'A lot of teams don't ever make it this far' Angels lose bid to win back-to-back titles
ALEXANDRIA -- Two state tournament title appearances, one state championship and a 50-6 record.
That's been the pride and joy of the Alexandria amateur baseball team over the last two seasons.
"These guys have always been winners and played together," said Tim Wenande, of Alexandria. "They've played together their whole lives. It's just fun to watch them."
For the second-straight season, the Angels made a run to the state championship. In 2013, Alexandria scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Winner/Colome for its first-ever state amateur title. On Sunday, the Angels (23-3) looked to become the first team since Vermillion to win back-to-back Class B state titles. Vermillion won the championship in 2003 and 2004.
But, Alexandria came up short to a feisty Wynot (Neb.) team Sunday, falling 8-2. The Angels, who've gone 9-1 at the state tournament in the last two years, got past one Nebraska team Saturday to advance to Sunday's championship game with a come-from-behind win over Crofton (Neb.).
"I told the guys before (Sunday's) game that just to make it to the state championship in this tournament is an accomplishment," Alexandria manager Chris Marek said. "I mean, it's single elimination with 32 teams. A lot of teams don't ever make it this far."
Despite finishing second this season, the Alexandria players still see themselves as contenders next year.
"I wouldn't want to play with anybody else," Alexandria outfielder Peyton Smith said. "We played well all year long, and it's just awesome to be with these guys. I think we can come back next year and make another run."
Wenande, who is the father of the Angels' second baseman, Cole, said he has confidence that the team will continue to play at the top level in Class B baseball in the future.
"We're going to do it again next year, I think," he said. "They're young and athletic. Our teeners have been to state the last two years also. There's a good future for baseball in Alexandria."