Eleva-Strum looks to take down more ranked opponents in sectional

WIAA Division 4 Prep Baseball Blair-Taylor Sectional Tournament Preview

The Eleva-Strum High School Baseball Team, ranked No. 14, has been knocking down higher-ranked opponents all season.

They'll get another chance on Tuesday when they take on No. 2 Pittsville in the WIAA Division 4 Blair-Taylor Sectional Tournament with the first pitch at 10 a.m. The No. 2 seeded Panthers (23-3) downed No. 10 ranked, three seed and Dairyland Conference co-champs Blair-Taylor (19-4) 8-3 in the regional finals in Pittsville. In the other semifinal to be played at 1 p.m., No. 12 ranked and No. 2 seed Royall (16-4) takes on No. 4 seed DeSoto (13-6).

The Cardinals then knocked off the No. 4 seed and No. 6 ranked Dons of Marshfield Columbus (16-4), the Eastern Cloverbelt Conference champions, by a 2-1 score on Wednesday, May 29 . The very next day E-S upset No. 4 ranked and No. 1 seeded Bangor at Bangor by a 3-2 score.

Indeed, the Cardinals' tournament path has been a tough one but they have been preparing for all season facing tough, ranked opponents across the state. They've take their lumps to be sure but also have had some brilliant wins as well, like knocking off then No. 1 ranked Pewaukee in Division 2 at American Family Field in Milwaukee May 12. No doubt facing another good foe won't phase them.

And Pittsville is very good. The Panthers easily won the CWC South title and their lone losses were to Stratford, Medford (who also beat Eleva-Strum) and Marathon. Both squads beat Osseo-Fairchild this season. The Panthers are led by Logan Zickert and outfielder Derek Grossman, who was recently named Wisconsin Dairy Farmer's Male High School Athlete of the Month. However, Pittsville was highly ranked a year ago and the Cardinals had no problem beating in the sectional semifinals 12-3, also at Blair-Taylor.

No. 5 ranked Ithaca won the sectional last year but were knocked out in the regional semifinals by DeSoto. In the other semifinal to be played at 1 p.m., No. 12 ranked and No. 2 seed Royall (17-4) takes on No. 4 seed DeSoto (13-6). Royall finished runner-ups to Bangor in the Scenic Bluffs Conference while DeSoto was the third place team in a very competitive Ridge & Valley Conference. The Pirates' Finn Wrobel, a sophomore, is their top pitcher along being their top hitter with a .455 batting average and 18 RBIs. Another top hitter for DeSoto is senior Landon Pedretti who has a .423 batting average and teammate sophomore Griffin Hanson had 15 RBIs this season with a .413 batting average.

The championship game of the Blair-Taylor Sectional Tournament is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 4. The state tournament is next week, June 10-13 in Grand Chute.

The Eleva-Strum vs. Pittsville game will be broadcast on WHTL 102.3 FM at 10 a.m.


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