By Jared Schmeltzer
In last night’s non-league game against D.C. Everest, the Merrill Rangers won 7-6 in 12 innings. Merrill led most of the game, but a big ninth inning for Everest forced extra innings.
Everest was first on the board scoring one run in the top of the second inning. The Rangers took the lead shortly after scoring two runs in their half of the second. Nick Bowe led off the inning with a walk and was followed by Chris Grunenwald who singled to center field, moving Bowe to third base and advancing himself to second base on the throw from the outfield. An error on the third baseman allowed Bowe to score and Grunenwald to advance to third. Later in the inning a single by Justin Pyan scored Grunenwald and gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Merrill built on their lead in the third inning as Jared Schmeltzer singled in Ty Grunenwald after a walk and a stolen base had Grunenwald on second. The Rangers added on another run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Garret Pagel started off the inning with a single and later scored after three walks. Everest scored one run in the seventh inning to make it a 4-2 game. In the bottom of the seventh the Rangers scored two runs. Bowe led off the inning with a single and Chris Grunenwald followed with another single. One out later Pagel singled in one run and Justin Pyan did the same right after making the score 6-2.
In the top of the ninth inning Everest scored four runs to tie the game and force extra innings. In the bottom of inning 12 Merrill finally got a run across to get the win. Brad Kanitz got the offense started with a walk and one batter later, Pyan hit a single to right field and on the throw to third base Pyan advanced to second. The Everest third baseman tried to throw Pyan out at second and the ball got away from the second baseman, as that happened Kanitz scored from third to win the game.
Justin Pyan started on the mound and pitched seven innings. Pyan struck out seven hitters, walked four, and allowed two runs on five hits. Shawn Schultz pitched one inning and didn’t allow a hit. Ty Grunenwald came in and walked three hitters and gave up four runs. Adam Messerschmidt finished the game pitching four innings and getting a win. Messerschmidt struck out four batters and walked one without allowing a run. The top hitters for Merrill include Justin Pyan (4H, 3RBI, 1BB), Garret Pagel (2H, 1RBI, 1R, 1BB) and Chris Grunenwald (2H, 2R, 1BB).