By Cara L. Dempski
GLENWOOD CITY — The 2017 baseball season is starting to wind down to its close, and the Hilltoppers are still searching for a substantial enough defense to assist their hard-hitting offense in procuring a win.
Glenwood City opened last week with a May 9 home game against the Dunn-St. Croix’s top team, Elk Mound. The Mounders kept the Hilltoppers scoreless, but the Glenwood team was able to earn four hits off the opposing team’s junior pitcher Ethan Kjellberg in the 11-0 loss.
[emember_protected] Coach Tony Martinez and the Toppers took a few days off before hosting Thorp Saturday, May 13 in what turned out to be a four-plus hour marathon that featured 42 runs and 33 hits with the Toppers picking up 20 and 17 of them respectively.
Trailing 16-6 with just an inning and a half to play, Glenwood City rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth and ten in the seventh to knot the non-conference game at 20 and force extra innings. The Thorp Cardinals scored twice in the ninth and then silenced the Hilltoppers in the bottom half to win 22-20.
The winless Hilltoppers, who fell to 0-10, had its Monday, May 15 home game against Colfax canceled due to rain. They were to host Plum City May 16 before heading to Boyceville May 18. They play their final conference game will be against Spring Valley May 22 before the first round of regional games on Thursday, May 25.
The Hilltoppers must have known they were in trouble when Elk Mound’s Ethan Kjellberg dinged a home run past the outfielders in the first inning of their May 9 home contest.
In a season that has seen plenty of hits off Glenwood City bats, it probably stung a little bit when the Mounders opened the game with a homer, and then kept right on scoring while the Hilltoppers struggled to find gaps for the ball to drop when it was hit.
Hadin DeSmith, Jeff Schone, Tanner Davis, Bryce Fayerweather and Brad Kessler recorded five hits between them for the Glenwood City offense, while coach Tony Martinez sent three pitchers to battle the Mounder batsmen on defense.
Hadin DeSmith and Spencer Peterson pitched two innings, giving up seven runs total and striking out three. Marcus Hurtgen pitched a single inning for four runs and one strikeout.
ELK MOUND 11, GLENWOOD CITY 0
Elk Mound………………….1 5 1 0 4 — 11
Glenwood City……………0 0 0 0 0 — 0
The Thorp Cardinal scored runs in the first seven innings when it visited Glenwood City on Saturday, May 13 for a non-conference contest with the Hilltoppers.
But it wasn’t enough to give Thorp the win despite leading 16-6 after scoring five runs – for the second time in the contest – in its half of the sixth.
That’s because the persistent Hilltoppers would never quite go away. Enjoying its best offensive game of the season, Glenwood City put four runs on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the sixth and ten more in the seventh to knot the game at 20 after the Cardinals had added four more runs in its half of the seventh to build its lead back to 10 runs.
Thorp would have to work a couple of extra innings to finally get the win. Going into its fifth hour, the game finally concluded when the Cardinals scored twice in the top half of the ninth and then held the Toppers scoreless in the bottom half to pick up the 22-20 victory.
Marcus Hurtgen went 5-for-6 at the plate with three RBIs and four runs scored. Jake Logghe added four hits in his six plate appearances to tally four RBIs. Brad Kessler finished with three hits and Jeff Schone and Tanner Davis each had a pair.
Spencer Peterson threw three innings and allowed three hits and three runs suffering the loss for the Hilltoppers who used seven pitchers in the game.
THORP 22, GLENWOOD CITY 20
Thorp…………2 1 5 2 1 5 4 0 2 — 22
Glenwood City..2 0 4 0 0 4 10 0 0 — 0 [/emember_protected]