Wolves split doubleheader with Rivermen
The Whitehall Wolves returned to action with a split doubleheader on Sunday at home against the Eau Claire Rivermen.
Whitehall fell 5-3 in game one, before taking an 8-0 shutout victory in game two for a split matchup of the Chippewa River Baseball League South Division’s third-place Wolves and fourth-place Rivermen. The Wolves move to 9-7 on the season, trailing the Osseo Merchants’ 14-3 record and the Eau Claire Bears’ 11-7 mark as the season enters the home stretch.
They were scheduled for a Wednesday matchup at the Eau Claire Cavaliers, as well as a Sunday doubleheader with the Merchants also on the road. Their final scheduled game of the regular season is next Wednesday at home against the Cavaliers.
Eau Claire 5 Whitehall 3
The Wolves struck for three in the bottom of the first to take a 3-1 lead, but were held scoreless the rest of the way as the Rivermen chipped away in the late innings.
A leadoff double in the bottom of the first from Nate Pronschinske came around to score a batter later, as Jordan Hauser singled to center for the RBI. Three batters later with two aboard, Carson Pehler doubled to drive in a second run and put runners on second and third. Nate Breska capped the scoring for the Wolves with an RBI-groundout, as Whitehall answered a run from Eau Claire that scored via an error with two outs in the top half of the inning.
The Rivermen did more two-out damage in the top of the fourth, as a double with two on and two out scored a run that made it 3-2. Another one-out RBI-double in the top of the fifth for Eau Claire tied the game 3-3. A couple errors in the top of the sixth allowed the game to slip away for Whitehall, starting with a popup to left field that eluded the grasp of Lance Lettner and allowed a leadoff single to advance to second. A single loaded the bases with one out, before a ground ball to third resulted in an error by Scott Hovell and scored the go-ahead run for the Rivermen. An RBI-groundout provided an insurance run, before Isaac Marley induced a flyout to end the inning.
Whitehall brought the tying run to the plate in each of the last two innings, but were unable to string enough hits together against Eau Claire’s Tyler Gray. Marley pitched all seven innings in the loss, allowing five runs, two earned on six hits and three walks while striking out five.
Hovell was the leading hitter with two of the Wolves’ seven hits. Pronschinske and Pehler also tallied a double and a walk each.
Whitehall 8 Eau Claire 0
A two-hit shutout on the mound and a five-run fifth inning led the Wolves to a win in game two of the doubleheader with Eau Claire.
Hovell threw a gem on the mound, striking out 10 Rivermen while allowing two hits and two walks in six innings. Hauser came on for the seventh, pitching a scoreless inning with two strikeouts despite two defensive errors at second.
Whitehall got on the board with one out in the bottom of the third, as Hauser grounded into a fielder’s choice yielding no outs with runners on second and third to score a run. After Hovell was hit by a pitch two batters later to load the bases, a second hit by pitch of Pehler drove in the second run. A grounder to shortstop off the bat of Nate Breska led to an error that scored two more Wolves, before Marley capped the five-run third with an RBI single. Marley added another RBI single in the fifth, and an error at first on the same play allowed another run to score.
Hauser added one more for good measure in the bottom of the sixth with a bases-loaded infield single to shortstop that scored the eighth and final run of the day. Marley, Pronschinske and Hauser all had two hits apiece to lead the offense. Hauser drove in three, while Marley drove in a pair as well.