Indees split four in DC play

            Eric Rojas Lopez of Independence/Gilmanton prepared to field the ball during their game against Whitehall last week Monday.             (Times photograph by Andrew Dannehy)

            Connor Stevens of Whitehall threw to first in an attempt to get a double play during their game against Independence/Gilmanton last week Monday.            (Times photograph by Andrew Dannehy)

While their hopes to win the Dairyland Conference fell short, the Independence/Gilmanton baseball team enters the final week of the season hoping to at least tie for second place.

The Indees won a big game last week Monday, topping Whitehall 1-0. I/G has swept Whitehall this season as the teams battle for second place, both have five conference losses entering the final week. I/G dropped two straight conference games, falling to DC champion Eleva-Strum (16-1) before losing to fourth-place Augusta (10-7), by identical 3-2 scores, last Tuesday and Thursday. I/G got back in the win column with a 22-6 win over Alma Center Lincoln on Friday.

The Indees hosted Melrose-Mindoro on Monday of this week and will play at Alma/Pepin on Tuesday. 

The Indees are the third seed in their Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association bracket and will begin tournament play this coming Tuesday when they take on either (11) AC Lincoln or (6) Port Edwards. The regional final will be next Wednesday. 

I/G 1 Whitehall 0

The winning run scored on an error with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Hunter Guenther reached base on a fielder’s choice, stole second and moved to third on an error. It looked like the Norse could get out of the inning, but a dropped fly ball allowed Guenther to score and the Indees to walk off with a win. 

Guenther didn’t factor in the decision, but kept the Norse off-balance all game long. The Gilmanton senior struck out 15 while walking one and allowing just one hit as he pitched into the eighth inning before reaching his pitch limit. Brandon Sylla replaced him and got the win, getting two outs in the eighth, while walking one.

Whitehall’s only hit was a one-out double by Devon McCune in the top of the fourth. A ground out and a pop up ended that inning.

The Norse had two on in the top of the eighth after an error and a walk issued by Sylla. But the I/G pitcher got Brayden Lisowski to fly out before striking out McCune to end the threat.

Eric Rojas-Lopez had three hits for the Indees as they had eight as a team. 

McCune took the loss for Whitehall as he pitched into the eighth inning before reaching his pitch limit, striking out 10 without a walk. Lisowski replaced him, getting a flyout before the error that ended the game.

E-S 3 I/G 2

The Indees scored two in the top of the seventh, but couldn’t get the tying run across the plate.

Trailing 3-0 before their final at-bat, the Indees got their first three batters on as Rojas-Lopez singled, Guenther hit into an error and Sylla singled Rojas-Lopez home, making the score 3-1. Guenther scored on a squeeze play hit by Nathan Pyka, who was thrown out at first. 

The Indees tried another squeeze to tie the game, but Sylla was thrown out at home after Kingsbury’s bunt. Carlos Montalvo then grounded out, ending the game.

The Cardinals took the lead on a walk with the bases loaded in the fourth. They added two more runs on consecutive doubles in the bottom of the sixth.

Sylla took the loss, striking out eight while walking four and allowing five hits. He also had two of I/G’s five hits at the plate. 

Augusta 3 I/G 2

The Indees couldn’t get clutch hits when they needed them late.

After Guenther tripled a run home to make the score 3-2 in the fifth, the Indees weren’t able to push the tying run home. Guenther was stranded on third by a groundout and a strikeout. 

Montalvo singled to start the sixth, but was left on second base. Guenther walked with two outs in the seventh, then stole second, but a pop up ended the game.

The Indees scored first as Sylla came home on a passed ball in the top of the first inning. The Beavers tied the game with a run on an error in the bottom of the first and took the lead after a two-out walk was followed by a triple in the second. They added another run in the fourth. 

Guenther had two of I/G’s five hits in the game and also walked twice. 

Kingsbury took the loss, pitching the first five innings and striking out five while walking five and allowing six hits. Rojas-Lopez pitched the sixth with two strikeouts and a walk.

I/G 22 AC Lincoln 6

After struggling at the plate for much of the week, the Indees broke through.

While they scored two runs in the first, the Indees found themselves trailing 3-2 entering the third. Ben Pyka gave the team a spark with a leadoff triple before a single by Rojas-Lopez tied the game. Nathan Pyka doubled in two runs to put the Indees ahead later in the inning.

Ben Pyka again gave the team a spark as he tripled with one on to start an 11-run fourth inning. Sylla, Santillian, Rojas Lopez and Montalvo later added RBI singles, Kingsbury an RBI double and Guenther a two-run home run that made the score 16-3.

The Hornets got one run back in the bottom half of the inning before the Indees put up six more runs in the fifth. ACL scored two in the bottom of the fifth, but were well short of what was needed to extend the game. 

The Indees had 17 hits in the game as Rojas-Lopez went three-for-five with five RBIs. Nathan Pyka was four-for-four with four RBIs while BNen Pyka, Guenther and Sylla all had two hits and two RBIs. 

Rojas-Lopez was the winning pitcher, striking out two while allowing three walks and one hit in 2.1 innings. Ben Pyka pitched 1.2 innings and Nathan Pyka pitched the fifth inning. 

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