Baseball Around the Horn: Conference update

Prescott sweeps Amery; RF rallies but loses to Hudson

Spartans defeat Ellsworth in two; SV and EPC battle in close game

By Joe Peine
Posted 5/8/24

The Prescott Cardinals swept the Amery Warriors last week, 7-0 on Tuesday and 6-0 on Thursday.

Prescott got on the board early in their first outing with a two-out double by Barrett Temmers …

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Baseball Around the Horn: Conference update

Prescott sweeps Amery; RF rallies but loses to Hudson

Spartans defeat Ellsworth in two; SV and EPC battle in close game


The Prescott Cardinals swept the Amery Warriors last week, 7-0 on Tuesday and 6-0 on Thursday.

Prescott got on the board early in their first outing with a two-out double by Barrett Temmers followed by a single by Cullen Huppert to score him from second base. The real damage happened two innings later though.

Temmers started the top of the third by getting plunked and taking his free base. Nolan Thomley then doubled followed by an error which allowed Mason Schommer to reach, scoring Thomley. Huppert, Cole Platson and Owen Bayer all singled enroute to a five-run inning, making it 6-0.

The Cardinals added on one more in the top of the seventh when they strung together a few singles, ultimately taking home the 7-0 victory.

Dain Pechacek took the hill for the first five innings in this one, needing just 63 pitches to do so and allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out six.

Game two was a bit closer early on. It was 0-0 until the bottom of the third before Prescott got on the board with a walk and an error by Amer,y which allowed for some opportunistic base running by Bayer, who scored from second.

They added on two in the fifth and three more in the sixth before they were done, and they took home a 6-0 win and the series victory.

Huppert got the start this time out, and he had a very effective, if somewhat erratic outing. He went 5 2/3 innings, threw 101 pitches and struck out 13 while allowing zero hits. Conversely, he struggled with control at times, issuing five free passes in the win.

With every game carrying a lot of weight at this late stage of the season, the Cardinals advanced to 10-3 overall and 6-2 in the Middle Border. This puts them in second place in the conference at just a half-game back of the Baldwin-Woodville Blackhawks and the St. Croix Central Panthers, who are in a deadlock at 6-1 at the top of the conference.

Looking ahead, the Cardinals are entering their penultimate week of Middle Border Conference play, with the last game of the season coming at the end of next week’s slate. First up is an important split series with the first place Blackhawks beginning on the road Tuesday and ending at home Thursday. First pitch for these games is at 5 p.m.

Prescott will wrap up the week when they host a home invitational against the La Crosse Logan Rangers and the Elk Mound Mounders on Saturday at Firehall Field. Their first game in that two-step is at 10 a.m. with their second game starting at 4 p.m.

River Falls

The River Falls Wildcats got swept by the Hudson Raiders this week, losing 5-4 at home on Tuesday and then 3-1 on the road on Thursday, but winning their non-conference game against Osceola 13-0 on Saturday.

It was a down week for the Wildcats who played two very competitive games against their Big Rivers Conference rivals.

Game one was a slow death punctuated by a late game rally that came up just short of being successful.

After giving up one run in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings, the Raiders scored two in the sixth to make it 5-0. The Wildcats finally got to the Raiders’ starting pitcher in the bottom of the frame though, scoring one run on a walk by Chase Rudolph, and an error which allowed Bryce Bevan to reach base and a timely single by Chase McQuade which scored Rudolph from second. That would be all they would get though, and the game would go into the final inning of play with River Falls down 5-1.

Tyler Nelson was pitching in relief at this point, and he sat the Raiders down in order. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Wildcats began to put things together.

Henry Zimmerman doubled, Rudolph singled, and Bevan doubled to score a run and leave two on and two out for Ben Johnson, who kept the line moving with a single scoring another run. McQuade added to the tally, singling and scoring Bevan to make it 5-4. The excitement continued to build in River Falls as Cayden Mueller drew a walk and loaded the bases. Unfortunately, a hot shot from Cody Olson to the right side of the infield failed to make it into the outfield, and the final score would read 5-4.

The real killer in this one wasn’t the pitching, it was the three unearned runs resulting from errors. Auden Pankonin hurled five solid innings, striking out 10 and giving up just two earned runs on five hits and a walk.

Game two had a similar story, except in this one, it was walks that sank the ship. Overall, the pitchers only gave up three runs, but they allowed 14 base runners on six hits and eight walks over seven innings.

The Wildcat bats also couldn’t find an answer for Hudson’s pitchers who allowed only four hits, three of which were to Bevan, and four walks, three of which were to Rudolph.

On deck for the 3-3 River Falls Wildcats is a four-game slate where they will look to get back on track. First, they will play a split series with last place conference rival 1-6 Rice Lake, on the road on Tuesday and at home on Thursday, both at 5 p.m. Finally, they will finish up the week with a triangular at home at First National Bank Stadium with their first game coming against Tomah at 10 a.m. and their second game starting at 3 p.m. against Wausau West.


The Ellsworth Panthers got swept by Somerset this week, losing 3-1 at home on Tuesday and then 3-2 on Thursday on the road,

Although they played two very close games against their Middle Border Conference rivals, they ultimately came up short, falling in two straight to the Spartans.

Game one was tight until near the very end, with the first run for either team coming in the top of the fourth inning when Somerset took a 1-0 advantage. They would add onto that tally in the top of the sixth, plating two and making it 3-0.

The Panthers would get off the schneid in the bottom of the seventh when Landan Lampman singled and later scored on an error. Max Langer singled on a line drive into center field, advancing Aidyn Thoen to second base, but that was all they were able to get, with the final score coming in at 3-1.

The bats got going in game two, but every time they put a run up, the Spartans scored right after.

With two outs in the top of the third, Lampman singled to right and then scored all the way from first base when Derek Johnson singled on a liner to center. Nolan Kummer got aboard after getting hit by a pitch, but they ended up with just a single run on the effort. That 1-0 lead was short lived as Somerset scored a pair in the bottom of the frame.

Parker Peterson reached on a walk and advanced on a fielder’s choice, then Gavin Klos reached on a dropped third strike, advancing Peterson to third. Then something really unusual happened: the Spartan catcher dropped a second straight third strike, resulting in a throw having to be made to first base for the final out of the inning. Before that happened though, Peterson crossed home plate and tied the game at 2-all.

Somerset scored another run in the bottom of the fifth, and they held that 3-2 lead until the end.

Jack Stoltenberg pitched a complete game, needing just 54 pitches to get through five innings while allowing eight hits, three runs and no walks while striking out two.

With this, Ellsworth falls to 1-7 in the Middle Border Conference and is currently in last place. They will get another chance to get things moving in the right direction with a two-step versus the fifth place 2-6 Osceola Chieftains (yes, the top-heavy state of the Middle Border this year is that 2-6 is good enough for fifth place) starting Tuesday at home and finishing up Thursday on the road. They will also travel to Durand-Arkansaw on Friday for a Panthers vs. Panthers showdown.

All of Ellsworth’s games begin at 5 p.m. this week.

Spring Valley vs. EPC

The Spring Valley Cardinals beat the Elmwood-Plum City Wolves on the road on Monday by a score of 6-4.

A short week got shorter when the Cardinals’ game versus the Ellsworth Panthers got cancelled due to weather conditions on Friday, leaving them with just a single game on the slate.

This game was a bit of a rollercoaster for all concerned. The Cardinals struck first in the top of the second inning when Wyatt Goveronski reached on an error and Jake Hannack then walked to put two on with two outs for Cade Stasiek who delivered in the clutch, singling and scoring Carter Koehler from second base who was pinch running for Goveronski. Trevor Forster would walk to keep the line moving, but they would end up with just the single run to take a 1-0 lead.

That lasted until the bottom of the third inning when the Wolves’ bats got hot, scoring four runs.

Things got started with a Lucas Glaus walk and he advanced to third on a Blake Allen single. A balk by the Cardinal starting pitcher scored Glaus with Brett Lifto at the plate; the mistake by Diego Schmitt didn’t change much as Lifto promptly doubled on a line drive to left field, scoring Allen as the Wolves took a 2-0 lead.

The momentum kept building for the Wolves as Jack Bechel singled and advanced to second when Will Biggs attempted to keep Lifto from scoring, but the throw to home was late. Logan Auth then drew a two-out walk and stole second to put two runners in scoring position. Bechel would score on a passed ball, but Schmitt would get a strikeout to keep it at a 4-1 game in favor of Elmwood-Plum City.

The Cardinals got one back in the fourth when Hannack doubled to right field and scored on a Forster single to make it 4-2. They also got one in the sixth when Caleb Bartko reached base on an error, advanced to second on a balk, stole third and advanced to home on a passed ball to make it a one-run game going into the final inning, where Spring Valley completed the comeback.

Three straight one-out singles by Biggs, Hannack and Stasiek made it a tie game. Forster walked, Bartko reached on the same error that allowed Hannack to score another run while Forster and Stasiek ended up at second and third. A sacrifice fly by Schmitt brought a third run across as the Cardinals grabbed a 6-4 lead going into the final half inning of play.

Glaus would single on a 2-2 count, but Kaden Robelia, who had taken over in relief of Schmitt when his pitch count reached 88 after the Wolves’ big third inning, rallied and retired the final three Wolves in order as Spring Valley won 6-4 on the road.

With this, the Cardinals advance to 4-5 in Dunn-St. Croix play, currently sitting in foruth place behind 6-2 Boyceville. They will get a two-game slate of conference games with the first coming on Monday at home versus seventh-place 3-7 Glenwood City and finishing with a road game against fifth-place 3-6 Durand-Arkansaw on Thursday. Both games begin at 5 p.m.

The Wolves came close to getting their first conference win of the season, but ultimately they will drop to 0-9 in DSC play on the season. They will look to get into that win column this coming week when they will take on 8-1 second-place Mondovi on Monday at home and travel to Colfax on Thursday to play the fifth-place 3-6 Vikings. First pitch for both games is at 5 p.m.

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