The MHS baseball team split a doubleheader with Marshfield last Tuesday, were routed by Wausau West on Thursday, but bounced back with an 8-3 triumph over Rhinelander on Friday. 
“We were playing against Rhinelander and that miserable weather,” MHS coach Brian Artac said. “Three kids that didn’t play Thursday started, and we ended up bringing other guys in. We started Adam Messerschmidt and he had three hits. Sometimes fresh meat does wonders.”
Merrill put the Hodags in a 6-1 hole in the third with RBI doubles from Messerschmidt and Mason Reinhardt. Rhinelander closed to 6-3, but the Jays offset it with solo scores late.
Justin Pyan held the Hodags to four hits.
Rhinelander– 010 002 0–3. 
Merrill–  100 501 1–8. 
MP: Pyan 7 I, 4 H, 4 W, 2 K, 3 R, 2 ER. MH: 9 H, 7 W; Messerschmidt 3-4, 2B; Reinhardt 2-4, 2B, 2 R; David Pophal 1-3, 2 RBI.
Tiger twist
The Bluejays fell 12-3 in Tuesday’s opener, but responded with a 6-4 victory. 
“David (Pophal) gave a heck of a performance on the mound,” Artac said. “He tied it up in the seventh with a laser beam over the right field fence. (Ty) Grunenwald then hit a shot that was caught, but Reinhardt followed with a monster shot over the left field fence.”
In the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers loaded the bases with three walks – the second one intentional to Daulton Varsho who already had two home runs and a triple on the day – but Pophal got out of it with a deep fly and strike-out. 
“We never make it dull,” Artac said. “(Drew) Hoff made a catch to save the game, a dandy against the fence. David really had a a week, pitching and hitting.”
Merrill– 001 003 2–6. 
Marshfield– 000 040 0–4. 
MP: Pophal 7 I, 4 H, 5 W, 11 K, 4 R, 4 ER. MH: 10 H, 1 W; Alex Zettler 2-2, 2B; Pophal 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 R; Reinhardt 2-4, HR; Alex Klug 2-4, 2B; Grunenwald 1-3, 2B.
Merrill led the opener early after a two-run double from Klug, was tied at 2-2 in the third, but a five-run fifth changed it.
“That was a good game until the fifth when the floodgates caved in with three errors and two walks,” Artac said. 
Marshfield– 002 050 5–12. 
Merrill– 200 000 1–3. 
MP: Brad Juhlke 4 I, 3 H, 4 W, 7 K, 6 R, 4 ER; Pyan 3 I, 6 H, 1 W, 3 K, 6 R, 4 ER. MH: 9 H, 0 W; Grunenwald 3-4; Pophal 2-3; Klug 1-3 2B, 2 RBI; Pyan 1-1.
Warrior romp
The Jays were held to single hits from four players. In the meantime, West exploded for 14 hits.
“We just played terrible – no emotion, no drive,” Artac said. “I look at it this way: we’ve got a dozen games in. That’s more than we had last year at this point in the season.” 
Wausau W.– 023 041 0–10. 
Merrill– 000 000 0–0. 
MP: Brian Stockowitz 4-1/3 I, 12 H, 1 W, 1 K, 9 R, 9 ER; Zettler 1-2/3 I, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K, 1 R, 1 ER. MH: 4 H, 3 W; Grunenwald 1-2, 2B.