Post 46 raises its level of play in solid wins and close losses
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 1:04 PM
The American Legion Post 46 baseball team ran its win streak to three games before dropping a couple of close ones to quality teams Holmen and Jefferson City in last weekend’s Merrill Tournament.
The locals salvaged a tourney win against Rhinelander on Sunday night. Then they watched a potential win over Point disappear in a rain storm on Monday.
“We opened it up a little on a three-run Ty Grunenwald home run,” Merrill manager Dave Pyan said. “But we let them back in it on walks, errors and dumb mistakes. We had them tied 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth when the rain caused an hour delay. When we resumed we allowed them a run on a botched run down. We were able to get a runner on with one out in the top of the sixth before the rains came again and washed us out.”
The loss dropped Merrill to 6-9.
Stevens Point– 003 02xx–5.
Merrill– 130 00xx–4.
MP: David Pophal 5 I, 4 H, 7 W, 3 K, 5 R, 2 ER. MH 7 H, 3 W; Pophal 2-3, 2B; Tom Zuelsdorff 2-3, Ty Grunenwald 1-3, HR, 3 RBI.
Merrill hung within 3-2 of eventual champion Jefferson City on Sunday.
“This might have been the best game of the tournament,” Pyan said. “(Brad) Juhlke threw an absolutely great game, making pitches every time he had to. Our guys went up hacking at one of the best pitchers in the state. I was told that the Jefferson pitcher Heath Renz was still throwing in the low 80’s in the seventh inning. That’s faster than we are use to seeing but we did a good job at going after them.”
Post 46 trailed 3-1 in the top of the seventh, but Grunenwald was hit by a pitch, Pophal walked and Reinhardt singled to load the bases for Zuelsdorff’s RBI hit.
“With the bases loaded Brad Juhllke hit a looping liner to left center that looked like it was in the gap, but the Jefferson centerfielder made a nice diving catch to end the game,” Pyan said.
Merrill– 010 000 1–2.
Jeff. City– 100 002 x–3.
MP: Juhlke 2 H, 7 W, 6 K, 3 R, 3 ER. MH: 5 H, 5 W, 1 HBP, 12 K; Mason Reinhardt 2-4; Zuelsdorff 1-2, 2 W.
Merrill racked up an 8-1 win over Rhinelander later Sunday.
“We let the kids have a little fun tonight as the Rhinelander team was missing several of their big players leaving them with a very young team,” Pyan said. “It was a little strange coming off the mound in he first inning and looking in the dugout at the normal starting team.”
Merrill– 400 100 3–8.
Rhinelander– 100 000 0–1.
MP: Justin Pyan 6 I, 7 H, 2 W, 1 K, 1 R, 1 ER; Mitch Stockowitz 1 I, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K, 0 R. MH: 9 H, 8 W, 7 K; Trey Stevenson 2-3, 2B, Keenan Stellingworth 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI; Dakota Ress, 1-2, 2 W, 2 RBI; Drew Hoff 1-5, 2B; Dylan Zahn 1-2, 2 W.
Holmen pulled out a 9-4 win on Friday.
“David Pophal pitched a good game we just walked too many Holmen hitters,” Pyan said. “You can’t walk 11 hitters and beat a team like Holmen.”
Holmen scored four in the fifth on only one hit.
Merrill– 001 030 0–4.
Holmen– 300 141 x–9.
MP: Pophal 4-1/3 I, 3 H, 7 W, 10 K, 8 R; Brian Stockowitz 1-2/3 I, 3 H, 4 W, 0 K, 1 R. MH 5 H, 3 W, 9 K; Grunenwald 2-3, 2B; Reinhardt 2-4; Zueldorff 1-2.
Loose in a tight game
Merrill worked a 3-1 triumph over RSW last Wednesday.
“It was a close game, but we were really only in trouble in the sixth and got out of it,” Pyan said. “That was a good pitching performance by Justin Pyan tonight shutting them out for five innings.”
Merrill– 001 200 0–3.
RSW– 000 001 0–1.
MP: Pyan 5 I, 4 H, 0 W, 2 K, 0 R; Jimmy Gabler 2 I, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K, 1 R, 1 ER. MH: 8 H, 5 W, 3 K; Alex Zettler 2-3, 2 RBI; Grunenwald 1-3, 3B; B. Stockowitz 1-2, 2B.
Parting the Rapids
Jimmy Gabler’s two-run homer ended the Rapids’ contest with a 4-2 victory.
“It was a big night for Jimmy Gabler as he hit a two-run walk-off home run after a Pophal walk,” Pyan said. “Good win tonight for all three pitchers. Pophal, Reinhardt, and Brian Stockowitz did well only walking two and giving up two runs.”
Pophal walked with one out and next batter Gabler closed it out.
“We had scratched out two runs on a Ty Grunenwald double, steal of third and an errant throw, and a one-out single by Alex Zettler after a walk to Tom Zuelsdorff and one of three Brian Stockowitz sacrifice bunts,” Pyan said.
Rapids– 001 010 0–2.
Merrill– 001 100 2–4.
MP: Pophal 3 I, 4 H, 1 W, 5 K, 1 R, 1 ER; Reinhardt 2 I, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K, 1 R, 1 ER; B. Stockowitz 2 I, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K, 0 R. MH 6 H, 4 W, 6 K; Gabler 1-4, HR, 2 RBI; Grunenwald 1-3, 2B; B. Stockowitz 0-0, 3 sac.