Special to the Foto News
Merrill’s varsity baseball team ran into the two undefeated Valley conference teams last week, and dropped both games, 16-6 and 14-5. On Monday, the Jays hosted DCE and fell behind early as Everest took an early 1-0 lead on two hits and a couple of stolen bases . Merrill scored three in the bottom of the first. Kobe Blake led off and was safe on an error. Tyler Belfiori singled and Adam Detert was hit by a pitch. Ryan Golisch followed with a single to tie game and two batters later Nick Bowe singled in two runs to give Merrill an early lead. In the top of the second, the Evergreens scored three times on two hits, two errors and an array of past balls, wild pitches and stolen bases.
Golisch could not get out of the inning and lasted only one and two thirds . He gave up three earned, three hits,two walks and had four strikeouts . Merrill scored two runs in the bottom of the second to reclaim the lead 5-4. Smith and Dan Duginski both got on with errors, Blake and Detert both drove in runs on ground outs. Zach Anderson relieved Golisch in the second to get out of a jam, and gave up the lead for good in the top of the third as DCE scored three runs in the inning on two hits, another Merrill error and a HBP. Merrill scored one more time in the fourth, but Everest collected 16 hits in the game in route to a 16-6 victory. Belfiori, Bowe and Mason Smith each had two hits to lead the Merrill offense.
Merrill faced Wausau West on Tuesday and jumped out to an early lead against the states 5th ranked Warriors. Blake was on again to lead off the game, Belfiori got on with a fielders choice and Brett Seubert doubled them both home. Bowe followed with a RBI single of his own and Merrill led 3-0. Vine Galella started on the mound,and quickly surrendered a double and a home run to left, and the lead was cut to 3-2. Merrill answered in the top of two with two more runs. Galella led off with with a nice bunt single down the third base line and after a sac Kobe Blake singled in a run . He then stole second and Belfiori drove him in , That would be all of the scoring Merrill would do in the game . Galella had a 5-3 lead going to the bottom of the second, but the West bats were to much for the sophomore and they explode for 6 runs in the inning on two walks and four more hits including a 350 foot home run by Pearson. Bowe relieved and got out of the jam . Merrill pitchers walked the first three batters in the third and West scored three more times to take a 11-5 lead .They tacked on three more to make the final 14-5. Galella took the loss to fall to 0-2 on the season. Golisch and Belfiori had two hits each for Merrill and Blake scored twice.
Merrill pitchers had trouble getting batters out with two strikes in both games and perhaps need to rethink their strategy when ahead in the count. Weather has caused chaos with the Merrill schedule this year as the Thursday, Friday ,and this weeks Monday and Tuesday games were cancelled due to inclement weather.