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Baxter, Platteville blank Belmont
Braves’ JV team takes game two 9–4
Josh Banfield doubled to lead off the top of the third inning and scored on Erik Grabandt’s two-out RBI single.

BELMONT — Platteville’s Garrett Baxter is making the most of his final season.

After sharing the Mast Water Technology Athlete of the Week honor last week the senior left-hander blanked host Belmont 2–0 in the opening game of a Dane County Senior Babe Ruth League doubleheader Friday evening.

Baxter (2–0) allowed just three hits in the five-inning victory, while striking out seven without issuing a walk. He also aided his own cause with a lead off double in the top of the fourth inning, and scored an insurance run on John Drefcinski’s one-out RBI double.

Josh Banfield doubled to lead off the top of the third inning and scored on Erik Grabandt’s two-out RBI single.

Will Cutler (first inning), Ty Palzkill (second) and Kolton Lancaster (fourth) had the three singles for the Braves.

“We just couldn’t get out bats going,” said Belmont head coach Trevor Kattre. “Baxter hit the corners and kept the ball low in the zone. We couldn’t square the baseball and ended up hitting a lot of ground balls and pop ups. Him being a big lefty threw us off as well. Hats off to him. He threw well.”

In more of a junior varsity game, Belmont’s youngsters scored six runs in the top of the third thanks to four walks and three Platteville errors and held on for a 9–4 victory.

Will Cutler picked up the win for Belmont (3–5) with three solid innings of relief, allowing two runs on two hits and five walks. Jesse Ruiz started and pitched the first inning for the Braves. Kolby Lancaster went 2-for-3 with three stolen bases and a run scored in the win.

Belmont’s doubleheader with Dodgeville was rained out Wednesday night, then rained out again Saturday morning after one inning of play.

Belmont will return to action tonight at home against Cross Plains at 6 p.m. The Braves will then travel to Wisconsin Heights Friday for another 6 p.m. doubleheader before hosting Cross Plains Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Platteville coach Randy Knight missed the doubleheader while attending his brother’s wedding in Illinois. Assistant coaches Zach Dean and Bryice Jerrett coached the team against Belmont in his absence.

The Platteville Merchants (5–7) dropped a pair of games Wednesday night at Legion Park to visiting Pecatonica. The Vikings scored the game-winning run in the top of the sixth to win the opener 4–3 in extra innings. Platteville took an early 2–0 lead on a two-run single by Josh Banfield in the bottom of the second inning.

Then after Pec scored three runs in the top of fourth, Platteville answered with an RBI double by Aiden Sparkman to tie the game at 3–3.

Dylan Prestegard (0–2) took the loss for Platteville, allowing four earned runs on five hits and two walks in six innings. He dominated for the most part outside of the fourth inning and finished with seven strikeouts.

“Dylan was cruising on the mound, which is what we needed him to do,” said coach Knight. “There was one hard hit ball through five innings. Pecatonica had five total hits and they all landed five feet in the grass. I told the boys that this is how baseball works. Our hitting, defense, and pitching was what we have been looking for all year and yet we came out on bottom.

“Ours boys took this game rough which is good and bad. This game showed how baseball can be a difficult game.”

Pecatonica also won the nightcap 5–3. Platteville took an early 3–2 lead with a three-run second inning on RBI hits by Nick Cullen and Banfield, but the Vikings answered back with two in the bottom of the third and one in the fourth.

“The bats went cold again,” said Knight. “I think we were hanging on to the end of the first game. We have to do better at moving on and performing in both games. We were only able to get the bottom half of the lineup one at-bat in this game which is not where we want to be. With batting 13 guys we want everyone to see the plate at least two times.”

Platteville will host Belleville tonight at Legion Park at 6 p.m. then East Dubuque Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The Merchants will travel to New Glarus Friday night for one seven-inning game, beginning at 7:30 p.m. and will host River Ridge Monday at 6 p.m.

Pecatonica 4, Platteville 3
(from Wednesday, July 15 @ Platteville)
Pecatonica 000 301   —   4  5  1
Platteville 020 100 —   3  8  0
Leading hitters — Pla: Aiden Sparkman 1x2 (RBI), Josh Banfield 1x2 (2 RBI). 2B — Pla: Sparkman.
W — not available. L — Dylan Prestegard (0–2, 6IP, 5H, 4ER, 7K, 2BB).

Pecatonica 5, Platteville 3
(from Wednesday, July 15 @ Platteville)
Platteville 030 00 —   3  4  4
Pecatonica 202 1x   —   5  5  1
Leading hitters — Pla: Nick Cullen 1x2 (RBI), Garrett Baxter 1x2, John Drefcinski 1x2. 2B — P: Drefcinski.
W — not available. L — Aiden Sparkman (0–2, 4IP, 5H, 4ER, 3K, 4BB).

Platteville 2, Belmont 0
(from Friday, July 17 @ Belmont)
Platteville 001 10 —   2  7  0
Belmont 000 00   —   0  3  0
Leading hitters — P: Garrett Baxter 2x2, John Drefcinski 1x2 (RBI), Erik Grabandt 1x1 (RBI), B: Will Cutler 1x2, Ty Palzkill 1x1, Kolton Lancaster 1x1. 2B — P: Baxter, Drefcinski, Josh Banfield.
W — Garrett Baxter (2–0, 5IP, 3H, 0R, 7K, 0BB). L — Kolby Lancaster (5IP, 7H, 2ER, 8K, 0BB). 

Belmont 9, Platteville 4
(from Friday, July 17 @ Belmont)
Belmont 600 03   —   9  5  0
Platteville 210 10 —   4  3  4
Leading hitters — B: Kolby Lancaster 2x3, Ty Palzkill 1x2, P: Brendyn Edge 1x2, John Drefcinski 1x2 (2 RBI), Erik Grabandt 1x1. 
W — Will Cutler (3IP, 2H, 2ER, 1K, 5BB). L — Logan Page (0–1, 1IP, 2H, 6E, 0ER, 2K, 3BB).