Looking to beat East Rutherford's unusual defensive configuration, Polk's Gunnar Alm squared to bunt in the first inning of Thursday's game

Polk County endured a rough evening Thursday against one of the state’s top 2A baseball teams.

The Wolverines dropped a 13-1, five-inning decision to East Rutherford on a cool and windy evening at The Bottoms in a Mountain Foothills 7 Conference clash.

The Cavaliers, ranked fourth in the latest 2A West RPI, improved to 9-1 overall, 6-0 in conference play. Polk dropped to 7-5, 3-3.

East Rutherford jumped to a 2-0 lead before Polk had its lone offensive highlight in the bottom of the first.

The Cavaliers employed a four-outfielder look against Polk leadoff batter Gunnar Alm, leaving one infielder on the third-base side of the infield. Alm looked to bunt to that side before slapping a single up the middle. He then stole second, moved to third on Karson Scruggs’ groundout and scored on a passed ball.

Polk had baserunners in each of the next four innings, but couldn’t push across any additional runs. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, scored five runs in the second, then exploded for six runs in the fifth, that frame highlighted by Jordan Dixon’s three-run homer. East finished with 13 hits in the win.

Mark Jarrett finished 2-for-2 to lead Polk’s offense, with Alm, Scruggs and Noah Harden each adding base hits.

The Wolverines are slated to travel to Chesnee on Monday for a 6 p.m. non-conference game.