By Nick Beversdorf
In a complete departure from previous games, the Bluejay varsity baseball team beat the Wausau East Lumberjacks with a final score of 22-1 while generating 19 hits and committing no errors.
Merrill started off strong in the first inning by making quick work of the Lumberjack with catcher Nick Bowe catching a pop up and Ryan Golisch pitching two back-to-back strikeouts. Once at bat, the Bluejays scored two runs, the first two of which came from a Golisch line drive double to center field, scoring Tyler Belfiori and Trevor Asmundsen.
Later in that inning, Jared Schmeltzer would score off Nick Bowe’s line drive to right field and Troy Pike would score off Dan Duginski’s hard grounder to left.
It was in the second inning that the Bluejays would score 15 of their 22 runs, making their victory virtually inevitable. Asmundsen started the scoring with a run off a Belfiori line drive to center field. Belfiori would later score a run during the ensuing commotion of Chris Kanitz stealing 2nd base. Schmeltzer then cleared the bases with a three-run homer to left field. Bowe and Pike would both score runs off a Duginski line drive to left field and then Asmundesn would hit another line drive to left field allowing Duginski to score.
Trey Seubert (as a courtesy runner for Dylan Anderson) would score off a Belfiori fly ball to right field. Asmundsen would advance to third and later score a run off a wild pitch, with Belfiori doing the same thing a few plays later. Drew Hoff would score of a Pike grounder to shortstop and later Pike himself would score a run off a similar hit courtesy of Anderson. The Bluejays would wrap up the inning with Anderson and Duginski scoring runs off Asmundsen’s line drive to center field.
Not content with just 19 runs, the Bluejay batters acquired three more in the 4th inning starting with a free run with Kanitz drawing a base on balls that walked in Christian Halbach. They would wrap up their runs with Anderson scoring a run off Golisch’s hard grounder to shortstop and Seubert would score a run off Hoff’s grounder to third base. East would score their only run at the top of the 5th before the game was called.
“We hit the ball really well,” comments head coach Shawn Schultz. “We took advantage of some of the opportunities they gave us and scored some runs.”
Many Bluejay batters contributed to the massive amount of runs, including Asmundsen with 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a walk, Belfiori with 3 runs and 2 RBIs, Pike with 3 runs and a RBI, both Duginski and Schmeltzer with 2 runs and 3 RBIs, Golisch with 3 RBIs, Hoff with 2 runs, a RBI and 3 walks, Bowe with 2 runs, a RBI and 2 walks, Seubert with 2 runs, Kanitz with one of each, Anderson with a run and a RBI and Halbach with a run.
Golisch pitched a great game, striking out 6 and allowing 6 hits, one run and one earned run. Anderson led the defensive effort with six putouts. Kleinschmidt, Halbach and Duginski also helped with 2 putouts each and so did Bowe with two putouts and an assist.
“Our defense continues to play well and Ryan threw strikes,” adds Schultz. “He came out and put up a 0 in the top of the first and we got the lead in the bottom and never gave it up. It was just one of those days where everything was going our way. Now we need to come back and match that effort on Thursday. We have been playing consistent defense and we are starting to match that with our pitching and hitting. We know that East will be ready to play on Thursday.”
Merrill was originally scheduled to play this game against Wausau East away in Wausau, but field conditions necessitated a change to Athletic Park in Merrill. Thursday’s game was originally scheduled as a home game, but has now been moved to Wausau East to balance things out. Merrill varsity baseball will play at Wausau East today, April 28 at 4:30 p.m.