By Nick Beversdorf
Bluejay varsity baseball defeated Wisconsin Rapids-Lincoln yesterday with a final score of 6-4 with Merrill generating 10 hits and committing three errors. It was a close game, as every time Merrill got a lead Rapids would eventually catch up. A wild pitch in the eighth inning helped Merrill get the extra runs they needed to win.
Merrill started out well with two runs in the first inning. The first came courtesy of Drew Hoff batting in Tyler Belfiori with a line drive to right and the second one came shortly after with Dan Duginski scoring off Jared Schmeltzer’s sacrifice fly.
Rapids got their first run at the top of the third but Merrill answered in the bottom with a Schmeltzer home run. At the bottom of the fourth, Rapids got two runs to tie the game up. At the top of the fifth Ryan Golisch batted in Dylan Anderson with a grounder to shortstop to re-take the lead.
Rapids got another run in the sixth to tie the game up and neither team scored in the seventh, putting the game into the eighth inning.
With an out on the board, Schmeltzer got a run off a wild pitch with Collin Grefe at bat. Grefe would strike out, but Kyle Juhlke would hit a fly ball allowing Duginski to advance to third. He would score on the next play off Anderson’s grounder to center. Rapids would not get any runs at the bottom, officially ending the game.
Top hitters for Merrill include Schmeltzer (2H, 1HR, 2R, 2RBI, double), Juhlke (2H, 1BB, double), Belfiori (2H, 1R, 2BB), Anderson (2H, 1R, 1RBI), Golisch (1H, 1RBI) and Hoff (1H, 1RBI, 1BB).
Golisch pitched for seven innings, striking out eight, walking two, allowing 12 hits and four runs-three earned. Grefe pitched the last inning, striking out none, walking two, allowing one hit and no runs. Anderson lead the fielding effort with 10 putouts and an assist. Other fielders that made an impact include Trevor Asmundsen (4PO, 4A, double play), Schmeltzer (3PO, 1A, double play), Grefe (2PO), Golisch (1PO, 1A, double play), Nick Bowe, Juhlke and Hoff (1PO, 1A each) and Belfiori (1PO).
“Ryan did a great job on Tuesday night pitching the first seven and Collin came in for the eighth and got a big double play ground ball to end the game,” comments head coach Shawn Schultz. “We had some timely hits up and down the lineup. We capitalized on a couple of their mistakes and played with confidence.”
The Bluejays will face Rapids again for their last regular season game tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Athletic Park.
Stats provided by GameChanger.