The American Legion Post 46 baseball team dropped a pair of Valley games early last week before killing their six-game losing streak two days before the  Fourth of July holiday.
Post 46 lost 14-0 to Plover on Monday, then fell 9-4 at Wausau on Tuesday.
But the locals righted those wrongs with Wednesday’s 10-2 victory in Minocqua to go to 3-6 overall.
“We took advantage of Slovinsky’s first inning wildness and jumped out to an early 4-0 lead,” Merrill manager Dave Pyan said. “We got a great pitching performance from Cole Gustke, and solid defense helped when we needed it as we played the first ‘clean’ game defensively.”
Post 46 grabbed a 4-2 edge in the first and gradually upped the ante.
Merrill– 401 212 0–10.
Lakeland– 200 000 0–2. 
MP: Gustke 6 I, 5 H, 3 W, 7 K, 2 R, 2 ER; Grunenwald 1 I, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K, 0 R. MH: 12 H, 8 W, 1 K; Brian Stockowitz 3-3, 2B, 3 RBI; Pophal 3-5, 2B, 2 R; Keenan Stellingworth 2-2, 2B; Adam Messerschmidt 1-3, 2 RBI; Mitch Stockowitz 1-2, 2 W, 2 R; Tom Zuelsdorff 1-4, 2 R.
Wausau slow rally
Merrill actually jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first 1-1/2 innings, highlighted by a two-run, second-inning single from Ty Grunenwald. After Grunenwald stole second, David Pophal pushed it to 4-0 with an RBI single, but was gunned down at second trying to stretch it after a throw to the plate.
Wausau tied it up by the fourth and won in the eighth.
“We had a few chances but some base-running mistakes cost us,” Pyan said. “We were aggressive, just not successful.
“Brad Juhlke pitched well, striking out 10 in five innings of work. But walks did us in again as we walked nine Wausau batters tonight.
 “We just cant get a break. They scored five runs in the eighth after a single, an infield chopper that went for a hit and a perfect bunt.”
Merrill– 130 000 000–4.
Wausau– 012 100 05x–9. 
MP: Brad Juhlke 5 I, 5 H, 5 W, 10 K, 4 R, 3 ER; Pophal 2-1/3 I, 3 H, 4 W, 3 K, 5 R, 3 ER; Grunenwald 1/3 I, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K, 0 R. MH: 5 H, 7 W, 9 K; Grunenwald 1-4, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Plover revolver
Scoring five in the second and third gave Plover more than it needed. 
“Not much to say about tonight,” Pyan said. “You can’t walk 10 men and play with a team of Plover’s caliber. We had a few chances but strike outs ended any chance we had of scoring. 
“The kid they threw (Alex Lee) is tough. We knew that he no-hit us a few weeks ago. 
“We did better tonight collecting four hits. Cole Gustke had two himself and Alex Zettler did a good job in a mop-up role to save some pitchers.” 
Plover– 055 040 014.
Merrill– 000 000 0–0. 
MP: B. Stockowitz 2 I, 6 H, 7 W, 1 K, 8 R, 6 ER; Justin Pyan 4 H, 2 W, 0 K, 6 R, 6 ER; Alex Zettler 1 H, 1 W, 0 K, 0 R. MH 2 H; Gustke 2-3.