By Andre Galella
Special to Foto News
The Merrill Varsity Baseball team won two of three games this past week, fueled by better defense and timely hitting.
On Monday they traveled to DCE for their first Valley conference game of the year. Vinnie Galella started on the hill and looked a little nervous as he walked the first batter of the game. After two errors in the inning, DCE had a one-run lead they would not give up. The defense played errorless the rest of the game, but the offense could only muster seven base runners off DCE pitcher Breske.
Merrill finally got on the board in the seventh on a two-run double by Adam Detert, his second hit of the game. Ryan Golisch added two hits for the Jays. Galella took the loss giving up six hits and six earned runs, while striking out seven and giving up three walks, all of which scored.
Merrill rebounded in fine fashion in their two wins against Wausau East. In the first game, the Jays collected 13 hits and nine walks off of three East pitchers, and won the game running away 15-5. Ty Belfiori had three hits and five RBI for the Jays and Kole Meyer had a perfect day at the plate going three for three with a monster home run to left, and three RBI. Nick Bowe and Mason Smith each scored three times for the Jays. Ryan Golisch pitched five plus for the Merrill nine, striking out nine and allowing three earned runs, to earn the win.
Merrill concluded its week with a win at East 6-4. Merrill played errorless defense and Brett “Slim” Seubert came on in the fourth inning to calm the East bats the rest of the way. Seubert threw a bouquet of off speed pitches to calm down the hot East bats that had six hits through the first three innings.
Merrill’s offense came alive with five runs in the last three innings to settle the contest. Blake, T. Seubert, Smith and Detert each had hits in a three-run forth that gave the Jays the lead for good. Kobe Blake, Merrill’s athlete of the week last week, was his usual terror on the bases, scoring three times and collecting two stolen bases. T. Seubert had three hits and three RBI. Brett Seubert got the win with four innings of relief giving up only two hits and striking out five and allowing no runs. Merrill was unable to keep their streak going against DCE at home on Monday.
Merrill JV Baseball falls to 0-9
Bluejay Junior Varsity lost three close games last week, and seem to be turning the corner as the weather heats up. Merrill played the three games with only nine players and have garnered the nickname, The Fine Nine.
On Monday they traveled to DCE and lost a nail biter 6-4. The offenses struggled, with both teams combining for only four hits. Brant Raleigh collected Merrill’s only hit, and Waldburger and Smith had two walks each. Bonnell and Holden Smith both pitched three innings, giving up a total of four hits and one earned run as the Bluejay defense committed four errors.
The second game of the week was against Wausau East at the MARC, in windy and cold conditions. Merrill lost 9-5, but the bats came alive, collecting 10 hits. The offense was led by Vinnie Galella’s three hits, which included a home run over the left field fence, a double, and three RBI. Holden Smith and Waldburger had two hits each. Waldburger and Goetsch each pitched three plus innings in the loss. Merrill’s third contest of the week they were in control of until the last batter of the game. Wausau East loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, down by a run, and drew two, two-out walks from Holden Smith to win the Game 4-3. Merrill starting pitcher Brant Raleigh settled down after a rocky first, to stymie East over the next four innings. Raleigh struck out five in five innings and allowed only one run. The offense was led by Chase Bonnell’s three hits, and Smith and Galella had two hits each. Shelbert had two walks and two stolen bases for the Jays. The JV played at home against DCE on Monday and then have a home and away with powerhouse Wausau West on Tuesday and Thursday.