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Panthers nine push forward to regional title game

Ellsworth's Spencer Schroeder accepts the congratulations of teammate Jonah Conway after scoring the Panthers first run against Altoona.2 / 4
Ellsworth's Mike Koch knocks the ball into the air on a bunt attempt.3 / 4
Ellsworth's Brady Yanish with a warm-up pitch.4 / 4

HAGER CITY - Survive and advance is the name of the game when it comes to tournament play and that’s what the No. 3 ranked Ellsworth High School baseball team did Wednesday afternoon in the semifinals of their WIAA Division 2 regional tournament at Brown Field.

After being held scoreless through three innings, No. 1 seeded EHS plated three runs in the fourth and added an insurance run in the sixth to beat No. 5 Altoona 4-1.

Both teams had an even number of hits and were almost even in errors. But Altoona had a critical extra error come in the fourth inning.  A mistake fielding the ball in the outfield allowed the Panthers’ Mike Koch to extend a single into a double and allowed Spencer Schroeder to score EHS’s first run of the ballgame to tie the score at 1-1.

The Purple’s were led in hitting by Dan Giese’s two hits, including an RBI which also plated a run in the fourth to give Ellsworth the lead.  One more run was plated in the inning as Railer pitcher Forrest Mazzie walked a batter with the bases loaded. An insurance run was scored in the sixth. Both Dennis Schutz and Logan Armstrong had RBIs.

Brady Yanish was the winning pitcher and Logan Armstrong got the save as the Panthers will host the regional title game Friday again the winner of the Prescott/Baldwin-Woodville regional semifinal. Ellsworth improves to 17-3 overall while Altoona concludes its season at 10-10.