ELK MOUND — There was a lot of orange and black on the baseball field when Elk Mound, the number two seed in the WIAA regional tournament hosted the number three seed Stanley-Boyd Orioles June 4. The Orioles were coming off of a win over Cadott the day before while the Mounders had a bye to start the tournament. With their ace Brandon Bohl on the mound, things would appear to be in Elk Mound’s favor and although Bohl struck out 15 batters in the game, the big hits were nowhere to be found as they dropped the contest 2-1 in eight innings.
If the first inning was a prelude to the rest of the game, fans probably knew it would be a low scoring game. Bohl put the Orioles down in order in the top half with his first K in the mix, and it looked like the Mounders would put some runs up in their at bat. Dane Lew led off with a double and moved to third on an error on the center fielder off the bat of Trey Mohr, who moved to second on a wild pitch. But a great catch on a line drive by the S-B shortstop resulted in a double play and a ground out ended the threat.
Bohl whiffed the side in order in the second and the Mounders left another runner on second in the bottom of the inning. Bohl struck out two more in the third and right fielder Marcus Klug ended the Orioles half inning with a long running catch with a runner on first. Trey Mohr drew a two out walk in the bottom of the third and was stranded on a ground out, but Bohl seemed to be in control of things as he whiffed two more in the fourth with Klug snaring a fly ball in between. Elk Mound left two more runners on base in the bottom of the inning when Zach Mohr and Alex Hollister both singled and a fly out ended the threat.
Bohl gave up a one out single in the fifth but took matters into his own hands again as he whiffed the next two batters. The Mounders finally broke through in their at bat when Klug slammed a double to center and was bunted to third by Lew. After a pop up for the second out, Cole Tyman came through with a clutch double that almost went out of the park to bring Klug in. Coleman moved up to third on a wild pitch and Hunter Adleman drew a walk, but another strikeout ended the inning with Elk Mound up just 1-0.
The Orioles threatened to score in the sixth when they put two runners on with a walk and a single with two outs, but not to worry as Mohr struck out the final batter again. Elk Mound left Hollister on base in the bottom of the inning and with just three outs to get to hold on for a win, things changed rather quickly. The Mounders had been playing a solid defense all game but a looping fly ball by the Oriole batter fell between second base and right field for a lead off hit which was followed by an infield throwing error to put runners on first and third. On a ground ball to first, the ball was thrown home and the runner slid in under the tag of Tyman to knot the score. Bohl then bore down again as he forced a fly ball to center and, yet again, struck out the final two batters to end the inning.
Hoping to end the game in the scheduled seven innings, the Mounders were patient at the plate as Lew and Trey Mohr drew walks to lead off the inning, but the next two batters went out before they moved to second and third on a passed ball. Another walk to Zach Mohr loaded the bases but a hard liner was snared by the Oriole shortstop to end the inning.
The Orioles decided the only way to get to Bohl was to just start swinging the bat and hope for the best as they started the top of the eighth by connecting for back to back doubles to go up 2-1. Bohl then struck out his 14th and 15th batter of the game and S-B tried to add another run on a single to right field but Klug nailed the runner at home with Tyman making the tag for the third out. In the Mounders final at bat, Klug singled with two outs but a ground out ended the game.
“They got the big hits at the end of the game and we didn’t,” Elk Mound coach Paul Andrea said. “Sometimes that’s just the way it goes. We have been starting three freshmen and several sophomores this year and all of our young players need to learn from this game. It’s always tough to lose in this manner and they will need to get better at the plate and in the field over the summer. The best years for this team are ahead of them. This was a special performance by Bohl, being a sophomore in a regional game. He is going to be a special player for us in the years to come if he keeps developing and stays healthy,” he added.
Elk Mound collected six hits in the game with Klug going 2 for 3. Bohl gave up six hits and walked two batters in the loss and his 15 strikeouts may be a school record. The Mounders finished the season with an 11-7 record and were second in the Large Dunn-St. Croix Conference at 9-3.
STANLEY-BOYD 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 — 2
ELK MOUND 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 — 1