Things took a momentary downturn for Merrill’s American Legion Post 46 baseball team. The boys dropped an 11-0 contest at Plover last Wednesday, then fell 7-5 at Wis. Rapids the next night.
Merrill fell behind 2-0 in the first, but tied it right up in the second with an Alex Zettler walk, Keenan Stellingworth double, a wild pitch and throwing error. But Rapids bumped it to 7-2 in the third, then hung on for the win.
“That’s a game we’ve got to win,” Merrill manager Dave Pyan said. “We should never have let that one get away.
“We hit okay, but we just couldn’t get a hit in the clutch. We got down early and just couldn’t get back in it.
“We were missing some guys. The positive is Jimmy Gabler caught for the first time since Little League and (Adam) Messerschmidt played short, and they both did a good job.”
Gabler doubled and scored in the fourth. Post 46 scored twice in the ninth with help from a Messerschmidt single, two walks and a hit batter.
Merrill– 020 100 002–5.
Rapids– 205 000 00x–7.
MP: Mason Reinhardt 2-2/3 I. 6 H, 1 W, 2 K, 7 R; Justin Pyan 5-1/3 I, 5 H, 1 W, 4 K, 0 R. MH: 8 H, 4 W, 2 HBP; Stellingworth 2-3, 2B; Tom Zuelsdorff 2-5; Gabler 1-5, 2B.
Plover run over
Plover’s Alex Lee stymied Merrill for six innings, then Sterling King relieved for an inning to complete the combined no-hitter. Lee struck out 11 and walked four, while King fanned one and walked two.
“We were overmatched, period,” Pyan said. “We never had a chance. They buried us.
“A couple of innings we got guys on, with a couple of walks, but we never even moved them over. Pyan and Reinhardt both walked in the third but never got past the corners. Gabler walked in the sixth and stranded at third, while Dakota Ress and Zettler both received free passes in the seventh and moved up on a errant pick-off attempt before stranding in scoring position.
Plover scored in each of the first five innings, tallying multiples in every frame but the fourth.
Merrill– 000 000–0.
Plover– 223 13x–11.
MP: David Pophal 3-2/3 I; Seth Collins 1-1/3 I; Gabler 1 I. MH: 0 H, 6 W; Reinhardt 2 W.