DODGEVILLE — A year ago, when Platteville finished 3–18 and 0–10 in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference, the Hillmen were in desperate need of pitching.
Last week a pair of young arms continued their maturation process in a pair of conference wins at Dodgeville and against visiting Lancaster.
Sophomore Ben Pluemer (3–1) picked up his third win of the season with a dazzling, seven-strikeout, two-hit complete-game victory over the Dodgers, 2–1. He was aided by a pair of spectacular SportsCenter-worthy highlight catches by junior centerfielder Braden Nies.
Dodgeville scored its lone run on a pair of walks and a Platteville error in the bottom of the third inning. Platteville tied the game when senior first baseman Josh Reuter walked to lead off the fourth inning and later scored on an RBI single by junior Riley Miller.
The Hillmen took the lead three batters later when Nies reached on a Dodgeville error by pitcher Jordan Larson.
Pluemer got out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth with a strike out and a fly ball to center field. He worked around a walk in the sixth and pitched a 1–2–3 ninth to close out the in.
Thursday afternoon Platteville jumped out to a 5–0 lead at Potosi, but couldn’t hold on, dropping a 6–5 non-conference decision after allowing five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Senior Mitch Knockel went 3-for-4 with a triple in the loss. Senior Jason Withrow belted a two-run homer in the third inning for the Hillmen.
Friday afternoon, sophomore Garret Heer battled through a rough early start, keeping the game close until the Platteville offense could plate four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift the Hillmen to a 7–4 victory over the visiting Arrows.
Heer walked to start the game-winning rally in the sixth. Sophomore shortstop Coleman Brecke tied the game at 4–4 with an RBI single to right field.
After Nies doubled, senior Matt Lambert smacked two-run single to left to give Platteville a 6–4 lead.
Withrow followed with a single and Knockel reached on a two-out error, allowing Lambert to score.
Heer (3–2) picked up the win, allowing four runs, three earned, on 12 hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked five.
The Hillmen (9–7, 5–2 SWC) traveled to River Valley Tuesday and will next travel to league-leading Prairie du Chien (14–1, 5–1) on Tuesday, May 17.
Platteville 2, Dodgeville 1
(from Tuesday, May 3 @ Dodgeville)
Platteville 000 200 0 — 2 2 1
Dodgeville 001 000 0 — 1 2 2
Leading hitters — none.
W — Ben Pluemer (3–1, 7IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 7K, 5BB). L — Jordan Larson (4IP, 1H, 2R, 1ER, 7K, 6BB).
Potosi 6, Platteville 5
(from Thursday, May 5 @ Potosi)
Platteville 103 100 0 — 5 11 0
Potosi 000 015 x — 6 9 0
Leading hitters — Pla: Braden Nies 2x4, Jason Withrow 2x4, Mitch Knockel 3x4; Pot: Dylan Pluemer 2x3, Trenton Bauer 2x4, Tommy Pluemer 2x3. 2B — Pla: Nies; Pot: Dylan Pluemer, Tommy Pluemer. 3B — Pla: Knockel. HR — Pla: Jason Withrow.
W — Trenton Bauer (1–1, 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0K, 0BB). L — Shayden Behlke (0.1IP, 0H, 5R, 0ER, 0K, 3BB).
Platteville 7, Lancaster 4
(from Friday, May 6 @ Platteville)
Lancaster 013 000 0 — 4 12 2
Platteville 030 004 x — 7 11 1
Leading hitters — L: Tanner Reuter 3x4, Evan Straka 2x4; P: Braden Nies 2x4, Matt Lambert 2x3, Garret Heer 2x2. 2B — L: E. Starka, Nic Wood; P: Blake Noel.
W — Garret Heer (3–2, 7IP, 12H, 4R, 3ER, 5K, 5BB). L — Larry Moore (2IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 1K, 3BB).