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Hillsboro baseball ready for WIAA playoffs
Tigers finish regular season 510 after loss to Westby
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WESTBY — The Hillsboro baseball team closed out the regular season Monday with an 11–0 non-conference loss at Westby.

Alex Bluschke went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, while Alex Midtlien went 2-for-3 with a triple to lead the Norsemen to an easy five-inning victory.

Westby scored eight runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a commanding 10–0 lead.

Zach Dwyer earned the win after allowing just three hits, while striking out four and walking one in three innings of work.

Hillsboro junior Brandon Stanek was roughed up for 10 runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings. He walked four.
“Westby is a senior-laden team that puts the ball in play to all fields,” said Hillsboro coach Bob Bothe. “We did not have our full staff available, so we had to try and get two innings out Brandon.”

Hillsboro loaded the bases in the third inning when Tommy Crandall was hit by a pitch, and Chucky Strait and Tyler Crandall both singled with one out, but came up empty with a strikeout and pop out to end the inning.

The Tigers finished the regular season 5–10 overall and will now travel to Elroy to face fourth-seeded Royall (9–10) at 4 p.m. in the opening round of the WIAA Division 4 playoffs.

Royall defeated Hillsboro, 4–1, last Tuesday.

With a win, the Tigers will advance to face top seeded Cashton in Tuesday’s regional semifinals.

Last Wednesday, Hillsboro closed out the conference season with a 12–2 victory over visiting Wonewoc–Center.

The Tigers belted out 18 hits in the rout.

Hillsboro hit four doubles in the third inning, opening up a 5–l lead.

Stanek ended his mini-slump with a lead-off home run in the fourth inning. He is the first Tiger to go yard this season.

Stanek followed up his home run with two hard hits, including the game ending RBI to help the Tigers win via the 10-run mercy rule in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Junior Grant Jefferies (2–2) settled in after giving up two walks and a double in the first inning. He earned his second win of the season allowing just two runs on three hits in six innings of work.

Strait (3x4) and Jake Stockwell (3x4) each collected three this. Jefferies and Tyler Seeley were each 2-for-3.