By Jared Schmeltzer
In Saturday afternoon’s game in Tomahawk, the Rangers won by a score of 8-5. The game went back and forth for many innings until the Rangers captured the lead in the sixth inning and held on the rest of the way for the win.
Merrill got on the board first scoring one run in the top of the first inning. Adam Messerschmidt led off the game with a single to center field. Later in the inning an error allowed Messerschmidt to advance to second base where Chase Nelson drove him in with a single to right field. Tomahawk scored two in their half of the inning to take the lead but the Rangers responded with one in the second inning to tie it up. Back-to-back walks to start the inning put a runner in scoring position for Nelson who came through again with a single to center field that scored a run. Tomahawk reclaimed their lead in the third inning scoring two runs and making it a 4-2 game.
The fifth inning was led off with a single by Messerschmidt who was later moved to second base on a ground ball out. A single to right field drove Messerschmidt in from second and cut the Tomahawk lead to one. Kyle McMullen kept the inning going with a single that moved a runner to scoring position. Brad Kanitz hit a single to center field to score the runner from second and tie up the game at four. The Rangers took the lead in the sixth inning scoring two runs. A hit batter started the inning for Merrill and was later followed by a walk to put runners on first and second for Nelson. Nelson hit a single to left field scoring a runner and giving the Rangers their first lead since the first inning. A fielder’s choice scored another run for Merrill giving them a two-run lead. The Rangers went on to score two more runs in the eighth on a bases loaded double by Jared Schmeltzer making the score 8-4. Tomahawk scored one run in the ninth but the Rangers came out on top winning 8-5.
Chase Nelson pitched all nine innings for Merrill striking out six, walking one, allowing 10 hits and giving up five runs (three earned runs). The top hitters for the Rangers include Chase Nelson (4H, 3RBI), Jared Schmeltzer (2H, 4RBI, 1R), Brad Kanitz (2H, 1RBI) and Adam Messerschmidt (2H, 3R, 1BB).
Rangers beat Spirit
Saturday night the Rangers took on Spirit at home and got the 7-3 victory. The Rangers struggled early but were able to take the lead in the seventh inning to get the win.
Spirit jumped out to an early two run lead in the first inning. The Rangers were able to score one in their half of the first inning to make it a one run game. An error on Spirit followed by two singles got Merrill on the board. Merrill snagged the lead in the third inning as a leadoff single followed by an error put runners on second and third. Chris Grunenwald came to the plate and delivered a single that scored both runners and gave Merrill the 3-2 lead. The lead was short lived as Spirit scored one run in the fifth inning to tie up the game.
In the seventh inning, the Rangers took the lead for good scoring two runs. Justin Pyan started the inning with a single to left field. Pyan was moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt and would later reach third base after a single by Chase Nelson. An infield hit by Jared Schmeltzer scored Pyan from third. An error moved the runners to second and third for Kyle McMullen who grounded out scoring the run from third base. The Rangers scored two more in the eighth inning to make it a 7-3 game and take the win.
Shawn Schultz started on the mound for Merrill and went five innings, striking out four, walking none, and giving up three runs on eight hits. Justin Pyan came in for relief and went four innings, striking out one and giving up no runs and no hits. The top offensive performers include Chris Grunenwald (1H, 2RBI, 1BB), Jared Schmeltzer (2H, 1RBI) and Kyle McMullen (1H, 1RBI).