A clutch base hit in the bottom of the eighth inning pushed River Falls past the Bluejays in the first round of regional play Tuesday night.
Merrill took an early lead in the second inning. Kole Meyer got things started with an RBI triple. Trey Seubert followed up with a single to drive in Meyer. Later in the inning, Merrill plated two more runs on a Dan Duginski liner to right, giving Merrill a 4-0 lead.
But, River Falls came back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the second.
Merrill’s 4-3 lead held up until the fifth inning, when the Bluejays added one more on an RBI double by Nick Bowe.
Again, River Falls retaliated in the bottom of the inning with two runs to knot the score at five each. The tie held up through regulation and into the bottom of the eighth, when River Falls strung together three base hits to score the winning run off Merrill reliever Brett Seubert.
Merrill starter Ryan Golisch pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits, while striking out six and walking none. Brett Seubert was tagged with the loss, giving up one run and three hits in one-third inning of work.
The Merrill offense produced 10 hits, led by Ty Belfiori, Bowe and Trey Seubert with two each.
The Bluejays finish the season with an 8-16 record overall; and 2-10 in the Valley.