The Tigers were knocked off in the opening round of Division 1 tournament play last Tuesday, losing on their home field to Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln, 7-3. Lincoln lost in Friday's regional championship game to Eau Claire North by a 14-0 score.

The Tigers, who won the MBC with a 12-2 record, finish the season with a 15-7 overall mark.

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The end was far too sudden for the Tigers, a close unit made up nearly entirely of seniors.

"It was hard to watch these 12 guys work so hard all year and have it end that way," said second year Tiger coach Chad Fehrman.

In the first inning it looked like the Tigers might take charge of the game right away. Three batters into the bottom of the first and the Tigers already had a 3-0 lead. Riley Kannel led off the bottom of the first with a walk. Josh Leavens put down a bunt and both runners were safe when Lincoln's throw to second base was late.

Catcher Grant Nelson gave the Tigers the lead by crushing a towering homer far beyond the fence in leftfield.

The Tigers threatened to add more runs in the first after Darren O'Flanagan and Jake Zajkowski walked, but they were both stranded on base. It would be one of the Tigers' last threats of the game.

Zajkowski started on the mound for the Tigers. He worked a scoreless first inning, but gave up a double and a triple in the second inning. He had to come out of the game in the second because of tightness in his back, with Leavens taking over. Lincoln scored four runs before Leavens could get the inning finished.

The score remained 4-3 until Lincoln scored two runs in the sixth inning and another in the seventh.

The Tigers were limited to four hits in the game. Their best source of baserunners was walks. The wind was blowing at gale-force level during the game and all of the pitchers had some of their pitches blown off course by the wind gusts.

The wind was an issue in the game because the Tigers appeared to struggle with the weather conditions.

"All year long we've played poorly in any (bad) weather," Fehrman said. "It was windier than a son of a gun, but we both had to play in it."

While the Tigers lose 12 seniors, Fehrman isn't about to write off the team's chances for next season.

"We won't lack athletes, we'll lack varsity experience," Fehrman said. "Kids who haven't seen a varsity inning will have to play next year."