Knights 15U Baseball Tournament on Sunday, July 18, at the Oak Creek Little League Complex.
Verona improved its record to 18-1-1 this summer.
Eight of the players are going to be sophomores at Verona Area High School. Two are going to be juniors at VAHS, and two are players from Madison West who have developed as players with Verona Little League. The Wildcats have won all four tournaments they have played in this summer, including Franklin July 10-11, the Ghost Town Games at the Woodside Baseball Complex in Mauston June 24-27 and in Rockton, Illinois June 19-20.
“Their goal is to be contributors on the varsity team next year,” Verona 15U coach Neal Rozga said. “They want to contend for conference championships and play for a state title game. That has been their goal since they were 9.”
Rozga said the team has developed an unselfish mindset where everyone wants to see others have success.
“They want to see everyone on the team be successful; not just themselves,” he said. “They have worked hard the past couple of years to become better. The pitching and defense has been outstanding all season. We have had big hits up and down the lineup when we needed them that have sparked us to rallies.”
In the latest tournament in Oak Creek, the 15U Wildcats beat the Whitnall Falcons 16-2 in a game on Saturday, July 17, in Oak Creek. Verona’s Kjeran Hanson had three hits and three RBI. Teammate Ryan Schiessl had three hits and two RBI. Neil Marty also collected two boots. The Wildcats pounded out 15 hits. Nathan Kirwan also knocked in two runs.
Schiessl pitched two shutout innings and struck out three. Braden Rozga tossed two innings and gave up one run. He also struck out two.
In the other game on Saturday, Verona tied the Stix 15U team 2-2. Verona’s Michael Scharenbroch had one RBI.
Kirwan pitched three innings and struck out four. Dylan Hesch tossed three innings and struck out seven.
The Wildcats won two games on Sunday to win the championship. Hesch pitched a no-hitter to lead Verona to an 8-0 win over the Wisconsin Knights.
“He’s been a solid and consistent pitcher all season for us,” Rozga said of Hesch. “To see him command all of the pitches the way he did was great. A no-hitter is big for a pitcher. It doesn’t come without the defense behind you as well.”
Hanson had two hits and two RBI. The Wildcats took advantage of six errors by the Knights.
Hesch pitched five no-hit innings and struck out five.
In the title game, Verona avenged a tie to the Stix 15U and beat them 8-1. Hanson had three hits to lead the Wildcats.
The Wildcats broke the game open with a seven-run fourth inning. Hesch added two hits. Both Verona’s Josh Mello and Micah Genin had two RBI.
“It was good to see the boys play hard and come up with some big hits when we needed them,” Rozga said. “The key to the tournament was solid pitching and defense.”
Schiessl pitched five innings, gave up one run and struck out seven.
Verona will play in the Dairyland Playoff tournament Friday, July 23, through Sunday, July 25, at the Woodside Sports Complex in Mauston. The Wildcats will play the PTA Prospects 15U team at 10 a.m. on Friday and then the Rockford Redhawks at noon on Friday.
The Wildcats will then play in the Back to School Bash at the Woodside Sports Complex Aug. 6-8.