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By Amber Hayden
Besides last Thursday’s win over rival Colfax, Elk Mound played two other Dunn-St. Croix foes earlier in the week and came away with a split.
Beginning a three-game, four-day road swing in Pepin last Monday, May 13, the Mounders’ baseball team pummeled the Pepin/Alma Eagles 11-2 behind a six-run sixth inning and 11 hits.
Elk Mound’s offense, however, all but disappeared the following day in Boyceville. Bulldogs’ starting pitcher Connor Sempf allowed just two hits and no runs in six innings of work in the May 14 contest to earn a 3-0 win over the Mounders, who had the Bulldogs by the same score 11 days earlier.
The Mounders wrapped up the week with a game at rival Colfax. Despite trailing early, Elk Mound scored 13 runs in the final three innings for a 16-7 win and sweep of the regular-season, home-and-home series. The Colfax game story can be found in a separate story in this week’s edition.
With the most recent results, the Mounders improved to 9-4 in the Dunn-St. Croix – good for third place behind Spring Valley and Boyceville – and 9-5 overall.
Elk Mound finished off the regular and conference seasons with a home doubleheader against Glenwood City this past Monday, May 20, and played yesterday (May 21) against Elmwood/Plum City in Elmwood.
The Mounders, seeded fourth, will kick off their postseason run in the WIAA Division 3 Tournament with a regional quarterfinal home game against #5 Durand this Thursday, May 23. With a win over the Panthers, Elk Mound would face the top-ranked Bulldogs one more time in Boyceville in next Tuesday’s, May 28, regional semifinal contest. The winner will advance to the regional final to be held the next day.
The Mounders were on the road on Monday, May 13, to take on the Pepin/Alma Eagles and stole the win 11-2 after a big sixth inning.
Holding to a 5-2 advantage, Elk Mound exploded for six runs in the sixth inning to seal the win.
The Mounders finished with 11 hits including two each by Cole Steinhorst, brothers Nate and Brett Lew and Ethan Kaanta. Steinhorst also had four of the Mounders’ 8 RBIs. He along with Nate Lew had the team’s only two extra base hits – a pair of doubles.
James Javanovich started on the mound for Elk Mound and went six full innings with four strike outs and two walks to get the win. He threw 92 pitches at the Eagles and gave up only two hits. Ryan Bohl threw the final inning and allowed a hit and a walk but struck out two in the scoreless frame.
ELK MOUND 11, PEPIN/ALMA 2
Elk Mound.….….….……0 0 1 3 1 6 0 – 11
Pepin/Alma.….….….…..0 0 0 2 0 0 0 – 2
Elk Mound (11) AB-H-R: Chase Rhude 3-0-1, Brett Rosenthal 1-0-0, Ben Heath 1-0-0, Ryan Bohl 2-1-1, James Javanovich 2-0-2, Nate Lew 3-2-2, Cole Steinhorst 3-2-1, Jade Saxton-Jenson 1-0-0, Brett Lew 3-2-3, Blaze Todd 4-1-1, Ethan Kaanta 5-2-0, Cole Baskin 4-1-0. Total 32-11-11.
Pepin/Alma (2) AB-H-R: Jordan Pearson 1-0-0, Lane Wieczorek 2-0-1, Dawson Alme 4-0-0, Roman Engstrand 3-1-1, Tyler Hanson 2-0-0, Schuyler Vaicius 1-1-0, Ethan Brecka 2-0-0, Thomas Milton 3-1-0, Sam Erickson 3-0-0, Colton Brecka 3-0-0. Total 24-3-2.
Pitching: Elk Mound — Ryan Bohl 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 0 R, James Javanovich 6 IP, 2 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 2 R (1 earned); Pepin/Alma — Roman Engstrand 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 K, 7 BB, 3 R (3 earned), Thomas Milton 3 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 5 R (3 earned), Colton Brecka 1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 K, 3 BB, 3 R (3 earned).
After beating Boyceville 3-0 at home on May 3, the Bulldogs thought it only right to return the favor when the Mounders came visiting lat Tuesday, May 14. Connor Sempf allowed just two Elk Mound hits in six innings as the Bulldogs repaid the Mounders with a 3-0 shut out loss at Evenson Field.
Scoring opportunities where nearly non-existent for the Mounders as Brett Lew and Ethan Kaanta collected the only two hits Elk Mound had in the game.
In the top of the first inning, Ethan Kaanta was second up to bat for Elk Mound and hit a single in to right field, but with a ground out from both Chase Rhude and Brett Lew he was unable to advance.
Blaze Todd pitched all six innings for the Mounders and issued just one walk while striking out five but, gave up all eight Boyceville hits and three runs.
Elk Mound put a pair on base after Brett Lew hit a single into center field and Cole Steinhorst reached first base on an error, but both were left stranded.
Boyceville, meanwhile, scored all the runs it would need with two in the fourth. It then added the third and final run in the fifth.
Trett Joles, Connor Sempf and Trevor Hollister each had a pair of hits to account for six of the Bulldogs eight hits.
The game came to an end in the top of the seventh when sophomore Nate Lew hit a pop fly to Bulldogs’ short stop Walker Retz.
ELK MOUND 0, BOYCEVILLE 3
Elk Mound.….….….……0 0 0 0 0 0 0– 0
Boyceville….….…..…..0 0 0 2 1 0 X – 3
Elk Mound (0) AB-H-R: Chase Rhude 3-0-0, Ryan Bohl 2-0-0, Nate Lew 3-0-0, James Javanovich 3-0-0, Cole Steinhorst 3-0-0, Brett Lew 2-1-0, Blaze Todd 2-0-0, Ethan Kaanta 3-1-0, Cole Baskin 3-0-0. Total 24-2-0.
Boyceville (3) AB-H-R: Brendan Sempf 3-0-0, Trett Joles 3-2-1, Walker Retz 3-1-1, Trevor Hollister 3-2-0, Connor Sempf 3-2-0, Jaden Reisimer 3-1-1, Jacob Granley 3-0-0, Ira Bialzik 2-0-0, Logan Knudtson 3-0-0. Total 26-8-3.
Pitching: Elk Mound — Blaze Todd 6 IP, 8 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 3 R (3 earned); Boyceville — Connor Sempf 6 IP, 2 H, 7 K, 4 BB, 0 R, Trevor Hollister 1 IP, 0 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 0 R.