By Andre Galella
Special to Foto News
Merrill’s varsity baseball team endured terrible conditions during Monday’s game at Bay Port High School in Green Bay. The weather has not agreed with the Bluejays’ schedule this week as games were canceled Thursday and Friday.
Monday’s game against Bay Port was played in 35-degree weather, 15 mph winds and snow that brought the wind-chill factor down to 28 degrees. Merrill built a 2-0 lead on a Dan Duginski single, and a Ty Belfiori walk and two errors by the Bay Port second baseman. Brett Seubert started on the mound for the Bluejays and held Bay Port in check until the bottom of the third, when they exploded for 11 runs against him and reliever Adam Detert. Bay Port added three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Merrill went down quietly in the bottom of the fifth and the game was over.
Saturday, Merrill traveled to Oconomowoc for a double header against host Oconomowoc and Pulaski. Merrill lost to Oconomowoc in the first game 10-0 in five innings. Merrill’s defense once again let them down as they committed six official errors, which led to almost all of Oconomowoc’s runs. Ryan Golisch, Brett Seubert and Trey Seubert pitched for the Jays with Golisch giving up one earned run in three innings. Belfiori and Golisch both led the offense with two hits.
Coach Shultz said the official scorer was being lenient and there could have been as many as nine errors. He really didn’t have much else to say about the game and let his pencil do the talking for him, when he shook his defense up for the second game against Pulaski.
Sophomores Kordell Renken, Kole Meyer and Vinnie Galella started in the field for the Jays with Trey Seubert, Cody Kleinshmidt and Duginski starting also – but out of their normal positions. The result was Merrill’s best game of the year, committing zero errors en route to a 7-2 victory.
Belfiori pitched a gem going six innings and only allowing five base runners, and two earned runs, to improve his record to 2-0. He was also on base three times and drove in two runs. Renken’s bat got hot at just the right time as he was on base three times and also had three RBIs, which including a blast, into the wind, that almost left the yard.
Pitching and defense was the real story as Coach Schultz’s defensive moves were brilliant, with the three sophomores assisting or accounting for 10 outs. Kleinshmidt played a stellar left field battling winds and making plays. Merrill improved their record to 2-4 with the victory.
Merrill faces DCE away on Monday, Wausau East away on Tuesday, and finishes the week with two home games against DCE and Medford on Thursday and Friday.