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By Amber Hayden
BOYCEVILLE — The goal of a 2-0 week for the Boyceville Bulldogs came true when they took home wins over Elk Mound and Regis to capture the WIAA Division 3 baseball regional championship last week. Thus allowing the Bulldogs to advance to yesterday’s sectional tournament.
Top-seeded Boyceville used timely hitting and solid pitching to defeat #4 seed Elk Mound, whom they had split with during the regular season, and number two Eau Claire Regis.
A six-run, fifth inning for Boyceville helped seal Elk Mound’s fate. Jacob Granley got the decisive inning started for the Bulldogs with a walk but back-to-back home runs by Walker Retz (3-run shot) and Trett Joles (solo homer) pushed Boyceville past Elk Mound for a 6-2 lead after the Mounders had jumped out to an early lead with a pair of third-inning runs. The Bulldogs went on to a 6-3 win in the regional semifinal contest.
The #2 seed Ramblers of Regis came to Evenson Field Thursday, May 30 to play for the regional crown. But the Bulldogs had other plans as they walked away with their second win of the week and the regional championship plaque with a 8-3 win which also earned Boyceville a berth in sectional tournament which was held yesterday, Tuesday, June 4, at Casper Park in Chippewa Falls.
The Bulldogs have not been to a sectional game since 2000, but according to coach Roemhild many of the players from the 2000 team were in attendance at the regional games between Boyceville and Regis.
Boyceville, currrently 17-3 for the season, competed against Neillsville in the second sectional semifinal game while Cumberland and Bloomer tangled in the first semifinal contest. The two winners played later that day for the sectional championship and a berth in next week’s state tournament. The state tournament will be held Tuesday, June 11 through Thursday, June 13 at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute.
When Boyceville opened its 2019 WIAA Division 3 tournament at home last Tuesday, May 28, things seemed to slip away as Elk Mound took the lead on a pair of third-inning runs.
The Bulldogs offense floundered early leaving many to wonder if it would be a one-and-done tournament.
But Boyceville’s bats awoke in the bottom of the fifth inning producing six runs highlighted by a pair of home runs from the sticks of Walker Retz and Trett Joles and the Bulldog went on to pull out a 6-3 win.
“Tonight’s game was pretty lifeless for us until the fifth inning,” said Bulldogs head coach Michael Roemhild. “Offensively we did our damage in the fifth, our two freshmen got us started.”
In the first four innings, Boyceville had a mere three hits from Jaden Reisimer, Connor Sempf, and Trevor Hollister.
Boyceville finally broke out its bats in the bottom of the fifth where it collected five of its eight hits and all six of its runs.
Jacob Granley drew a walk from starter Blaze Todd to start the Bulldogs’ rally. Ira Bialzik followed with a single. Jaden Reisimer then doubled off the top of the left field fence to score Granley with Boyceville’s first run. Walker Retz then stepped to the plate and unloaded on a pitch that cleared the right-center fence scoring himself, Bialzik, and Reisimer for a 4-2 Boyceville lead. The next Bulldog batter, Trett Joles, sent another Todd pitch over the fence, this time into left field, for a 5-2 advantage. Boyceville added its sixth and final run when Trevor Hollister reached on an error and later scored on Connor Sempf’s single.
The very next inning, Elk Mound put its first three batters on base but was only able to plate one run, their final of the game. Ryan Bohl lead off the sixth with a single to left field and then was advanced to second when Boyceville’s pitcher Connor Sempf balked. Bohl then scored when Ben Heath hit a ground ball to Boyceville shortstop Walker Retz and safely reached base on an error.
“Defensively we had some mistakes, but luckily they did not cost us any runs,” Roemhild explained. “Brendan Sempf had a huge double play for us in the sixth inning, and Brady Nye had a couple nice plays at third for us as well.”
Boyceville went through three pitchers in six innings. Connor Sempf handled a majority of the responsibility on the mound. Sempf pitched five innings, struck out two and walked one. Trevor Hollister was brought in as relief and went one and two-thirds innings before being pulled at 40 pitches in order to pitch during the Thursday evening, May 30, regional game against Regis.
Hollister also had two strikeouts and one walk before Walker Retz would come in to pitch to Cole Steinhorst, who was at full count, and earn the strikeout to end the game.
Jaden Reisimer and Connor Sempf each finished with two hits in the game.
“I was very proud of the fight in our team,” Roemhild said. “Our goal was to go 2-0 this week and we are halfway there.”
BOYCEVILLE 6, ELK MOUND 3
Boyceville….….…..…..0 0 0 0 6 0 X – 6
Elk Mound.….….….……0 0 2 0 0 1 0 – 3
Boyceville (6) AB-H-R: Brendan Sempf 3-0-0, Trett Joles 3-1-1, Walker Retz 3-1-1, Trevor Hollister 3-1-1, Connor Sempf 3-2-0, Jaden Reisimer 4-2-1, Jacob Granley 2-0-1, Ira Bialzik 3-1-1, Logan Knudtson 3-0-0. Total 27-8-6.
Elk Mound (3) AB-H-R: Chase Rhude 4-1-0, Ryan Bohl 3-1-1, Nate Lew 4-2-1, Cole Steinhorst 4-0-0, Brett Lew 4-0-0, Blaze Todd 2-1-1, Ethan Kaanta 4-2-0, Avery Kaanta 3-0-0, Ben Heath 2-0-0. Total 30-7-3.
Pitching: Boyceville — Connor Sempf 5IP, 6 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 3 R (2 earned), Trevor Hollister 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 0 R, Walker Retz 1/3 IP, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 R; Elk Mound — Blaze Todd 5 IP, 8 H, 7 K, 1 BB, 6 R (5 earned), James Javanovich 1 IP, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 R.
For coach Roemhild, the one goal he had set for his Bulldogs’ baseball team was to go 2-0 last week and they did just that after beating Eau Claire 8-3 at home last Thursday, May 30 to win the WIAA Division 3 regional championship.
“What a night! What an atmosphere! What a game,” said Roemhild. “I couldn’t be more proud of this team. Even though we were a #1 seed, not many people besides our players and coaches gave us a chance against Regis.”
And it seemed like fate wasn’t on the Bulldogs side early as Regis jumped out with a run in the first inning as a single scored Joe Edge for the Ramblers.
But Boyceville wouldn’t stay down for long as they answered back with two runs in the bottom of the first, when a single by Trevor Hollister scored teammate Walker Retz followed up by a single by Connor Sempf that sent Hollister home.
“Pitching wise, I would not say it was our best performance but it was pretty dang good,” Roemhild explained. “I thought Walker stayed composed on the mound even when some of his pitches weren’t working or when we made mistakes behind him.”
Retz, a sophomore pitcher, was able to get himself out of several sticky situations against Regis and did it with the composure of a veteran pitcher. He went four innings and gave up only two earned runs while striking out five batters.
“When Trevor comes in you know he is going to be fired up and he is going to take it personal if you get on base against him,” Roemhild stated of his second sophomore pitcher. “We did not make it easy for Trevor. He needed nine outs to win the game and we made him have to get 13 because of errors.”
Hollister was brought in to start the fifth inning and struck out four batters, walked two, and surrendered three hits.
The second and third innings belonged to the Bulldogs as they put up six runs between the two innings.
Freshman Jacob Granley has been able to get on base in two of his last three games, and he was walked on base in the second inning against Regis. Granley scored when Walker Retz hit a double to far center field. Retz earned two RBIs during the hit and Logan Knudtson was also able to score.
The speed of Jaden Reisimer and Walker Retz was called in to play during the second inning when Trevor Hollister hit a single line drive to right field and Reisimer and Retz were sitting on second and third.
Boyceville was far from done as the bottom of the third inning came around, with two outs the Bulldogs rallied for two more runs as Brendan Sempf and Logan Knudtson scored to make it 8-1.
Regis did score two more runs, one each in the fourth and fifth innings, but it would not be enough to take the title away from Boyceville.
Trevor Hollister led the Bulldogs in RBIs with three, Walker Retz and Logan Knudtson led in runs with two apiece and there were eight hits between six players.
“I have always wanted to get my team to sectionals so they can experience that feeling and want to get back there each year,” said Roemhild. “Our fans have been great and it was amazing to see that many people at our game, I wouldn’t expect anything less from them. We have a very loyal following that has supported us all year.”
BOYCEVILLE 8, REGIS 3
Boyceville….….…..…..2 4 2 0 0 0 X – 8
Regis…..….….….……1 0 0 1 1 0 0 – 3
Boyceville (8) AB-H-R: Brendan Sempf 1-1-1, Trett Joles 3-0-0, Walker Retz 4-2-2, Trevor Hollister 4-2-1, Connor Sempf 3-1-0, Jaden Reisimer 3-0-1, Jacob Granley 3-1-1, Ira Bialzik 3-0-0, Logan Knudtson 3-1-2. Total 27-8-8.
Regis (3) AB-H-R: Joe Edge 4-1-1, Mason Bauer 3-1-0, Cade Osborn 2-0-0, Matthew Klink 4-0-0, Tristan Root 4-3-1, Ben Boda 3-0-0, Robbie Burhop 3-0-0, Vincent Riccirdi 1-0-0, Payton Kostka 3-1-0, Drew Goettl 3-2-1. Total 30-8-3.
Pitching: Boyceville — Trevor Hollister 3 IP, 3 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 1 R (0 earned), Walker Retz 4 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 5 BB, 2 R (2 earned); Regis — Matthew Klink 2 IP, 7 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 6 R (2 earned), Andrew Milner 4 IP, 1 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 2 R (1 earned).