Ellsworth drew the No. 5 seed in their respective regional, meaning a trip to Amery was in store — a team that had defeated the Panthers in both games played this season. On Thursday in the opening round of the WIAA Division 2 baseball playoffs, the third time was not the charm for Ellsworth as it fell once again, this time an 8-4 loss that ended their season.
Although it was the Panthers on the wrong side of the scoreboard, they actually led the game for more innings than their counterparts. Ellsworth opened its scoring in the second inning when Chase Snyder scored on a wild pitch to give the Panthers an early 1-0 lead. One inning later that lead would only increase as a Tanner Pechacek single scored Jack Voelker, and then another wild pitch allowed Anthony Madsen to score, putting Ellsworth up 3-0.
Amery answered with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning, but Ellsworth maintained its 3-2 lead until the bottom of the fifth when everything unraveled for them. A hit batter to lead the inning off for the Warriors was a sign of things to come as six of the next eight batters would reach base safely and six would come across to score.
Down 8-3 and entering the final inning, Ellsworth had its work cut out for itself. Voelker led the inning off by getting hit by a pitch and then Madsen promptly ground out to put Ellsworth two outs away from getting sent home packing. A pair of singles and another hit batter allowed Voelker to score and load the bases to put the game-tying run at the plate. Instead, it led to a double play and the Panthers’ season was put to an end.
Pitching stats: Urban Broadway (4 ⅔ IP, 4 K, 2 BB, 9 H, 5 ER), Madsen (1 ⅓ IP, 1 K, 2 H),
Batting stats: Voelker (2 H, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 SB), Madsen (2 BB, 1 R, 1 SB), Pechacek (2 H, 1 RBI, 1 SB), Ian Matzek (1 H, 1 RBI, 1 BB), Snyder (2 BB, 1 H, 1 R, 2 SB), Broadway (1 H)
Ellsworth ends the season with a 3-12 record.
Wolves unable to hold big lead
E/PC started its postseason schedule Thursday with a trip to Pepin/Alma for the opening round of the WIAA Division 4 regionals. Despite being winners in two of their last three games, the Wolves’ playoffs hopes were squashed after failing to convert an early lead into a victory as Pepin/Alma came away on top 13-9.
E/PC fell into a 2-0 hole right away in the first inning but recovered quickly, putting up four runs in the second inning and five more in the third to take a 9-2 lead. The outburst of runs for E/PC wasn’t without some assistance though. With two outs in the second inning, three errors helped E/PC get four runs across. Of the nine batters to head to the plate in the inning, only two recorded base hits. The five runs in the third inning could all be credited to the Wolves’ batsmen though. Patrick Tiffany hit a sac fly to score the first run of the inning, but once again with two outs the Wolves cranked up the pressure. Jarrod Pelzel hit a single after the Tiffany at bat, then the next three at bats were a double, walk and triple.
Pepin/Alma got one run back in the bottom of the third, but E/PC’s 9-3 held until the fifth inning when things started going sideways for the Wolves. Pepin/Alma scored four runs in the fifth to trim the deficit to two runs, then exploded for six more in the sixth inning to stake a four-run lead with E/PC down to its last three outs. The three E/PC batters went down in order and their season ground to a halt.
Pitching stats: Pelzel (4 IP, 2 K, 3 BB, 5 H, 6 ER), Eli Gansluckner (1 ⅓ IP, 2 K, 3 BB, 3 H, 6 ER), Zack Hartung (⅔ IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB)
Batting stats: Gansluckner (2 R, 1 2B), Tyler Bauer (1 H, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB), Basil Gilles (3 RBI, 2 H, 1 3B), Hartung (2 R, 2 BB, 1 H, 1 SB), Dayne Whipple (1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB), Tiffany (2 RBI, 1 H, 1 R), Pelzel (1 H, 1 RBI), Joey Bechel (2 R)
E/PC ends its season with a 4-12 record.