The Merrill American Legion Post 46 baseball team dropped an 11-7 game at Marshfield last Tuesday, then was blanked twice in three days in a home-and-away series with Plover.
Plover has quickly built on its high school season success, which only ended June 13 with a 5-4 eight-inning loss to Sun Prairie in the WIAA Div. 1 state finals.
“Plover is a great team,” Merrill manager John Annis said. “Going into Wednesday night, they were 12-0. They’ve got a solid line-up, one through nine.”
Merrill managed just one hit in Wednesday’s seven-inning, 10-0 road loss, in a game scheduled for nine innings.
“Their pitcher (Andrew Schulfer) was really good,” Annis said. “He had scouts watching him at that game. He did a great job of switching speeds and keeping us off-balance.”
Ben Anderson had the only Merrill hit. Schulfer struck out 13 and walked just two.
Plover scored twice in the 3rd, three in the 5th, and one in the 6th, then ended it early with four in the 7th.
Seth Collins (13 H, 7 W, 3 K in 7 I) took the loss.
Plover came to Merrill on Friday, and pulled out a 7-0 win in a game scheduled for seven innings.
“Sterling King threw that ball well, too,” Annis said. “They’ve got a great pitching staff.
“The positive is a lot of times this season we’ve given up the big inning. This game we limited the big inning. That should be a big confidence booster for this week.”
Plover tallied solo run in the 2nd and 3rd innings, two in the 5th and three in the 6th.
Merrill’s hits came from Alex Cordova and Anderson. King struck out 7 and walked none.
Brian Stockowitz (7 H, 4 W, 3 K, 4 R, 4 ER in 5-1/3 I) took the loss, and Brad Juhlke (3 H, 2 W, 3 R, 3 ER in 1-2/3 I) relieved.
Merrill grabbed an early 2-0 lead, and responded when Marshfield pulled ahead 5-2 in the 2nd.
“It was good to see the kids not quit when we were down, and make a game of it,” Annis said. “When we get down, we tend to stay down, but this game we battled back.”
Merrill pulled within 5-4 in the 3rd before Marshfield pushed it back up to 9-4 in the bottom of the frame and 10-4 in the 6th. Post 46 got 3 back in the 7th with help from a walk, two errors, a hit batter and a Collins single.
Marshfield would tack on one more in the 7th of the nine-inning game.
Anderson hit 2-4 and Garrett Pagel was 1-4 with an RBI double in the 1st.
Coleton Bloch (9 H, 5 W, 8 K, 7 R 3 Er in 6 I) took the loss. Alex Klug (0H, 1K in 1 I) closed.
Merrill is now 4-5 on the season.