By Tyler Ohmann
The Prairie Conference baseball season zoomed on as both Upsala Swanville Area and Royalton both split some conference games recently.
The Patriots began with a doubleheader sweep of St. John’s Prep, May 12.
In game one, USA started off hot, taking an 11-0 lead that eventually ended in a 13-3 win in six innings.
Seniors Myron Ripplinger, Levi Beseman and Travis Barthel all went 3-for-4. Ripplinger scored three times, Beseman had two runs and two RBIs and Bartel scored twice and drove in three.
Game two was closer, as the Patriots rallied from a 1-0 deficit to earn a 4-1 win.
Senior Troy Evans went all seven innings, striking out seven and allowing only two hits.
Peyton Jackson led the USA offense by driving in two of the four runs.
USA followed the wins with a pair of losses.
First, the Patriots were downed 3-2 in a back-and-forth battle with Osakis, Monday.
USA led 1-0 early but trailed most of the rest of the contest. In the sixth, Evans tied the game with an RBI, but in the bottom of the inning, Osakis took back the lead.
Senior Eric Koetter led USA with two runs scored and two stolen bases.
Lastly, the Patriots were bested 4-3 in another close game against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Tuesday.
Beseman pitched well, going 6 1/3, allowing just one earned run and striking out eight.
However, the offense was led by Ripplinger’s two RBIs, and not enough else.
USA (6-7) will host Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Royals split a pair of conference contests.
Royalton rolled past LPGE for a 12-5 win, May 12.
In the win, Adam Olson, Ryan Fussy and Thomas Fountain all scored three times. Senior Nathan Psyck clubbed two doubles and drove in five runs.
Royalton failed to follow up the win with another one, falling 8-7 at Browerville/Eagle Valley, Monday.
The Royals led 7-0 entering the bottom of the eighth when the wheels fell off.
BEV burned through Royalton pitchers to scored eight in the frame and earn the victory.
Ethan Walcheski scored twice and drove in a run for Royalton.
Royalton (9-7) will travel to play Kimball, Tuesday.