Markesan head coach Dean Slark, right, accepts the runner-up trophy after his Hornets fell to Stratford 9-4 in the state championship game.
Markesan head coach Dean Slark, right, accepts the runner-up trophy after his Hornets fell to Stratford 9-4 in the state championship game.

   The Markesan High School baseball team was one out away from getting to the bottom half of the seventh inning with the game still tied.

   Doing so would have given the team a chance to win the Division 3 state championship last week Thursday.

   But the third out proved to be elusive for the Hornets as the next eight Stratford batters reached base. Six runs scored, which was the difference in a 9-4 loss.

   Despite the defeat, Markesan head coach Dean Slark was pleased with his team’s performance and its runner-up finish at the tournament.

   “It’s always a dream and a goal for the team to get to that point, to that game,” Slark said. “We put ourselves in a situation where we were right there. But like I told the kids afterwards, it’s something they’ll never forget — the ride we went on — and it’s something to be proud of and something they can build upon for the future too. It’s a little bit bittersweet to be that close, but again just getting to that game, there’s a lot of programs that were watching us on TV, so it’s a pretty neat deal.”

   The first-year head coach noted it’s easy to second-guess decisions, but he believes in all of his players and would not have done anything differently.

Read the full story, which includes information a history making semifinal games, in the June 20, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.