By Jared Schmeltzer
On Sunday afternoon the Merrill Rangers played their second game of the year, hosting the Interwald Woodticks. The Rangers got an early lead and would build on it later in the game to secure a 6-2 win over the Woodticks.
After a scoreless first inning, Chris Grunenwald got Merrill on the board in the bottom of the second with a solo homerun to left field. The bats would go silent for a few innings after the homer, until the fifth inning came around and the Rangers were able to put up five more runs to extend their lead. A walk to Adam Messerschmidt started the inning, followed by a Dan Duginski double. Trevor Asmundsen then drove in Messerschmidt from third base with a ground out to the first baseman. Chase Nelson would then ground into a fielders choice, scoring Duginski in the process. A double by Brad Kanitz would score another Merrill run, with two more runs scoring on errors, making it a 6-0 game.
In the top of the seventh inning Interwald was finally able to get on the scoreboard. Following two Merrill errors, Interwald would ground into a fielders choice, allowing a runner to score. The top of the eighth inning saw Interwald score another run. An error to start off the inning, followed by a base hit put Interwald in a good spot to score a run. The Woodticks would then hit a double to score the runner and make it a 6-2 game, which would be the final score.
Chase Nelson started on the mound for Merrill and would pitch seven innings, allowing no earned runs. Nelson also struck out nine batters while walking none and allowing only four hits. Shawn Schultz would relieve Nelson in the eighth inning and pitch just that inning, giving up one hit, and striking gout one batter. Justin Pyan would close the game out in the ninth inning, striking out one batter and not allowing a hit.
Dan Duginski led the Rangers offense with two doubles in four at bats. Chris Grunenwald had one hit in three tries, with his one hit being a solo homer. Brad Kanitz went 1-3 at the plate with an RBI and a double. Trevor Asmundsen rounded out the Merrill offense with one hit in four at bats, and one RBI.