Merrill’s American Legion Post 46 baseball team capped off a 5-of-6 streak to end the regular season by knocking off Minocqua 4-3 at home on Monday.
Merrill overcame a 1-0 deficit in the bottom of the first thanks to the efforts of Keenan Stellingworth and Justin Pyan, to take the 2-1 lead.
Things would get a bit murky for Post 46 as the 89ers defense tightened up and managed to drive in back-to-back runs in the third and fourth.
Down 3-2 in the fifth, Trevor Asmundsen answered big for Merrill plating a run in the fifth and another in the seventh to send Merrill into the winner’s circle.
“We played okay,” Merrill manager Dave Pyan said. “I would of liked to see them play a little better defensively, but the mistakes we made didn’t hurt us tonight. Our plan was to play a bunch of younger kids tonight because we face Minocqua again on Wednesday in Regionals but a couple of our regulars had to work so we went with the starters for the first three innings. Nick Bowe pitched well. He’s been doing a good job for us this year and then Adam came in and threw strikes getting us to the end of the game. Keenan and Trevor hit the ball well also, we’re starting to hit a little bit which is a good sign. Hopefully they can keep that up.”
MQA: 101 100 0-3
MRL: 200 010 1-4
WP: Adam Messerschmidt (2H, 2BB, K). Hitting: Trevor Asmundsen (2/3, 2R); Stellingworth (2/4, R); Justin Pyan (1/2, R).
Whistling past Wausau
Last Tuesday, Post 46 baseball squeaked past Wausau in a 6-5 home bout shoot-out.
Merrill jumped on the Bulldogs early, thanks to Drew Hoff’s powerhouse swing; sending the ball over the left field wall on the first pitch of the game.
Hoff plated another in the second, followed by a pair of runs from Trey Stevenson and Mitch Stockowitz, to hand Post 46 a comfortable 4-2 lead headed into the third.
The third inning would be all Bulldogs, as Wausau launched a 3-run batting barrage to snag a narrow 5-4 lead.
Trey Stevenson’s score in the fifth tied it for Merrill and Keenan Stellingworth’s 7th inning run put it away for good.
“The kids are finally playing as a team and having some fun,” comments Pyan. “If we can keep playing like this we have a shot at going to state again.
“Ryan Golisch was cruising into the 4th when two errors cost us 3 runs putting Wausau ahead 5-4. Jake Anderson came in to finish the last three innings, shutting Wausau out and allowing us to come back for the win.
“Drew hitting a home run on the first pitch was huge got us going and playing to win.” Pyan adds.
“Ryan (Golisch) was able to keep us close and Jake just shut them down. We didn’t let the errors kill us tonight and the kids never got down. We’re starting to hit a little bit and just at the right time too. Regionals are (this) week and if we can keep playing like this, we have a chance to get to state again.”
MRL: 130 010 1-6
WAU: 020 300 x-5
WP: Anderson (3H)Hitting: Jared Schmeltzer (3/4); Drew Hoff (1/3, R); Keenan Stellingworth (1/3, R).
Regionals will be held in Rhinelander starting Wednesday, when Merrill plays Minocqua.