Baseball regionals

SV Cards eek out win in Round 1 of regionals

EPC, Ellsworth hope to right the ship next year

By Joe Peine
Posted 5/29/24

The Spring Valley Cardinals won the first round of the regional tournament, beating the Clear Lake Warriors 11-10 on Thursday in Spring Valley.

It was their second consecutive game against the …

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Baseball regionals

SV Cards eek out win in Round 1 of regionals

EPC, Ellsworth hope to right the ship next year


The Spring Valley Cardinals won the first round of the regional tournament, beating the Clear Lake Warriors 11-10 on Thursday in Spring Valley.

It was their second consecutive game against the Warriors. After winning 12-6 last week, the Cardinals won a shootout in their first taste of postseason play, pulling out a one-run victory in dramatic fashion.

The game looked like it was over in the top of the first inning when the Warriors came out swinging.

After starting pitcher Kaden Robelia pitched a three-pitch strikeout, things came off the rails pretty quickly. Back-to-back 1-0 singles followed by two walks and three errors had Clear Lake up 5-0 with only one out in the game. Robelia kept his composure, though, striking out the next two batters to retire the side, but the damage was done.

Clear Lake would add another one in the second inning, and suddenly it was 6-0.

It wasn’t until the third that the Cardinals began to chip away at that lead. Cade Stasiek and Robelia drew consecutive one-out walks, and then quickly executed a double steal to get two runners into scoring position for Diego Schmitt. He cashed in with a single to put one on the board for the home team. Caleb Bartko would get another on a sacrifice fly to make it 6-2.

The fourth inning was the big one for Spring Valley, which is surprising as it started relatively poorly for them. They were down to their final out with only a JT Bauer single going for them when Jake Hannack and Stasiek each got two-out singles, the second of which scored Bauer.

A Robelia walk loaded the bases. Schmitt then worked the count full and drew a 10-pitch walk to push another run across, and the bases stayed loaded for Bartko. He delivered and added multiple RBIs to his resume when he singled into left field, completing the improbable comeback as the Cardinals took a 7-6 lead into the fifth inning.

The Warriors promptly tied the game, and it stayed knotted going into the top of the sixth. Things got dicey again for Spring Valley when Clear Lake scored three, but the Cardinals rallied once again, scoring four more in the bottom of the frame to take the lead back at 11-10, and that’s the way it would remain as relief pitcher Schmitt retired the side on three straight fly ball outs.

It was a close call coming out of round one with a win, but Spring Valley showed resilience and grit as they refused to give up and ground out the win.

While Robelia had a tough day on the bump, three of the seven runs scored by the Warriors on his watch were unearned, leading from the multiple first inning defensive errors. His final line was four innings, three hits, four walks, three earned runs and seven strikeouts.

The entire team either scored a run or got an RBI, but Schmitt led the way at the plate, going 2-2 with two walks, two runs, two RBIs and a stolen base. Bauer and Will Biggs each had multi-hit performances in the bottom of the lineup, with Bauer going 2-3 with a double, an RBI, a run and a stolen base. Finally, Robelia also had a good day, going 1-2 with two walks, three runs scored and a pair of swiped bags.

From here, they go on the road to play the Flambeau Falcons in Tony on Tuesday. Should they win there, they will play the winner of Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran and Edgar on Thursday at a site to be determined.

Elmwood-Plum City

The Elmwood-Plum City Wolves lost to the Columbus Catholic Dons 6-5 in the first round of postseason play on Thursday in Marshfield.

Game one started out slow offensively for the Wolves, but for the middle half of the game, it looked like they were going to pull this one out.

After allowing two runs in the bottom of the first inning after a walk, a dropped third strike and multiple wild pitches, starter Brett Lifto settled in and pitched a nice game, tossing three shutout innings after that.

Meanwhile, the Wolves’ offense didn’t answer back until the top of the third inning, but when they did, it was with authority.

Ari Perez singled to start the frame and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice out. Blake Allen and Brett Lifto both singled to load the bases, but the following batter took a called strike three and had Robbie Duffy staring at three on and two out when he came to the plate. After a first pitch foul ball, he singled, scoring two runs whileleaving runners at first and third for Nick DeLong; he too delivered, scoring Lifto and Duffy as the Wolves grabbed a 4-2 lead.

They would add another run onto that lead in the top of the fifth inning when Allen singled, stole second, advanced to third on an error and finally scored on a passed ball to make it 5-2.

That would be it for runs scored for the Wolves on the day though, and the game would slowly slip away over the next two and a half innings. The Dons scored two in the bottom of the fifth, one of which came on an error, and they scored one each in the sixth and another in the bottom of the seventh to walk it off, 6-5.

The bats did their job in this one, with Allen leading the way from the 2-hole going 2-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Duffy also went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI, and finally, Perez rounded out the multi-hit efforts for Elmwood-Plum City, going 2-3.

The walks and the three unearned runs aren’t great, but overall, Lifto’s stuff was decent in this one, going five innings while allowing five hits, four walks and two earned runs to go with five strikeouts.

It was a fun way to end a down season for the Wolves who were 1-18 on the year. Unfortunately, this has become a trend for Elmwood-Plum City who haven’t had a winning season since the Dunn-St. Croix was just five teams back in 2017.

They will look to right the ship next year when the core of this team returns for another season of Wolves’ baseball.


The Ellsworth Panthers lost in round one of the Division 2 regional tournament to the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Red Hawks by a score of 11-0 on Thursday.

The game never really got started for the Panthers. After giving up one in the top of the first inning, they allowed eight in the second and another in the third to make it 10-0. The Red Hawks added another one in the top of the fifth, and that’s all there would be as the Panthers took the 11-0 loss to Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau.

Ellsworth got no-hit in this five-inning game, drawing all four of their baserunners from walks. Added to this brew was a rough day for the Panther pitchers who got hammered by the opposition, although three of the 11 runs were unearned.

It was a disappointing end for a Panthers’ program that took a step back this year, finishing the with a 4-19 record. After tying for fourth place in the Middle Border last year with an 11-10 record, their first such feat since 2018, there was optimism surrounding the Panthers program heading into the season that they could improve on the stat line. Unfortunately, they will have to wait until next year to see if those dreams of finishing at the top of the Middle Border Conference can come to fruition.

Ellsworth Panthers, Spring Valley Cardinals, EPC Wolves, boys baseball