The fifth-seeded Northland Pines baseball team lost to top-seeded Peshtigo 4-1 in the second round of the WIAA Division 3 Regional playoffs last Tuesday.

Northland Pines coach Peter Aerts said the Eagles played well against a solid Peshtigo team. Pines was coming off a big win over fourth-seeded Oconto 10-4 in the first round of the tournament and playing some of their best ball of the season.

“In the first two innings, both teams put multiple runners in scoring position, but the pitchers buckled down and didn’t allow a run to score,” said Aerts.

Peshtigo put two runs on the scoreboard in each of the third and fourth innings to go up 4-0. Northland Pines responded with one run in the fifth inning as Nathan Hopkins hit an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Tucker Witt­kopf then hit a hard line drive to center field with two outs to drive in Hopkins to make it 4-1 in favor of Peshtigo.

Nathan Hopkins pitched the first five innings for Pines, allowing four runs on nine hits and one walk. Three of the runs were earned. He had two strikeouts. 

Aiden Lifschutz came into the game for Pines in relief to face the top of the order for Peshtigo in the sixth inning and pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning, inducing three weak flyouts. 

Northland Pines got two runers on base in the top of the seventh inning, bringing the tying run to the plate, but could not score. 

“We had runners in scoring position in all but two innings today, but just could not come up with the big hit,” said Aerts. 

Hopkins was 2-for-4 with a run scored and Wittkopf was 1-for-2 with a walk and the Eagles only RBI.

“Nick Nielson for Peshtigo was tough on the mound by not giving our hitters good pitches to hit,” said Aerts. 

“Our pitchers threw really well again today. It was a great start by Nathan, who caught some bad luck in the runs he did give up,” said Aerts. “Aiden came in again for relief and like all year induced weak contact. He pitched three innings in the playoffs this year and didn’t allow a run.”

The Eagles saw their season come to an end with a 13-13 overall record. 

Peshtigo went on to beat third-seeded Bonduel 5-3 in the Regional final and was scheduled to play St. Mary Catholic on Tuesday of this week in the Sectional semifinal.

The Eagles finished 4-8 in the Great Northern Conference, tied with Lakeland for fifth place. Medford won the conference at 10-2, followed by Antigo at 9-3, Mosinee at 8-4 and Rhinelander at 6-6. Tomahawk was last at 1-11.