By Jared Schmeltzer
In Thursday’s home opener against Plover, one bad inning would prove costly for Merrill. Post 46 got out to a good start going up 2-0 on Plover in the early innings but they couldn’t hang on.
After a scoreless top of the first Merrill would get on the board first. A single by Dan Duginski followed by a passed ball allowed Ryan Golisch to drive in Duginski with a single to center. With the score still 1-0 in the third, Duginski would reach base after being plunked by a pitch. A hit and run would later move Duginski to third base with Golisch hitting another single in the process. Duginski would score as Nick Bowe grounded into a fielders choice to second.
Merrill’s struggles would begin in the fifth inning after an error and three walks allowed Plover to push across a run. The beginning of the sixth inning is where the wheels would come off for Post 46. With a single to open the inning followed by an error and two passed balls to the next hitter, Plover would even up the game at 2 and take the lead shortly after with a sacrifice fly scoring their third run. The struggle would continue after another error and a walk in the inning put a runner in scoring position and Plover would cash in on that run making it 4-2, which would end up being the final.
Top hitters include Golisch (2H, 1RBI), Duginski (2H, 2R), Smith (1H, 1BB). Zach Anderson pitched five innings, striking out two, walking three, allowing two hits and one run. Golisch pitched the other two innings, striking out two, walking two, giving up three hits and three runs.
Rhinelander Takes Late Win
Merrill took a trip the Rhinelander to kick off the beginning of the Legion season. Good pitching on both sides would rule this low scoring game.
Post 46 would get the jump on Rhinelander in the third inning with a walk to lead off the inning followed by a single by Trevor Asmundsen. Ty Belfiori would double in both runs.
An inning and a half later Rhinelander would come back to even up the game at two runs a piece. A single and a walk would allow Rhinelander to score one run on a sacrifice fly to center field. Rhinelander would also score after a dropped third strike and a bad throw to first base brought in the runner from third base.
Pitching dominated the rest of the game for both teams until the bottom of the ninth inning when Rhinelander led off with a single which was followed up by an error pushing the lead runner to third base. With a well executed bunt Rhinelander would win the game on a suicide squeeze.
Top hitters for Merrill include Asmundsen (2H, 1R), Meyer (2H), Belfiori (1H, 2RBI, double). Vinnie Galella pitched the first five innings, striking out eight, walking five, allowing two hits and two runs. Brett Seubert pitched the last three innings, striking out two, allowing two hits and one run.
When asked about the games, coach Mitch Osness said, “Our pitchers did a great job in both games giving us a chance to win. We gave up one earned run in 15 plus innings, we need to do a better job at limiting our mistakes. Overall I’m very pleased with how we’ve competed, it’s unfortunate we’re 0-2 instead of 2-0.”