First Cougar baseball win follows losses to both Lions


LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Spencer Arnold maintains his footing after making a shoe-top catch in right field against Schaeffer Academy.

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Mabel-Canton players celebrate near home plate after the long-awaited first win of the season on Monday. From left are Alex Arneson, Cayden Tollefsrud and Colton Heintz-Kuderer. The bases-loaded, walk-off win over Wabasha-Kellogg came just before this edition went to press. Look for complete coverage in next week's News Leader.

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Alex Arneson stretches for the throw as Schaffer Academy runner dives back into first base.
By: 
Chad Smith

Editor's note: Just before this edition went to press, the Mabel-Canton baseball boys (1-9, 0-8 SEC) won the first time this season - a dramatic 5-4, walk-off home win against Wabasha-Kellogg. Complete coverage of that victory will be in next week's News Leader.

The Mabel-Canton baseball team dropped two Southeast Conference games last week, including an 11-1 decision at Spring Grove on Monday, April 29. A home game the next day against Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger was postponed due to rain.

Despite a much-improved performance by the pitching staff on Friday, May 2, M-C lost at Schaeffer Academy 6-1, losing the regular season series against the Lions.                            Spring Grove 11, M-C 1

The Cougars managed only two hits in the conference road game at Spring Grove on Monday. The lack of offense led to an 11-1 six-inning, 10-run-rule loss for Mabel-Canton, while conference co-leader Spring Grove remained undefeated at 7-0 (6-0 SEC).

The Cougars scored their only run in the third inning. Drew Wyffels was hit by a pitch and then advanced all the way to third base as Jack Arneson hustled out an infield single. Wyffels then scored on an RBI ground-out by Cayden Tollefsrud.

That score came off Lion reliever Caleb Nerstad an inning after Alex Arneson had singled off Spring Grove starter Chandler Bergrud.

Lion pitchers made life difficult for Mabel-Canton at the plate, combining to strike out eight batters, while walking three and hitting another three.    

Wyffels got the start on the hill. He struck out seven and did not issue a walk until the sixth inning.

The Cougar senior struck out six of the nine Spring Grove batters, but seven Lions had base hits. Spring Grove banged out 15 hits, including two doubles and two triples.

Bergrud went three for four with a triple, a double and a single. Spring Grove grabbed a 5-0 lead before the Cougars pushed across their only run.

Schaeffer 6, M-C 1                 

M-C pitchers fared much better on the road at Schaeffer Academy than they did during the previous matchup against the Lions at home. Ingvalson and Wyffels held Schaeffer to six hits and six runs, both by far season-lows for a Cougar opponent and seven fewer runs than the Lions had scored at Mabel two weeks before.

However, the story of the game was Schaeffer pitcher Riley Gora, who had a perfect game going until the final seventh inning. Wyffels made it all the way to third on an outfield error and then scored on a ground out by Jack Arneson.

After losing the perfect game and then the shut out, Gora lost the no-hitter with a two-out single by Parker Ingvalson.

The Lions’ senior hurler got 15 of the 21 outs by strikeouts; the outfield error was the only time the ball left the infield in the air. The Schaeffer senior was coming off a 10-strikeout, two-walk pitching win at previously undefeated Spring Grove earlier in the week. Gora grabbed his second win against the Cougars without issuing a walk.

In the earlier 13-1, six-inning win at M-C, Gora had pitched a three-hitter with 12 strikeouts and no walks.

In the rematch, younger brother Nolan Gora had half of the Lion hits and runs scored while going three for three with a double.

Schaeffer (4-6, 4-5 SEC) jumped ahead quickly with the first two Lion batters getting base hits and scoring on a sacrifice fly and a ground out.

Ingvalson started on the mound for Mabel-Canton. He struck out eight and walked only three in three and two-thirds innings. Wyffels fanned four batters and walked none in two-and-a-half innings of relief.

The defensive highlight of the game for M-C was an incoming, shoe-top catch in right field by Spencer Arnold.

Schedule

To say the Cougars have a busy week is an understatement. They kicked off the week on Monday of this week (May 6) at home against Wabasha-Kellogg. They played the return matchup against Spring Grove on Tuesday.

They’ll play two seven-inning games at home against the always-tough Randolph Rockets on Friday, May 10.

They’ll wrap up the week on the road for a rescheduled game at Onalaska Luther at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11.

The Cougars start the final week of the regular season on Tuesday, May 14, at Spring Valley versus GMLOK.

The next day (Wednesday, May 15) is the home makeup game with Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger. One day later, also at home, is the SEC rematch against Lyle-Pacelli.