BOYCEVILLE — Eight runs in the first three innings were plenty of offense for the Boyceville baseball team which won its first regional title in 19 seasons with a 8-3 victory over Eau Claire Regis on Thursday.
The Bulldogs advance to Tuesday’s Division 3 sectional semifinal at Casper Park in Chippewa Falls with Boyceville matching up with Neillsville, which defeated Osseo-Fairchild 9-3 on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the winner of the contest will face the winner of the 10 a.m. semifinal game between Bloomer and Cumberland at 4 p.m.
“We knew that if we came out and played our game we would be happy with the outcome,” Boyceville coach Michael Roemhild said.
A four-run second inning pushed Boyceville to a comfortable lead. Walker Retz doubled with the bases loaded with two outs to plate two. A walk filled the bases again and this time Trevor Hollister delivered with a single scoring Jaden Reisimer and Retz.
“We knew we had to score at least five runs if we wanted to win,” Roemhild said. “So getting six in the first two (innings) made us feel good. We knew that we weren’t going to let up though.”
Boyceville trailed by a run after the top of the first as two walks and a base hit put the Ramblers on the board, but the Bulldogs responded. Hollister singled with two outs to score Retz after he had reached base on a hit with one down earlier. Connor Sempf then plated Hollister to put Boyceville up 2-1 after an inning.
“Offensively, we jumped out right away. We are not known for that,” Roemhild said. “Usually it takes until the fourth inning. After Regis got out to a 1-0 lead, I was wondering how we would respond.”
The Bulldogs then added to their lead with the four runs in the second and then added two more in third. Logan Knudtson doubled to score Brandon Sempf who started the inning with a walk. Knudtson would cross home plate after a Ramblers’ error as Boyceville staked itself to 8-1 advantage.
Eau Claire Regis scored single tallies in the fourth and fifth inning but the Bulldogs prevented any threat from the Ramblers.
“Our goal was to go 2-0 this week and we did just that,” Roemhild said. “I have always wanted to get my team to sectionals so they can experience that feeling and (I) want to get back there each year. This team has accomplished that.”
Retz got the benefit of the offensive outburst as he picked up the pitching win. He struck out five, allowing two runs in four innings.
“I thought Walker stayed composed on the mound even when some of his pitches weren’t working, or when we made mistakes behind him,” Roemhild said. “Being a sophomore and pitching himself out of some big situations is something that really makes you proud.”
Hollister threw three innings of relief punching out four with just an unearned run scoring. The pitching duo of Hollister and Retz also paced the offense. Both ended with two hits as Hollister drove in three and Retz had two runs batted in. Retz and Knudtson both doubled and scored two runs while Connor Sempf and Knudtson both plated a run.
Boyceville’s last regional championship came in 2000 and Roemhild said players from that team have been closely following the success of the team which finished second in the Dunn-St. Croix conference a game back of Spring Valley and then earned a No. 1 seed for the postseason. Having the support of past players and the community has provided a boost for this group of Bulldogs.
“A lot of the guys from that team were at our game, messaged or called me, or have been following us throughout the year,” Roemhild said. “It is good to see their excitement for our team. Our fans have been great and it was amazing to see that many people at our game last night. I wouldn’t expect anything less from them.”
Boyceville 6, Elk Mound 3
At Boyceville, a six-run fifth inning pushed the Bulldogs past the Mounders in a Division 3 regional semifinal on Tuesday.
Walked Retz hit a three-run home run before Trett Joles followed him with a solo blast. Connor Sempf and Jaden Reisner added run-scoring doubles in the inning.
Elk Mound plated two runs in the third as Nate Lew hit a two-run home run to take an early lead before adding its final run in the sixth.
Blaze Todd struck out seven in five innings of work.
New Richmond 3, Menomonie 0
At New Richmond, the Mustangs season ended in a Division 2 regional semifinal loss to the Tigers on Tuesday.
Menomonie was held to four hits as Sam Sleichert tripled and Ryan Sisko, Kaleb Miller and Sedric Yunkel added singles.
Evan Sisko tossed 3.2 innings of relief, giving up one run. Jace Kressin worked a clean sixth inning with a strikeout.
New Richmond’s Ryan Kling struck out five in a complete game win and Jack Bau hit a solo home run.