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MCDONALD'S GAME OF THE WEEK (Babe Ruth Baseball): Platteville 7, Highland 2
Drefcinski's three hits leads Platteville Merchants to 7–2 victory
Platteville's John Drefcinski went 3-for-3 with a double and three RBI and also struck out three batters in two innings of relief in the Merchants 7–2 win over Highland last Friday.

BABE RUTH BASEBALL: Platteville 7, Highland 2

HIGHLAND — The Platteville Merchants U18 summer league baseball team snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7–2 win at Highland Friday night.

Dylan Prestegard and Austin Shaffer combined to pitch five no-hit innings, and John Drefcinski pitched the final two frames while also going 3-for-3 with three runs batted in to led the Merchants to victory.

Platteville got on the board in the top of the first inning, but Highland tied it with an unearned run in the bottom of the third.

The Merchants (4–5) scored twice in the top of the fourth and three more times in the sixth to build a 6–1 lead and never trailed in the game.

Prestegard pitched two scoreless innings, striking out four with just one walk to begin the game.

Shaffer (2–0) picked up the win with three hitless innings of relief, striking out seven, while allowing an unearned run. Drefcinski struck out three and allowed one run on two hits over the final two innings.

“This was a great team victory,” said Platteville head coach Randy Knight. “Dylan started on the mound by setting the tone with two good innings. Austin and John came in and followed right behind him. It was a good game to get pitchers some work that may not have seen the mound in the last few weeks. We we were able to get two incoming freshmen some high school experience and they both handled their jobs very well. Anytime we can get kids started early is a great thing for the upcoming season.

Drefcinski, Aiden Sparkman and Josh Banfield all hit doubles in the game. Erik Grabant, Collin Bradley and Noah Schulenburg also had hits for Platteville in the victory.

“Our bats did come to do their job Friday night,” said Knight. “We came up with some timely hits when need after playing some small ball to get runners in scoring position. The coaching staff as been working very hard to get the boys to understand the importance of moving runners into scoring position to be able to score runs. We have worked a lot on bunting the ball and hitting behind the runners to advance or get runners extra bases.”

Thursday, Platteville dropped a pair of five-inning games at River Valley.

The host Blackhawks held the Merchants to just three hits in a 7–3 victory in the opener, then scored four runs in the top of the third (as the visiting team) to snap a 6–6 tie and held on for a 10–7 victory.

“After a crazy week of piecing a team together, do to Platteville High School Football Camp and the incoming freshman moving on in their [7th/8th grade] league tournament, we had to pull some guys out of retirement to get a few games in,” said Knight. “Nate Reuter, Zach Dean and Bryice Jarrett all graduated in June, but River Valley agreed to left them play, since we had seven regular guys gone at football camp. We had originally had a few incoming freshman lined up to play with us to get that experience they will need for next season but they advanced in their on league tournament on Tuesday night.”

“River Valley is always a tough team,” Knight added. “Aiden threw the ball well in the first game, but Valley was able to string together some bloop singles that got them going. Defensively we played very well in both games.

Platteville took advantage of 13 River Valley walks in Game 2 to scored seven runs — six in the bottom of the second — despite only having one hit (an RBI single by Dean).

Platteville 7, Highland 2
(from Friday, July 11 @ Highland)
Platteville...100 203 1 —  7  8  2 
Highland.....001 001 0 —  2  2  2

Platteville Leading hitters — P: John Drefcinski 3x3, Aiden Sparkman 1x2, Josh Banfield 1x3, Erik Grabandt 1x4, Collin Bradley 1x3, Noah Schulenburg 1x3.  2B — Sparkman, Banfield, Drefcinski.
W — Austin Shaffer (2–0, 3IP, 0H, 1R, 0ER, 7K, 2). L — not available.

River Valley 7, Platteville 3
(from Thursday, July 10 @ Spring Green)
Platteville.....003 00  —   3   3  1 
River Valley..140 2x —   7   8  0
Platteville Leading hitters — P: Nate Reuter 1x2, Dylan Prestegard 1x2, Zach Dean 1x2.  
W — Not available. L — Aiden Sparkman (1–1, 4IP, 7H, 7R, 4ER, 2K, 3BB).

River Valley 10, Platteville 7
(from Thursday, July 10 @ Spring Green)
River Valley...154 00 —  10  7  0
Platteville......061 00  —    7  1  1 
Platteville Leading hitters — P: Zach Dean 1x3.   
W — Not available. L — Dylan Prestegard (0–1, 2.1IP, 7H, 7ER, 1K, 6BB).