MIDDLETON (WKOW) -- Anytime Middleton and Sun Prairie face off on the diamond, it's going to be a battle.
"We know each other. We're going to compete hard and we know both teams are going to bring it," Middleton head coach Tom Schmitt said.
Saturday's game was more than just a conference contest, as both team's joined in the fight against cancer.
"Our kids understand that and feel privileged to be able to help," Schmitt said.
It's a fight Middleton High School sophomore Jackson Pagel knows all too well.
"When I was going through chemo it was pretty darn hard," Pagel said.
A year in a half ago, in October 2014, Jackson was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his left leg.
"I was in a splint that straightened my leg for about five months and I probably couldn't put weight on my leg for about six months," Pagel said.
But those dark days are behind him. Before any players took the field Jackson stepped to the mound on his own to feet, throwing out the first pitch.
"I definitely threw some better pitches when I wasn't in front of all the people, but it wasn't a bad throw, I'll take it," Pagel said.
Over the plate for a strike on a day the communities of Middleton and Sun Prairie teamed up for the third-annual "Cardinals Strike Out Cancer" event, where they raised more than $10,000 for pediatric cancer research.
"It's great to see the communities come together. Both teams want to win out on the field but we ultimately would love to help a better cause than just baseball," Sun Prairie event volunteer Ann Maastricht said.
And this day bigger than just sport, as one of Middleton's own showed his community that the battle can be won if you've got the fight.
"I think it's good to just show people can get through it and just make it through. You just have to believe," Pagel said.
Jackson's doctors tell him his cancer is in remission.
In the baseball game, Sun Prairie defeated Middleton 4-3 in 7 innings.