Mabel-Canton boys enjoy walk-off win before four losses

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Jordan Larson dives safe below the tag attempt of Wabasha-Kellogg third baseman Max Kuntz.

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Jaymeson Tollefsrud, at left, heads toward first base, and Mabel-Canton teammate Jordan Larson (No. 10) hurries toward home plate while Onalaska Luther pitcher Brandon Stadtler fields a bunt.

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Cayden Tollefsrud is the first to greet Alex Arneson (No. 14), who had just scored the winning run against Wabasha-Kellogg.
Chad Smith

It was an up-and-down week for the Mabel-Canton baseball team, which began the week with an exhilarating walk-off win versus Wabasha-Kellogg on Monday, May 6. The Cougars had nine hits and 5 runs in that game but managed only nine hits and no runs (4 shutouts) during the next four games, including a no-hit loss to Randolph and one-hit loss to Onalaska Luther.

M-C hosted Spring Grove on May 7 before Randolph came in for a May 10 double header. The boys then traveled to Onalaska Luther on Saturday morning, May 11.

The Cougars finished the week at 1-13 overall (0-11 SEC) as they head into the final week of the regular season.

M-C 5, W-K 4

The team finally broke through on the winning side of the scoreboard and did so in dramatic fashion. The bases were loaded, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Jack Arneson sent a ground ball just past the second baseman's glove into right field, scoring brother Alex Arneson with the winning run. That walk-off single led to a celebration of Mabel-Canton's first win of the season.

Just two innings earlier, second baseman Jack Arneson had made two stellar catches of a fly ball and a line drive. And centerfielder Jaymeson Tollefsrud made a great grab to preserve a 3-3 tie score.

 In the sixth inning, catcher Jordan Larson threw out a runner at second base before the Cougars took their first lead (4-3) with two outs in the bottom of the inning. M-C did so with back-to-back singles from Cayden Tollefsrud and Parker Ingvalson.

The Falcons tied it again (4-4) with three hits in the top of the seventh to set up the dramatic finish. Alex Arneson walked, went to second on a ground out, and then to third on an infield hit by Spencer Arnold. An intentional walk to Drew Wyffels loaded the bases with Jack Arneson coming to bat.

Both teams had nine hits, but M-C took advantage of eight walks. Four of the five Cougar runs were scored by players who drew walks from three different Falcon pitchers.

Wyffels went the distance for Mabel-Canton, striking out six and walking only three in getting the win.

The Cougars committed three errors, all in the first inning, while W-K scored three unearned runs. After that shaky start, the Cougars settled down and played error-free during the final six innings.

M-C got one run back in the bottom of the first inning with Wyffels drawing a walk, stealing second base, going to third on a Jack Arneson single and scoring on an error.

The Cougars tied it at 3-3 in the next inning with two walks, an error and two hits, including an RBI single by Wyffels. The second walk, issued to Jack Arneson, came with the bases loaded. That 3-all tie held for three and a half innings.

Jack Arneson batted 2 for 3 with two runs batted in and two stolen bases. Ingvalson went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI single.

The other hits came from Arnold, Wyffels, Cayden Tollefsrud, Randy Gerard and Alex Arneson. The losing pitcher, sophomore Brody Wodele, was 3 for 3 with the bat for W-K.

The Falcons (1-12) were coming off their first win the previous week. It was an exciting game between two young teams: W-K played with one senior, two juniors, three sophomores, three freshmen and an eighth-grader.

In the other dugout, the Cougars used two seniors, one junior, three sophomores, two freshmen, an eighth-grader and a seventh-grader.

SG 12, at M-C 0        

Larson, an eighth grade catcher, batted 2 for 2 with a double, but the Cougars advanced only one runner as far as third base. M-C had five hits, but all came in different innings against junior Chandler Bergrud, who pitched all five innings for Spring Grove.

The Lions didn’t give Mabel-Canton any extra charity as Bergrud walked only two (also in different innings), and Spring Grove committed no errors in the field.

On the other side of the field, M-C was too charitable, committing six errors, including four in the second inning when the Lions scored six runs. In addition, two other errors helped SG add five runs in the fifth.

Spring Grove had 11 base hits, including three triples and two doubles. But with the M-C errors, only three of the 12 Lion runs were earned runs.

Alex Folz (two triples) and Nic Peterson (triple) each batted 3 for 4 while Carter Bratland went 2 for 3 with a double.

Besides the two Larson hits, the Cougars also had singles from Ingvalson, Cayden Tollefsrud and Jack Arneson.

On the mound, Ingvalson and Cayden Tollefsrud combined to strike out seven and walk six.

While at shortstop, Tollefsrud made a pair of quality catches, one of a line drive and the other retreating into the outfield for a fly ball.

SG, coming off a four-game losing streak, improved to 8-4 (7-3 SEC), including a previous 11-1 win against Mabel-Canton.

Double header

Randolph remained in the conference race with a pair of five-inning, 10-0 wins at Mabel-Canton, including a no-hitter pitched by sophomore Brandon Gerster in the nightcap.

Game 1: Ran 10, M-C 0

Two of the first three Cougar batters had base hits but ended up with only three hits all game against junior hurler Matt Weber. Two of those successful batters were put out on the base paths. Weber, backed up by an error-free defense, struck out five batters and issued only one walk, making only four M-C runners on base.

In the first inning, Wyffels singled, stole second base and went to third on a single by Cayden Tollefsrud with only one out. But a double play let Weber escape that one serious Cougar scoring threat.

The Rockets scored 10 runs on eight hits (triple, 2 doubles), aided by five M-C errors. All Randolph runs and all Cougar errors were crowded into two big four-run and six-run innings for the visitors.

Ingvalson, the Cougar starter, walked only three and gave up only four earned runs. The defensive play of the game behind Ingvalson was a stellar grab by right fielder Spencer Arnold.

Game 2: Ran 10, M-C 0

Randolph (13-1, 10-1 SEC) was the home team in the scorebook. Only two Cougars reached base — Cayden Tollefsrud with a first-inning walk and Wyffels on an error in the third (the only Rocket error in the twin bill).

Once again Wyffels reached third base, this time with two stolen bases. Gerster ended that threat with one of his nine strikeouts

The first two Randolph batters scored the first two runs, and the Rockets would go on to score in four of the five innings. But it was just a 4-0 game until Randolph put up six runs in the final inning to end the game with the 10-run rule.

Dane Ehleringer batted 3 for 3 in the 11-hit Randolph attack. M-C didn’t help themselves defensively, committing five errors, which led to seven unearned runs.

Wyffels was the pitcher of record, striking out six and walking only one while giving up only three earned runs. The senior had the defensive play of the game, picking off Ehleringer at second base.

Luther 11, M-C 0   

Cayden Tollefsrud, the first batter of the game, singled into right field. However, that would be the only base hit for Mabel-Canton as Luther junior Brandon Stadtler would finish with nine strikeouts on the way to a one-hit, 11-0 shutout. The only other Cougars to reach base came with two walks and a Luther error.

Stadtler was also effective with the bat, going 2 for 4 with a triple, the only extra-base hit of the game. Sophomore Neme Pamperin batted 2 for 3.

Luther (4-10) scored four runs before the first out and would add runs in every inning until the 10-run rule kicked in.

The defensive gem for M-C was sophomore shortstop Jack Arneson chasing down a foul ball to make a great over-the-shoulder catch. 

It was an extremely young battery for the Cougars with eighth-grader Larson catching and seventh-grader Cayden Tollefsrud making his first varsity start on the mound.


The Cougars began the final week of the regular season with a tough road game at SEC-leading GMLOK on Tuesday, May 14. They hosted a make-up with Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger in a rare Wednesday game on May 15. M-C finishes the regular season at home against Lyle/Pacelli today (Thursday, May 16.)