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BOYCEVILLE — Glenwood City and pitcher Max Janson came into Boyceville last Friday, May 20 and threw a scare into the rival Bulldogs.
In a Dunn-St. Croix baseball game that had to be moved to Evenson Field due to standing water on the Hilltoppers’ home turf following the previous night’s thunderstorm, Glenwood City was looking to pull off a major upset as it staked itself to the early advantage thanks a pair of first-inning runs while Janson was keeping the Boyceville hitters off balance.
The Hilltoppers were able to maintain the lead until the fourth inning when Janson began to tire and the Bulldogs bats came alive.
Over the next three innings, Boyceville scored 11 unanswered runs before Glenwood City, who was playing as the home team, finally got back on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the sixth.
But by then its was too little, too late as the Bulldogs swept the regular-season series with an 11-3 victory. Boyceville won 12-2 back on April 25 in a game that was also played at Evenson Field.
“Tonight, we definitely felt like the away team on our home field,” said Boyceville head coach Michael Roemhild. “We didn’t come out with the energy I was hoping for and Glenwood City took advantage of it.”
“If we are going to make a deep run in the playoffs, we are definitely going to have to play better than we did tonight,” he added.
Glenwood City scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Max Janson helped out his own cause with a two-out hit, advanced to second on a wild pitch by Bulldogs’ starter Chase Hollister who then plunked the Toppers’ Peyton Thune with a pitch to put a pair of runners on base. An uncharacteristic error on the Bulldog defense allowed Janson to score the game’s first run. Another wild pitch from Hollister brought Thune to home plate for the Toppers’ second run. Hollister finally got out of the inning when he struck out the Toppers’ Aaron Brigham.
Boyceville pushed its first run across in the top of the second when Dawson McRoberts drew a lead off walk from Janson and came in to score on Tyler Dormanen’s sacrifice ground out.
The score remained 2 to 1 until the Bulldog fourth when they finally took the lead for good with a pair of runs.
Senior Jacob Granley led off the frame with a triple to deep right-center field. It looked as if Granley might be stranded there as Janson got the next two Bulldog batters to fly out to third base and strike out. But Dormanen singled to bring Granley home with the tying run. Dormanen then stole second and scored the go ahead run on a Nick Olson hit.
The Bulldogs sent Janson packing after the fifth inning as they scored five times to increase their advantage to 8-2.
Blake Fayerweather relieved Janson in the sixth but he promptly gave up four hits and three runs as Boyceville extended its lead to 11-2.
Noah Brite opened with a single in the Toppers’ half of the sixth and came around to score but Hollister retired the side to get out of the inning.
Neither team scored in the final frame as Boyceville claimed a 11-3 win.
Hollister earned the pitching victory going six innings before being relieved by Simmon Evenson in the seventh. Hollister allowed three runs on just two Topper hits and struck out six and walked three. Evenson surrendered a hit and had two strike outs in an inning’s work.
Despite a good start, Max Janson took the loss for the Hilltoppers as he allowed eight runs on eight hits, had two walks and four strikeouts. Fayerweather allowed three runs on five hits, walked two and whiffed one in his two innings on the mound.
Boyceville finished with a 13 to three advantage in hits. Devin Halama went 3-for-4 and scored two runs to lead the Bulldogs. Dawson McRoberts and Nick Olson each had a pair of hits with three RBIs each while Hollister also registered two hits.
Janson, Brite and Brady McCarthy had the Toppers’ three hits.
Boyceville committed a trio of errors while Glenwood City finished with a two.