RSW surges past rusty Post 46
After a week-long lay-off you might have expected Merrill’s American Legion Post 46 baseball team to be a bit rusty.
Instead, the locals started strong at RSW on Monday, grabbing a 4-0 lead in the 2nd. But they later stumbled and ultimately took a 14-4 loss in eight innings.
“We came out ready to play,” Merrill manager John Annis said. “We got four on them in the second, but after that we hit the ball hard but right at them. Then the bats just went quiet. We only had two hits in the last five innings.
“We played solid for the first four innings, then we kind of stopped playing. We gave Everest a lot of opportunities. We committed five errors. Everest took advantage of our mistakes. You can’t take anything away from them.”
Tom Zuelsdorff was hit by a pitch to start off the 2nd, and he moved up on a passed ball. After two outs, Ben Anderson singled him to 3rd, and Alex Cordova followed with a two-run triple. David Pophal singled him home, and later scored with help from errors.
After Cordova reached second base in the 4th, Merrill only put one runner on base for the next three innings-Cordova with a 7th-inning single. In the 8th, Alex Klug singled and reached second on an error. A grounder and the 8th and 9th strikeouts of the game ended the threat.
RSW put it away with three in the bottom of the 8th. The home squad had pulled within 4-3 by the 5th, edged ahead 5-4 in the 6th, and pulled away with six in the 7th.
Merrill pitchers struggled with control, giving up 12 walks and only 5 hits.
Coleton Bloch (3 H, 8 W, 8 K, 9 R, 5 ER in 6-1/3 I) started and Seth Collins (2 H, 4 W, 2 K, 5 R, 3 ER in 2-2/3 I) closed.
Cordova (2-4, 3B, 2 RBI) and Klug (2-4) paced Post 46, which had 6 hits, 1 walk and 1 hit batter.
Merrill should have had a pair of games last week, with Plover and Stevens Point coming to Athletic Park, but when SPASH reached the WIAA State Tournament and played all the way into Thursday’s final before getting edged 5-4 in eight innings, the Legion games were postponed.
“We couldn’t find anyone else to play us so we had a practice Thursday night,” Annis said. “Obviously practice is different than a game.”