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Hillmen play extras in four straight
Platteville beats Lancaster in 10 on walk-off balk, then knocks off River Valley in 8 on Sparkman’s walk-off single
Logan Ludlum 5-22-19
Platteville senior Logan Ludlum pitched an eight-inning complete game Friday to lead the Hillmen to a 2–1 victory over River Valley at Platteville’s Legion Park. - photo by By Steve Prestegard

Platteville’s recent string of extra-inning games and walk-off finishes has to be some kind of record. With such records not kept in the history of Hillmen baseball, it is unofficial, but Platteville’s four straight extra inning games is likely a school record at the very least.

Platteville (7–12, 3–7 SWC) opened last week with a frustrating 12–7 eight-inning loss to undefeated Mineral Point Monday and a heartbreaking 7–6 nine-inning loss to Dodgeville a day later. But coach Brian Reuter’s Hillmen flipped the script later in the week and outlasted visiting Lancaster 5–4 in 10 innings, ultimately winning on a walk-off balk. 

A day later, sophomore Aiden Sparkman’s walk-off RBI single lifted the Hillmen to a 2–1 eight-inning victory over visiting River Valley (6–16, 4–6) Friday afternoon. Platteville’s incredible streaks of four-straight extra-inning games, and three-consecutive games decided on the final play, came to an end with a 5–4 non-conference loss at Wisconsin Heights.

The Hillmen earned the #7 seed in their seven-team regional and will travel to #2 Monona Grove (14–7) for a WIAA Division 2 regional quarterfinal Thursday at 5 p.m. 

Dodgeville (10–8, 6–4) scored three in the bottom of the sixth to tie last Tuesday’s game at 6–6, then walked off with a nine-inning victory on an RBI single to left field by Kikli.

Platteville rallied in a similar way Thursday against Lancaster (6–13, 2–8) scoring three in the bottom of the sixth to erase an earlier 4–0 deficit. Senior Connor Riley, Nate Reuter and Zach Dean all had RBIs in the inning. Senior Noah Johnston got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the eighth, and Platteville eventually won the game when senior Logan Ludlum walked, stole second and third, and scored the game-winning run when Lancaster’s Cole Kreul was called for a balk. Johnston (3–2) earned the win on the mound, allowing one unearned run on two hits in seven stellar innings of relief.

Ludlum (2–7) kept Platteville in the game Friday until Sparkman could win it, limiting Valley to one run on six hits in eight innings. Dean walked to lead off the bottom of the eighth, advanced to second on Austin Shaffer’s ground ball single, and scored the winning run when Sparkman lined the game-winning hit to centerfield.

Dodgeville 7, Platteville 6
(from Tuesday, May 14 @ Dodgeville)
Platteville...300 030 000 — 6 11  3 
Dodgeville...002 013 001 — 7 12  1
     Leading hitters — P: Logan Ludlum 3x5, Nate Reuter 3x3. D: Ayden Halverson 2x4, Anthony Vivian 2x4, Brandon Moldrem 2x4, Will Borne-Mumm 2x5, RJ Veinberg 2x4. 2B — P: Zach Dean, Ludlum; D: Veinberg.  HR — D: Vivian.
     W — Anthony Vivian (5IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 10K, 4BB).  L — Noah Johnston (2–2, 0IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0K, 1BB). 

Platteville 5, Lancaster 4
(from Thursday @ May 16 @ Platteville)
Lancaster....000 400 000 0 — 4  7  2
Platteville....000 130 000 1 — 5 10  2 
     Leading hitters — L: Caden Straka 2x4; P: Logan Ludlum 2x4. 2B — L: Straka, Owen Wolf; P: Ludlum. 
     W — Noah Johnston (3–2, 7IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0K, 4BB). L — Cole Kruel (4IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 5K, 2BB).

Platteville 2, River Valley 1
(from Friday, May 17 @ Platteville)
River Valley....000 001 00 — 1   5  0
Platteville........000 001 01 — 2   8  4 
     Leading hitters — RV: Paulus 2x4; P: Austin Shaffer 2x3. 2B — RV: Smith, Meixelsperger. 
     W — Logan Ludlum (2–7, 8IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 2K, 1BB). L — Esser (2IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 1K, 2BB).

Wisconsin Heights 5, Platteville 4
(from Monday, May 20 @ Mazomanie)
Platteville.........020 000 2 — 4   4  0 
Wisc. Heights...120 002 x — 5   8  2
     Leading hitters — WH: Eichorst 2x3, Caminiti 2x4. 2B — P: Nate Reuter. 
     W — Louis (3IP, 1H, 2R, 0ER, 5K, 5BB). L — Aiden Sparkman (1–2, 2IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 0K, 3BB). SV — Eichorsts (2IP, 2H, 2ER, 2K, 2BB).