Baseball Roundup

Conference play nearing the end: Who will come out on top?

By Joe Peine
Posted 5/15/24

The Prescott Cardinals went 1-1 against the Baldwin-Woodville Blackhawks last week, losing 3-1 on Tuesday and winning 7-1 on Thursday, and they won both games of their non-conference triangular on …

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Baseball Roundup

Conference play nearing the end: Who will come out on top?


The Prescott Cardinals went 1-1 against the Baldwin-Woodville Blackhawks last week, losing 3-1 on Tuesday and winning 7-1 on Thursday, and they won both games of their non-conference triangular on Saturday against the Ashland Oredockers and the La Crosse Logan Rangers.

With Middle Border Conference play nearing the end, the third place Cardinals lost the opportunity to leapfrog the Blackhawks and move to 8-2, which would’ve put them just a half game back of first place Saint Croix Central.

Game 1 was tight the whole way through, but Prescott just couldn’t string the hits together that they needed to overcome the Blackhawks.

After a scoreless first inning where both starters struck out two and induced weak contact for a third out, Baldwin struck first in the bottom of the second, putting a 2-2 pitch out of the park to take a 1-0 lead. Two singles and a sacrifice later, and the Blackhawks sent the game into the third inning up 2-0.

Prescott took a run back at the top of that frame when Nolan Thomley got on base and advanced to third after Mason Schommer singled past second base. Thomley would come around to score on an improbable dropped third strike for out number three forced a play to be made at first, allowing just enough time for him to cross home plate before the throw could be made for the final out.

That would be all Prescott would get in this one though, and Baldwin went on to win 3-1.

It was a good pitching performance by Dain Pechacek, who pitched a six-inning complete game, allowing two earned runs on six hits and three walks while striking out six. Prescott’s bats just couldn’t get going in this one enough to help him out.

Game two was a route nearly from the beginning.

After giving up one earned run in the top of the first, Cullen Huppert settled in and pitched five more innings of clean baseball. The offense came through with two big innings, scoring four in the second and three in the fourth to bring the final score to 7-1.

Huppert’s final line was six innings, four hits, four walks and nine K’s. Will Rohl and Max Monteith each had multi-hit games and Barrett Temmers also had a big day at the plate, with a go ahead bases clearing double on the bottom of the second inning.

The Cardinals record now sits at 7-3 with four games left in MBC play. If they’re going to have any chance of winning the conference this year, they are most likely going to need a clean sweep in both games against 4-6 Osceola and 1-9 Ellsworth.

Their first series begins on Tuesday at home versus the Panthers and continues on Thursday in Ellsworth. Then they travel to Osceola on Saturday before finishing up the series and the season when they return home to host the Chieftains on Monday. All of Prescott’s games are at 5 p.m. this week.


The Ellsworth Panthers dropped two games against the Osceola Chieftains this week, losing 0-4 on Tuesday and 6-7 on Thursday.

The Panthers couldn’t get anything going at the plate on Tuesday with just three hits and two walks to show for the effort. Jack Stoltenberg pitched a good game, going six innings with four earned runs on eight hits and a single walk while striking out eight.

Thursday’s game was a lot closer, with Osceola needing every last at bat to squeak out the win.

The Chieftains jumped out ahead in the bottom of the first, but Ellsworth scored one in the second, two in the third and a run in each of the fifth and sixth innings to take a 5-2 lead. Landan Lampman pitched a great game, but eventually Osceola managed to get a couple runs across late, one of which came on a defensive error, and they tied it up in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings.

Max Langer singled to start the eighth, advanced on the walk by Vinnie Oricchio and finally stole third to put the go ahead run just 90 feet away with one out for Stoltenburg, who got the clutch single to make it 6-5 going into the bottom of the frame. Unfortunately, a single and a double tied the game, and after two intentional walks and a strikeout, the game ended after a hit batsman walked the winning run in.

It’s a frustrating loss for the 1-9 Panthers for sure, but there were a number of positive performances. Nolan Kummer went 2-3 at the plate with a two-run homerun and a walk, and Stoltenburg went 2-4 with a double and two RBI. Lampman’s final line was six innings, seven hits, two walks, three earned runs and four strikeouts.

The Panthers will play four conference games this week. First up is a two-step against Prescott beginning on the road on Tuesday and finishing at home on Thursday, both games at 5 p.m. Finally, they play two against St. Croix Central, first at noon on Saturday at home and then at 5 p.m. on Monday in Hammond.

River Falls

The River Falls Wildcats went 1-1 against the Rice Lake Warriors this week, losing 2-3 on Tuesday but winning 11-3 on Thursday, and they also won both games of their triangular, finishing 6-1 against Tomah and 15-1 against Wausau West.

Game 1 was a tough loss for the Wildcats who couldn’t get the bats going and help out starting pitcher Auden Pankonin.

River Falls got on the board first with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning after Ty Manninen and Chase Rudolf strung a couple singles together, each advancing on a wild pitch by Rice Lake. Henry Zimmerman and Austin Curti combined to get the RBIs by putting the ball in play and allowing the legs of the base runners to give them a two-run advantage.

That would be all they would get though, as Rice Lake blanked them the rest of the way and won 3-2.

Game two was more what the Wildcats were hoping for, scoring runs in bunches with three in the second, three in the fifth and five in the sixth as they blew the Warriors out, 11-3.

Bryce Bevan had a great day in the leadoff spot for River Falls, going 3-4 with a triple, a run, an RBI and a stolen base. Cayden Mueller also had a big outing, going 2-4 with a run and two RBIs, and so did Manninen, who filled out the box score with a triple, a run, two RBIs and a walk.

Manninen also started on the bump in this one, going five innings and allowing just a single run on four hits while striking out eight.

It was a busy week of play for the Wildcats who really needed to win both games against the last place Warriors if they hoped to have any shot at the Big Rivers Conference championship this season. They now sit in a third-place tie with the Chippewa Falls Cardinals at 6-4, just behind the second place 7-3 Eau Claire North Huskies and the first place 8-2 Hudson Raiders.

While they won’t have an opportunity to get games back against Hudson, the Wildcats will get two games against the Huskies, first at home on Tuesday and then on the road on Thursday, with both games starting at 5 p.m. They also have a Friday night home game this week against Altoona, with first pitch for that game coming at 4:30 p.m.

Spring Valley

The Spring Valley Cardinals went 2-0 last week, defeating Glenwood City 10-2 at home on Monday and then on the road Durand-Arkansaw 7-5.

Game one was a route, front to back. After allowing one run across in the top of the first, it was all Cardinals the rest of the way.

They put up two in the bottom of the first after a hit by pitch, a single and a walk loaded the bases for Kaden Robelia, who also drew a walk and garnered a freebee RBI in the process. JT Bauer stepped in and took an 0-1 pitch to right field to score Diego Schmitt from third as the Cardinals jumped out to a 2-1 lead.

They put four more up in the bottom of the second when Jake Hannack and Cade Stasiek started off the inning with back-to-back singles. Schmitt then came in with a clutch double, scoring Hannack. Caleb Bartko got the sacrifice to make it 4-1, but a single by Robelia and a walk by Bauer would make it 6-1 before it was all over.

The bottom of the third was much the same as the Cardinals’ offense put on a hitting display to make it 10-2, and that’s the way it would end.

Spring Valley had control throughout the game on Thursday, but a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh made it interesting late.

Robelia threw a nice game in this one, going 6.1 innings and allowing four runs on just five total baserunners and striking out seven. Bauer and Wyatt Goveronski each had multi-hit games, but the real story was the Cardinals running wild on the bases. Trevor Forster swiped three bags, Carter Koehler got two and Bartko, Stasiek, Schmitt, Bauer and Biggs all had one for a grand total of 10 stolen bases by Spring Valley.

The Cardinals play three Dunn-St. Croix Conference opponents this week, traveling to Elk Mound on Monday, then returning home for a Tuesday game against Colfax and a Thursday game against Mondovi before finishing up their season on the road with a non-conference match against Clear Lake on Monday. All of Spring Valley’s games begin at 5 p.m.

Elmwood-Plum City

The Elmwood-Plum City Wolves lost three games this week, first 11-1 to Mondovi on Monday, then 5-0 to Colfax on Thursday and finally 7-4 against Independence-Gilmanton on Friday.

It’s been a tough year for the Wolves who are now 0-11 in Dunn-St. Croix play and 1-14 overall.

Game 1 was close until the sixth inning. While Hudson Hewitt battled with control walking five batters over four innings, he held Mondovi to just a single run. However, they would score one more in the fifth and would explode to put up six in the sixth and three more in the seventh to make it 11-0. Elmwood would push a run across in the bottom of the inning after Robbie Duffy doubled and Dylan Zielinger knocked him in, but the game would end shortly thereafter.

The Wolves’ non-conference game was the best of the week, as they outhit Independence 9-4, but EPCs four errors led to four unearned runs, and they would lose 7-4 because of it.

Lucas Glaus had a big day batting leadoff, going 2-3 with a double and a triple, a run scored and two RBIs. Duffy also had a nice day, going 2-3 with a run scored and a stolen base. Hewitt’s control was also better in this one, striking out five over 5.1 innings and allowing three earned runs on four hits and two walks.

With just three games left of the conference season, EPC will begin with a road game against Boyceville on Monday before returning home for their final two games against Pepin-Alma on Tuesday and Glenwood City on Thursday. All games begin at 5 p.m. this week.

Prescott Cardinals, Ellsworth Panthers, River Falls Wildcats, Spring Valley Cardinals, EPC Wolves, boys baseball