In four years, the Fort Atkinson Legion Post 166 baseball team hadn’t come close to competing for a title in the Post 166 Invitational.
That was until Sunday.
Post 166 earned an 8-3 victory against Cedarburg in the last of four games played at the six-team Post 166 Invitational to win the title at Jones Park.
“I don’t think it’s huge just for the guys, it’s also good for the program as a whole,” Post 166 coach Tyler Congemi said.
Congemi serves as an assistant for the Fort Atkinson High School team. As the primary coach for the Legion team in the last five years, Post 166 has faced its share of challenges.
Currently, Post 166 sits atop the East Central American Legion standings and has a chance to close out a league title on Monday against Beaver Dam.
“It’s pretty sweet to see the progression,” Congemi said. “I’ve progressed as well. I think I’ve grown with them. It’s definitely living up to the hype that they’ve kind of had as we’ve been getting older. Now that the majority of them are going to be juniors and seniors, it’s really their time to flex their muscles and live up to the hype.”
Post 166 earned a 4-3 win against Lake Geneva and a 7-0 victory against East Troy.
Fort Atkinson defeated St. Mary’s of Neenah, 7-1. St. Mary’s is a team that has lost six games over the last three years.
“We knew going into it that they would be a competitive team,” Congemi said. “You can sense good teams by the way they warm up and the way they’re working hard throughout the game. They lived up to what they’ve created in the last couple of years. To beat them pretty handily was awesome. That was going to be a deciding factor to whether we would be able to play for first place.”
Fort Atkinson had three players selected to the 10-player all-tournament team. Ethan Heagney, Dayne Sebranek and Cody Zahn. Sebranek led Post 166 in RBIs and Heagney was the primary table setter for Fort.
Post 166 managed to get through the four-game tournament using six pitchers once each. Three starting pitchers threw complete games. None of the pitchers exceeded 80 pitches.
“It’s been a long time coming. For some of them it’s getting down a put-away breaking pitch others it’s figuring out how to locate that high fastball,” Congemi said. “We just want them being confident and throwing a lot of strikes. That’s what we’ve done all summer.”