Burlington Captures D1 Crown In Dramatic Fashion



By Spencer Flaten

GRAND CHUTE, Wis.—The Burlington Demons pulled off a stunning comeback in the seventh inning of the Division 1 state final to beat Arrowhead 6-4 and win the state championship on Thursday.

The Warhawks led for the entire game until the last inning, which saw the Demons score four clutch runs in dramatic fashion to take the lead.

Early on, it looked like Arrowhead was going to blow Burlington out. The Warhawks scored four runs in the first inning to take a commanding lead right from the start. Dominic Clementi hit an RBI triple and later scored on a wild pitch. Jack Becker hit an RBI double and Logan Kellogg added an RBI single.

The Demons had several opportunities to get back in the game, but they failed to capitalize time after time. They loaded the bases in both the second and third innings but left them stranded both times.

They finally came within striking distance in the sixth inning. Aaron Sturdevant hit an RBI single to get the Demons on the board and Cal Tully hit a sacrifice fly that cut Arrowhead’s lead to 4-2.

Jeff Holtz led off the bottom of the sixth with a double for Arrowhead, but his courtesy runner got doubled off after Nate Brown lined out in the next at-bat.

Facing their final three outs of the season, Burlington pulled off one of the most remarkable seventh inning comebacks in recent years at the state tournament.

It all got started with back-to-back singles by Grant Tully and Zach Campbell in the first two at-bats of the inning. Bryan Sturdevant then sacrificed them over, and Aaron Mutter was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Dale Damon fought off several tough pitches in the following at-bat before knocking a single into center field to score both runners and tie the game.

Coach Scott Staude decided to call a suicide squeeze with the season on the line. Luckily for the Demons, the bunt was executed perfectly by Aaron Sturdevant and Burlington took the lead after trailing for the entire game. Cal Tully added one final insurance run with an RBI single later in the inning.

Arrowhead got a runner on first in the bottom of the seventh, but their year ultimately ended in heartbreak as they failed to do anything else against Campbell, who came in to close the game.

After getting five hits in the first inning, Arrowhead only managed three hits in the rest of the game. Cal Tully pitched like an ace in relief. He replaced Aaron Mutter, who only lasted 0.2 innings after getting the start. Tully went 5.1 innings and allowed just two hits and no runs to keep the Demons in the game.

Derek Crawley was the losing pitcher for Arrowhead. In six innings of work, he allowed three earned runs on nine hits.

Cal Tully finished a perfect 3-for-3 for Burlington. Johnny Duranso was 2-for-3 for Arrowhead.

The incredible comeback clinched a first ever state baseball title for Burlington. The Demons finished the year with a 25-5 record. Arrowhead ended the season at 29-3.