Late comeback lifts Bobcats

FLORENCE, Wis. – Shawn Paulson picked a prime time for his first hit of the baseball season.

Cracking a bases-load single in the bottom of the sixth inning, Paulson drove in two runs, including the go-ahead marker as Florence rallied from a five-run deficit to defeat Three Lakes 9-7 in a WIAA Division 4 baseball semifinal Wednesday evening.

“We got off to a slow start, but the kids didn’t quit, and I was proud of them for that,” Bobcats manager Dave LaPoint said.

Florence trailed 7-2 after four innings. A four-run fifth started the Bobcats’ comeback. They added three more in the sixth.

“They could have easily given up,” LaPoint said. “It seemed like everything Three Lakes hit was dropping in, and everything we hit went right to them, but finally our hits started to drop. It was a nice comeback.”

Nate Krueger had two singles for Florence, and Luke Gareau tripled and singled.

Marshall Kelley started but, not showing his best stuff, was lifted in the first. Krueger came in and wound up going the rest of the way. Together they surrendered 12 hits, walking two and striking out six.

Florence moves on to Friday’s regional final, hosting Niagara.

“They’ve got a good young club,” LaPoint noted. “They have two good pitchers, which is key. The program has come a long way in its two years, and they are holding their own pretty darn well. I give those coaches and players a lot of credit.”