MARSHFIELD – Neillsville scored four times in the top of the eighth inning to edge Marshfield Columbus Catholic 12-9 in a battle of Cloverbelt Conference East Division baseball leaders on Wednesday at Jack Hackman Field.
The loss dashes Columbus Catholic’s hopes at a share of the Cloverbelt East title, dropping the Dons to 10-7 overall and 6-3 in conference play.
Neillsville is now 9-2 and 8-1 in the Cloverbelt East, and can wrap up the conference championship with a win at Loyal on Friday.
The Dons rallied from an 8-2 deficit to tie the game, scoring five times in the fifth and once in the sixth.
Drew Brown had a two-run double and Micah Zoschke added an RBI single in a five-run third for Neillsville.
After Columbus Catholic scored twice in the third, on an RBI double by Jadon Nienast and a sacrifice fly by Blake Jakobi, Neillsville plated three in the fifth to take an 8-2 lead.
Jakobi and Sam Wilczek were hit by pitches with the bases loaded, two runs scored on an error and Grant Olson had an RBI single to help the Dons cut the deficit to 8-7 in the bottom of the fifth.
Emmitt Konieczny had an RBI double in the sixth to tie the game at 8-8, and after a scoreless seventh, the game went into extra innings.
The Warriors quickly regained the lead. A hit batter and two walks loaded the bases. Carson Opelt had a sacrifice fly to give Neillsville the lead and it wasn’t done. After a single and the second out of the inning, Braden Trunkel knocked in two runs with a single, and Jonah Zoschke sent in another run with a single.
Columbus loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth and were able to get one run in, on a groundout by Olson, but left them loaded as Opelt struck out the final batter.
Konieczny had three hits and scored twice, and Nienast had two hits for the Dons.
Trunkel and Jonah Zoschke each had two hits and three RBIs in the win for Neillsville.
Columbus Catholic hosts Spencer on Thursday in its final conference game of the season.
Warriors 12, Dons 9 (8 inn.)
Neillsville 005 030 04 - 12 9 2
Columbus Catholic 002 051 01 - 9 8 2
WP: Carson Opelt. LP: Emmitt Konieczny.
SO: Braden Trunkel (4 1/3 inn.) 4, Opelt (3 2/3 inn.) 4; Jadon Nienast (4 inn.) 0, Konieczny (4 inn.) 4. BB: Trunkel 7, Opelt 2; Nienast 4, Konieczny 4.
Top hitters: N, Bryce Erickson 2x4, 2B, 2 runs, RBI; Trunkel 2x5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs; Jonah Zoschke 2x4, 3 RBIs; Drew Brown 2B, 2 RBIs; Santana Subke 2 runs; Carrson Mohr 2 runs. CC, Brock Bennington 2 runs; Konieczny 3x4, 2B, 2 runs, RBI; Nienast 2x4, 2B; Blake Jakobi 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Cy Becker 2 RBIs; Grant Olson 2 RBIs.
Records: Neillsville 9-2, 8-1 Cloverbelt Conference East Division; Columbus Catholic 10-7, 6-3 Cloverbelt East.