Raiders drop three against top Coulee contenders
A couple of close losses and another that was lopsided put the Arcadia baseball team at .500 as it enters the final week of the regular season.
The Raiders faced the best two teams in the Coulee Conference as West Salem and Viroqua have a combined 19-2 conference record, having lost only to each other. Arcadia nearly handed both another loss, but fell short losing to Viroqua 3-1 in extra innings on Tuesday and West Salem 3-2 on Thursday. They also lost another game to Viroqua, the second half of a doubleheader, 16-0.
Arcadia sat at third in the conference with a 6-3 record — 6-6 overall — before playing Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau on Monday of this week. They finished the regular season with a game against Onalaska Luther on Tuesday.
Regardless of how they finish, the Raiders earned the second seed in their Division Two bracket and will have a bye when tournament play opens on Thursday. This coming Tuesday, they’ll play the winner of the game between (6) Black River Falls and (3) Sparta. The regional final will be played on Wednesday with West Salem as the top seed in the bracket.
Viroqua 3 Arcadia 1
Two runs in the top of the eighth inning were the difference as the Raiders pushed the conference’s best team to the limit.
The teams ended regulation tied 1-1 but a two-run double with two outs gave the Blackhawks the lead. Arcadia got two runners on with a walk and a hit batter to start the bottom of the eighth, but a fielder’s choice was followed by a runner being picked off. A strikeout ended the game.
Viroqua scored first in a second inning that could’ve been worse for Arcadia. The Blackhawks worked their way for four walks in the inning and had a hit, but managed just one run on a groundout.
Arcadia loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fourth, but managed just one run. After a strike out, Bill Breska hit into a fielder’s choice, allowing Connor Weltzien to score and tie the game. A strikeout ended the threat.
Both teams threatened in the sixth inning, but didn’t score. Arcadia had the winning run on second in the seventh, but consecutive groundouts send the game to extra innings.
The Raiders had three hits in the game, two by Carson Pehler.
Cameron Boland took the loss, pitching the final 1.2 innings with two hits, three walks and two strikeouts. Weltzien started and pitched into the seventh inning with four hits and five walks allowed, while he struck out three.
Viroqua 16 Arcadia 0
The Raiders were close in the first game, but the second was all Viroqua.
The Blackhawks hit Arcadia’s pitching hard as they finished with 13 hits in four innings. They took the lead with three runs in the first, added runs in the second and third before breaking the game wide open with 11 in the fourth.
Arcadia had just one hit in the game, a single by Carson Martin.
McCoy Yarrington took the loss, pitching three innings with seven hits and four walks allowed. Carson Martin replaced him in the fourth, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out one.
W. Salem 3 Arcadia 2
Two runs in the bottom of the seventh helped West Salem stay tied at the top of the Coulee Conference.
Arcadia took a 2-1 lead into the final frame, but consecutive walks had West Salem in business. Alex Madden then got a strikeout and a fielder’s choice for two outs with runners on second and third.
Boland replaced Madden and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. An error then allowed two runs to score, giving West Salem the win.
Arcadia scored the first two runs of the game as one run came in on a walk with the bases loaded in the second and another on a double by Breska in the third.
West Salem got one back in the bottom of the fifth, but the Raiders held the lead until late.
Arcadia had five hits in the game as Carson Martin and Madden were both two-for-three.
Madden pitched until there were two outs in the seventh, allowing three hits and four walks while striking out six.