- Branch Blaze
Infobox baseball team
Stadium=Town of Manitowoc Rapids Park
Colors=Black and Navy
The Branch Blaze is a
semi-probaseball team located in Branch, Wisconsin. Branch is located west off of Interstate Highway 43 west of the city of Manitowoc. The team nickname, "The Blaze", came from the previous amateur team of the same name. That team was named "The Blaze" because it was sponsored by the local volunteer fire department. The Blaze play their home games at the Branch Recreation Park at the Town of Manitowoc Rapids Park on Diamond 2. The team is funded by the Branch Area Recreation Association and through sponsors. The team plays in the Shoreland League which is made up of teams from Manitowoc, Kewaunee, and Brown counties in Northeastern Wisconsin. The Blaze's non-league opponents consist of the Manitowoc Bandits, Howards Grove AC's, Plymouth Flamesand Cleveland Wildcats.
The Blaze finished their inaugural season with a record of 4-11 in Shoreland League play and 5-13 overall. The team finished in 5th place out of six teams. The Blaze's victories included a walk off sacrifice fly by Craig Engelbrecht to defeat the rival Two Rivers Polar Bears and a walk off sacrifice fly by Dan Novak that defeated the Oneida Braves for their first win in franchise history. Their lone non-league victory came against the Howards Grove AC's. The AC's were defeated 18-7 in 7 innings.
The Blaze played a total of 28 games during the 2007 season. New opponents from other leagues and the addition of the
Denmark Devil Bears to the Shoreland League led to an increased schedule. Their final record was 3-15 in league play and 6-22 overall. On June 13, 2007 the Blaze and Two Rivers Polar Bearsplayed a game at Walsh Fieldin Two Rivers, Wisconsinin memory of Tyler Schmidt. Tyler was an original member of the Blaze and the starting short stop in the first game and a Two Rivers High Schoolgraduate. Tyler was killed in a car accident in April 2007.
The Blaze's 2008 season starts on May 22 at the Manitowoc Bandits in a non-league contest. The Blaze open up Shoreland League play at Casco on May 28.
Algoma Penguins Branch Blaze Casco Athletics Denmark Devil Bears Kewaunee Chiefs Oneida Braves Two Rivers Polar Bears
* [http://www.angelfire.com/planet/branch Branch Blaze Website]
* [http://wiab.org/_wsn/page4.html Shoreland League Website]
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