By Nick Beversdorf
Following up a resounding 22-1 win over the Wausau East Lumberjacks Tuesday night, Bluejay varsity baseball could not recreate that success last night, losing to East with a final score of 7-2. In contrast to their errorless, 19-hit showing against the same team on Tuesday, the Bluejays assembled just five hits and committed five errors Thursday night.
This loss puts the Jays at 2-2 in the Valley Conference and 2-7 overall.
After two scoreless innings, a Bluejay error would allow an East runner to score the first run of the game in the bottom of the third.
Merrill would promptly respond at the top of the fourth with Jared Schmeltzer batting in Drew Hoff with a line drive to left field, but East would get a runner to third base on a wild pitch and subsequently score off a grounder to third base in their half of the inning.
East would get another run off a wild pitch in the 5th before their 4-run sweep in the 6th. During the bottom of the 6th, East got an early run off a line drive to center field. Later, with East loading the bases, they would score three consecutive runs, one from a line drive to right field, one from a fly ball to left field and one on an error. Schmeltzer drove in Trevor Asmundsen with a line drive to center field in the next inning but the game would end soon after.
“Collin pitched well again but we didn’t get things done offensively,” comments head coach Shawn Schultz. “We had a tough time making hard contact. We had a bit of a struggle defensively in the sixth as well. They placed some balls in places that we really didn’t have a shot to make a play – that is the way it goes some days. We had some plays we could have made that may have helped us get out of the inning sooner but Drew made a nice catch and throw to double up a runner at the plate to end the inning. We tried to get something going in the seventh but just couldn’t put enough offense together.”
Offensive leaders for the game include Schmeltzer with 2 RBIs and a walk, and both Asmundsen and Hoff with a run and a walk each. Pitching came courtesy of Collin Grefe and Jared Schmeltzer. Both struck out one with Grefe allowing 8 hits and 6 runs, 5 of them earned, and Schmeltzer allowing 2 hits and one run.
Defensively, the Bluejays played much better with both Drew Hoff and Ryan Golisch scoring 4 putouts and one assist each. Other defensive players that made an impact include Halbach with 4 putouts, Dan Duginski with 3 putouts, Tyler Belfiori with 2 putouts and Asmundsen with a putout and an assist.
Bluejay varsity baseball will have their next game today, Friday, at 4 p.m. at Medford.
Stats provided by GameChanger.