SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Dubuque County American Legion baseball team dropped a 9-4 decision to Appleton, Wis., this morning in the first game of the Central Plains Regional in Sioux Falls.

Dubuque County next plays at 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, in an elimination game at the eight-team tournament. It will face either Oshkosh, Wis., or Renner, S.D.

After not advancing a runner past second base in the first two innings, Appleton erupted in the third inning with five runs on six hits while chasing starter Haris Hoffman. Brennan Chynoweth led off with a double to right-centerfield and scored on No. 9 hitter Max Martine’s single to left

Aaron Reiland followed with a base hit, and Will Monroe drove in the next two with a one-out double to left field. Monroe scored when Bubba Thompson doubled to the same gap. Another double, this time by Wes Sommers to right-centerfield off reliever Charlie Jaeger, plated the fifth run.

Dubuque County got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Kyle Lehmann laced a one-out triple the opposite way to the left-centerfield gap and scored when Wil Courtney flew out to center.

But Appleton got that run right back in the top of the fifth. T.J. Van Eperen was hit by a pitch and Monroe connected for his second double – and the team’s fifth – before Thompson’s sacrifice fly made it 6-1. Appleton got another sacrifice fly from Ben Babich later in the inning to extend its cushion to six runs.

Dubuque County loaded the bases in the fifth on a pair of one-out infield singles by Damon Jaeger and Riley Connolly and a bloop single to center by Matty Schmitz. Reid Rausch followed with a sacrifice fly to center to cut the deficit to 7-2 before Van Eperen wiggled out of the jam.

But, again, Appleton responded. Martine and Reiland singled to open the frame, and Thompson delivered a two-run triple to straightaway centerfield to tack on insurance runs to make it 9-2.

Dubuque County chipped away at the deficit in the sixth. It loaded the bases on a Riley Reed walk, a Matt Maiers single and when Jaeger reached on catcher’s interference. Connolly followed with a double to the right-centerfield gap to drive in two and pull Dubuque County within 9-4.

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