Denmark Gets Playoff Run Started With Shutout Of Valders

By Spencer Flaten
Staff Writer

DENMARK, WI - Top-seeded Denmark advanced to the regional finals in Division 2 for the second consecutive year with a 5-0 win over No. 4 seed Valders on Wednesday afternoon.

Despite getting outhit 8-2, Valders managed to stay in the game until the final couple of innings. Denmark starting pitcher Derek Van Pay took a no-hitter into the top of the sixth inning and struck out five in five innings of work. Valders did not lack opportunities to make their mark on the game, though.

Denmark opened up the scoring in the bottom of the 1st inning. Van Pay knocked an RBI double to left field and Noah Brunner singled in another run to take an early 2-0 lead.

Tanner Umentum added another run for Denmark in the bottom of the 2nd with an RBI single. After that, the Valders pitching settled in and silenced Denmark’s bats for a good chunk of the game.

Denmark went three up, three down in both the 3rd and 4th innings and only sent four batters to the plate in the 5th. It was a slightly different story for Valders.

The No. 4 seed loaded the bases in the top of the 3rd after two walks and a hit by pitch, but failed to hit the ball out of the infield and came away with no runs. In the 6th, they got men on second and third with only one out but misread a squeeze bunt and again failed to score.

The score remained 3-0 until the bottom of the sixth, when Nick Kufalk doubled in a run for Denmark and then scored on a fielding error on the same play. The five run lead was more than enough for the Vikings’ pitching staff. Umentum finished off Valders in the 7th to lock up the win for Denmark.

Van Pay went five innings on the mound for Denmark and gave up just one hit while walking three to pick up the win. Umentum pitched two innings and struck out three batters. Cole Zipperer pitched four innings for Valders and only allowed one earned run. He struck out three and surrendered six hits.

Umentum finished 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Denmark, while Kade Fochs went 1-for-3 with a walk for Valders.

The win means that Denmark will face No. 3 seed Luxemburg-Casco in the regional finals on Friday for the second straight year. Casco defeated the Vikings 5-0 last year to end their season.

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