Middleton tops Ashton, Dells

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Ross Hellenbrand helped Middleton defeat both Ashton and Wisconsin Dells last weekend./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s Home Talent League has won the Northern Section’s East Division every year since 2016.

With the division as good as ever, the 29ers fully understood the importance of Sunday’s game against first place Ashton. And Middleton delivered arguably its finest performance of the year.

The 29ers got a pitching gem from Ross Hellenbrand, sensational defense and toppled the visiting A’s, 2-1.

Middleton also downed Wisconsin Dells, 11-1, last Friday and is now 4-1 in the division. Ashton and Cross Plains are 4-1, as well.

“Ashton’s a really good team,” Middleton manager Brandon Hellenbrand said. “This was a huge win for us.”

Ross Hellenbrand threw the first 6 1/3 innings, allowed seven hits, struck out two and walked two. Drew Farrell threw the final 2 2/3 allowing three hits, while striking out two and walking one.

“Ross did a tremendous job on the mound,” Brandon Hellenbrand said. “He didn't have his best stuff, but had enough to keep them off balance and get the big outs when he needed it. He battled and that's what you need in a game like this. Drew came on in the seventh and was able to get out of a jam and then finished it off.”

Middleton’s defense was also outstanding.

Brandon Scheidler made two diving catches in center field, Josh Hinson threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the seventh and Ross Hellenbrand made a leaping catch at first to end the seventh.

Middleton turned a double play with a runner on third in the third inning. And in the ninth, Ashton put the leadoff runner on, but Farrell made a diving catch on a bunt attempt, then threw to first to double up the runner.

“Our defense and pitching were outstanding,” Brandon Hellenbrand said. “Defensively I feel like this one was of the best games we've played in years.”

Middleton needed it, too, as its offense struggled against Ashton ace Derrick Rothwell.

The 29ers scored one in the second.

Farrell was hit by a pitch with one out and Nolan Smith singled to right with two outs to put runners at first and second. Scheidler then doubled down the right field line to drive in Farrell.

Ashton’s Shane Adler had an RBI double in the top of the fifth to tie the game, 1-1. Middleton then notched the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the fifth.

With one out, Scheidler roped a double down the left field line. He advanced to third on a ground out by Luke Schafer and scored on passed ball.

Scheidler finished the day 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI to power Middleton’s offense.

“Offensively we struggled a little bit today, but we did just enough to get the win,” Brandon Hellenbrand said. “We only finished with five hits, but when we had guys on, we were able to move them and get the two runs across.”

Middleton’s bats did far more damage against Wisconsin Dells two nights earlier.

The 29ers struck for two runs in the second when Farrell had an RBI single and Scheidler was hit by a pitch to bring home the second run. Middleton parlayed three walks, two singles and a hit batter into a five-run third inning.

The 29ers added three in the fourth when Farrell had a bases-clearing hit. And Jacob Ross had an RBI single in the sixth.

Farrell finished 2-for-2 with four RBI’s and nine different hitters totaled at least one hit. 

Dylan Acker started on the mound, went five innings, and gave up just one unearned run. Acker allowed four hits, struck out seven and walked one. Brady Schmitt threw the last two innings and struck out all six batters he faced.

“Dylan did a great job on the mound,” Brandon Hellenbrand said. “He threw strikes and kept them off balance.  Brady came in and slammed the door for the win.”


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