HTL team one win from Final 4

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Luke Schafer and Middleton's Home Talent League team are just one win away from the Final Four after defeating Richland Center Sunday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Their big hitters were at their best.

Their standout pitcher was brilliant when he had to be.

And now, Middleton’s Home Talent League team is one win away from the Final Four.

Middleton rolled past Richland Center, 8-1, Sunday, in a Northern Section second round playoff matchup. Middleton now hosts Ashton Sunday at 1 p.m. for the Northern Section title and a spot in the Final Four.

“It should be a great game between two really good teams,” said Middleton manager Brandon Hellenbrand, whose team split a pair of games with Ashton this season.

Middleton’s offense was terrific Sunday, with its top-five hitters going a combined 10-for-20.

Josh Hinson went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI, while Kevin Dubler went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Ross Hellenbrand and Brandon Scheidler each finished 2-for-4 with an RBI. 

In all, Middleton finished the day with three doubles, a triple and two home runs.

“I thought we really did a good job of being patient at the plate and waiting for our pitch,” Brandon Hellenbrand said. “I feel that over the last couple games, our guys have taken their best at bats of the year

“Any time the top of your order produces like that, you know it’s going to be a good day. I thought 1-through-9 we did a good job of squaring balls up. We had a lot of hard hit outs that don’t show in the scorebook.”

Middleton ace Drew Farrell had a solid day, as well.

Farrell went the distance and allowed just one run. Farrell did allow 13 hits, but struck out 12, with many coming at critical junctures.

“Even though they were able to knock out 13 hits, he really seemed to dominate most of the day,” Brandon Hellenbrand said of Farrell. “He did have a couple jams that he worked out of, but overall I thought he did a fantastic job of keeping them off balance.”

Middleton jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Luke Schafer drew a one-out walk and Hinson ripped a two-out, two-run home run.

A.J. Redders had a leadoff double in the second inning and scored on an Andrew Zimmerman ground ball to give Middleton a 3-0 lead.

A Brandon Scheidler sacrifice fly in the fourth scored Redders and gave Middleton a 4-0 lead.

Middleton then blew things open with four runs in the seventh.

Schafer singled with one out, then Dubler followed with a two-run home run to center. Hinson followed with a single and Ross Hellenbrand had an RBI triple. Hellenbrand then scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Cole Cook.

Now it’s onto to a win-or-go-home showdown with Ashton — in what promises to be Sunday thriller.


R. Center ......... 000 000 100 — 1 13 0

Middleton ....... 210 100 40x — 8 12 0

Pitchers — (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Oelke (L; 3-5-4-4-0), Overlien (4-5-4-0-2), Chitwood (1-2-0-0-1); Farrell (W; 9-13-1-1-12).

Leading hitters — Richland Center — Wienkes (2x5), Jacobson (4x5), Beranek (3x5), Chitwood (2x5); Middleton — Scheidler (2x4), Dubler (2x5), Hinson (3x4), Hellenbrand (2x4).

HR — Dubler, Hinson. 3B — Hellenbrand. 2B — Chitwood, Walsh; Dubler, Redders, Kasdorf.


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