Denver Evans hit a two-run double in the fifth inning to pull the South all stars within one run of the North all stars and then earned the win on the mound as the South earned a 5-4 victory against the North in the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Classic on Friday night at E.J. Schneider Field in Oshkosh.
Evans was joined by Lake Mills shortstop Spencer Hans and Deerfield shortstop Carson Knapp in the all-star game. There were 72 athletes selected to compete on four teams divided by the cardinal directions geographically.
Each team gets three games: The South all stars earned a 7-2 victory against the West on Saturday and were defeated by the East team, 4-2.
“I felt like I was playing at the same or higher level than the competition that was there,” said Evans, who was one of four first-team all-Capitol South Blue Jays along with teammates Jordan Marty, Payton Orlando-Baldauf and Kolby Kapsner. “Seeing that I played very well, I kind of surprised myself.”
Evans, the first Cambridge selection for the game in school history, also singled and walked in the win over the South.
Knapp and Hans each were first-team all-conference selections in their respective conferences — Knapp the Trailways South and Hans the Capitol South. Hans also was a third-team all-state selection after hitting .471 for the L-Cats.
“The environment was great,” Knapp said. “It was a bunch of athletes going out to compete, but keeping it relaxed and having a good time on and off the field.
“One of the most important takeaways was the fact that you can compete at a high level and still have a great time joking with teammates, smiling and having fun.”
Knapp had an infield single and scored in the 7-2 victory over the South.
“I felt like I was competing at a level of baseball that I am not used to,” Knapp said. “I’ve never played any summer ball or anything like that, so competing against nine other college baseball players was a challenge and one of the coolest things I’ve done.”
Added Hans, “It was fun to be around guys that are going to push you to be the best of your abilities.”
Knapp plans to go to Madison College and enter the apprenticeship program to become an electrician. He was the fifth player and sixth representative for the Demons in the event. The last representative from Deerfield in the classic was Cole Erickson in 2014.
Hans is committed to play baseball at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He was the seventh player and eighth representative from Lake Mills. Darren Strasburg was the most recent player in the all-star game; he played in the 2014 game.
“Everyone got along very well and we all made the best of the weekend, I think,” Hans said. “The biggest thing I took away was just being around the level of competition that I’ll see in the future, considering I was surrounded by countless future collegiate athletes.”
Evans will play baseball at College of Lake County, a junior college in Grayslake, Ill. that competes in the Illinois Skyway Conference.
“Representing my town was cool,” Evans said. “A lot of people didn’t know what or where Cambridge is. Also, having my friends and family out there supporting me was a great experience.”