The quest for a third straight Northern Lakes Conference (NLC) baseball title continues onward this week as the Three Lakes-Phelps Bluejays handled their business this past week, winning a pair of crucial one-run ball games as they near the final week of the regular season.

Beginning last Monday in Crandon, the Bluejays clawed back from a 2-0 deficit, scoring single runs in the fifth, sixth and then the seventh to win the first of two matchups with the Cardinals, 3-2 on the road.

“Nate Cogar threw the ball very well tonight and gave us five very strong innings,” said coach Brad Bisnette. “And Mitch (Wolosek) came in for the sixth and seventh and slammed the door.”

After both teams went scoreless in the first, Crandon struck first with a pair of unearned runs in the second, courtesy of two Bluejays errors, to make it 2-0.

Cogar got to work from there as he allowed only one hit apiece in the next two innings to keep the Bluejays within striking distance.

In the fifth, Three Lakes-Phelps got to within one as David Kaufman scored the first of his two runs, singling then stealing second before Henry Siedschlag singled to put runners on the corners with no one out.

The pitcher then made a hiccup as a balk moved Kaufman in to score to make it 2-1 Crandon.

In the top of the sixth Three Lakes-Phelps got to even as Cogar singled, stole second to move into scoring position for Griffin Schroeder, who then pushed a single through to plate Cogar and make it 2-2.

Wolosek came to the mound for the Bluejays in the sixth and retired the Cardinals in order, leading to opportunity in the seventh for the visitors.

Kaufman got things started once more with a single. As he did in the fifth, he then stole second before advancing to third on a groundout from Siedschlag. A passed ball then plated Kaufman to make it 3-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Wolosek got a groundout, fielder’s choice and strikeout to end it.

Kaufman had a big day at the plate in a game where both teams struggled offensively. He finished 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and two stolen bases.

Moving ahead to Saturday at home against Florence, the teams tangled in a pair of five-inning games.

Three Lakes-Phelps took game one, 5-1 before scratching their way to a 5-4 win in game two.

A big third inning propelled the Jays in game one. The team brought all nine hitters to the plate and scored four runs, which was plenty behind a complete-game win from Andrew Gill.

Gill tossed five innings, struck out six, walked just one and only allowed one Florence player into scoring position all game.

Offensively he was equally as productive, scoring twice and going 2-for-2 from the plate to lead the offense.

In game two­ Three Lakes again struck early as Cogar scored in the first, then was one of three Bluejays to cross home in the second as the team opened a 4-3 lead going into the third.

It stayed that way until the fifth as Three Lakes got what was a very important insurance run as Wolosek singled and scored on an error to make it 5-4.

Florence rallied with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, but with runners on second and third with two outs, Wolosek came in and got a groundout to third, which ended the threat and kept the Bluejays on top, 5-4.

The pair of wins moved the Three Lakes-Phelps team to 8-0 in the NLC as they approach a big week and a half ahead highlighted by senior night in Three Lakes this Thursday and Family Night on the following Tuesday, May 21.

The team will play against Goodman-Pembine at Florence Tuesday, May 14, at 5 p.m. Thursday’s senior night game will be against Elcho and start at 5 p.m.