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By Amber Hayden
After they were upset the previous Friday in Elk Mound, the Bulldogs and their faithful turned their focus to an all important baseball showdown against the team with which they have been sharing the Dunn-St. Croix conference lead for much of this season – the Spring Valley Cardinals.
First, Boyceville tuned up for this past Friday’s home conference contest against the Cardinals with a trip to Grantsburg last Monday, May 6. The Bulldogs narrowly defeated an underwhelming 3-10 Pirates squad by a slim 4-2 count. Coach Roemhild believed the offense was not on their game against Grantsburg, but that his team had played well enough to grab the win.
He also knew his baseball charges would need a more complete effort when Spring Valley came calling to Evenson Field May 10.
In a game that may well be the deciding factor in the Dunn-St Croix championship race, the Bulldogs were unable to put together a strong and consistent offensive effort to beat the Spring Valley Cardinals, who prevailed 3-1 in the seven-inning contest last Friday.
Despite a Trett Joles’ first-inning, solo home run that knotted the game at one run each, Spring Valley starting pitcher Santana Schlegel kept Boyceville’s batters off balance for the better part of six innings allowing just four hits including Joles’ solo dinger while striking out eight. Schlegel turned the ball over to Aaron Borgerding in the seventh, who retired the Bulldogs in order with a pair of strike outs to preserve the victory.
The loss was the Bulldogs second in three games and put them a game and half back of Spring Valley.
Boyceville, 9-3 in conference play and 10-3 overall following Friday’s loss, will close out the regular season with five games over the next eight days which begin this past Monday with a home game against rival Glenwood City. The Bulldogs had an opportunity for payback Tuesday, May 14 when Elk Mound was at Evenson Field. Boyceville will step out of the conference for a game in Prairie Farm on Thursday before playing the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves in Plum City on Friday and closing out the season slate hosting Colfax next Monday, May 20.
The WIAA tournament series begins on Thursday, May 23.
Boyceville sophomore catcher Trett Joles belted a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to offset the run Spring Valley had scored in the top half of the game’s opening frame.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs were unable to get another run across home plate and lost 3-1 to the Cardinals in the May 10 battle for sole possession of first place in the D-SC baseball chase.
“The game was exactly like the Elk Mound game,” said coach Roemhild. “Spring Valley wanted it more, pitched better, hit better and played better defense.”
Boyceville had just four hits and three walks against Spring Valley pitchers Santana Schlegel and Aaron Borgerding. Schlegel earned the win after allowing just one run in six inning of work.
The Bulldogs also committed three fielding errors.
Trevor Hollister worked his position at first base well on Friday for the Bulldogs as he was able to stretch himself out enough to grab the ball and some needed outs.
“Trevor Hollister worked his butt off at first and saved us quite a few times,” said Roemhild.
The downfall during the seven inning game was the runners being stranded once Boyceville was on base, one of which included Jaden Reisimer who ended up being stranded at second after doubling in his first at bat. Hollister was also stranded on base following a hit.
Logan Knudtson had the Bulldogs’ other hit against the Cardinals, who tacked on single runs in the fourth and fifth for the win.
Connor Sempf suffered the pitching loss after surrendering two runs on five hits in four innings of work. Walker Retz threw three innings and finished with a run on two hits. Both Bulldog hurlers has a pair of strikeouts and two walks.
“Good news for us is there is more baseball to be played,” explained Roemhild. “I know these guys have it in them. Now we have to let this past week go and focus on next week.”
BOYCEVILLE 1, SPRING VALLEY 3
Boyceville….….….……1 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 1
Spring Valley..…..…….1 0 0 1 1 0 0 – 3
Boyceville (1) AB-H-R: Brendan Sempf 3-0-0, Trett Joles 2-1-1, Walker Retz 1-0-0, Trevor Hollister 2-1-0, Connor Sempf 3-0-0, Jaden Reisimer 3-1-0, Jacob Granley 3-0-0, Logan Knudtson 3-1-0, Ira Bialzik 1-0-00. Total 23-4-1.
Spring Valley (3) AB-H-R: Carter Deppa 3-2-1, Aaron Borgerding 4-2-0, Mike Bauer 2-1-1, Santana Schlegel 3-0-0, Nolan Stans 4-0-0, Connor Ducklow 4-1-0, Brady Wolf 3-1-0, John Fogarty 2-0-1, Brady Bednarek 3-0-0. Total 28-7-3.
Pitching: Boyceville — Connor Sempf 4 IP, 5 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 2 R (1 earned), Walker Retz 3 IP, 2 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 1 R (1 earned); Spring Valley — Santana Schlegel 6 IP, 4 H, 8 K, 3 BB, 1 R (1 earned), Aaron Borgerding 1 IP, 0 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 0 R.
The Bulldogs traveled to Grantsburg on Monday, May 6 for a non-conference game against the Pirates.
The Bulldogs took a 4-2 win after getting off to a 2-0 lead in the first three innings of the game.
“We weren’t the best offensively, but we played much better than our game against Elk Mound,” said head coach Michael Roemhild.
Brendan Sempf got his first of two runs in the first inning when he was walked on base to start and would steal second and third base. Sempf was brought in when Trett Joles hit a ground ball to center field.
In the third inning of the game, Boyceville added their second run when Walker Retz hit a triple into center field that allowed Joles to score.
Boyceville put up two more runs in the fifth inning which were scored by Ira Bialzik on a line drive single, and Brendan Sempf when he raced home on a passed ball.
Connor Sempf pitched the majority of the Monday’s game and gave up only one earned run and one walk in his 64 pitches. Sempf threw 40 pitches that were deemed strikes.
Besides Retz’s triple, Jacob Greenley, Logan Knutson, Brendan Sempf and Trett Joles all had singles for the Bulldogs.
“I feel like we won the defensive game, pitching game and were about even with hitting,” Roemhild explained.
BOYCEVILLE 4, GRANTSBURG 2
Boyceville….….….……1 0 1 0 2 0 0 – 4
Grantsburg.…..…..…….0 0 0 0 1 1 0 – 2
Boyceville (4) AB-H-R: Brendan Sempf 3-1-2, Trett Joles 3-1-1, Walker Retz 3-1-0, Trevor Hollister 2-0-0, Connor Sempf 3-0-0, Jaden Reisimer 3-0-0, Jacob Granley 3-1-0, Logan Knudtson 3-1-0, Ira Bialzik 1-0-1, Erick Loback 1-0-0. Total 25-5-4.
Grantsburg (2) AB-H-R: Jensen 1-0-0, Mckinley 3-0-0, Nelson 2-0-0, T. Johnson 2-0-0, Anderson 3-1-1, B. Johnson 3-0-0, Quimby 3-0-0, Detienne 3-0-0, Kottke 1-1-1. Total 21-2-2.
Pitching: Boyceville — Connor Sempf 5 IP, 2 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 1 R (1 earned), Brady Nye 0 IP, 0 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 1 R (1 earned), Trevor Hollister 2 IP, 0 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 0 R; Grantsburg — Quimby 5 IP, 4 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 4 R (3 earned), T. Johnson 1 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 0 R.