Merrill arrests rough roll with romp on Red Raiders
The MHS baseball team had seen several games slip out of its hands recently, and faced a 1-0 deficit in the third inning to Medford at home on Monday.
But the Bluejays exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the third and ended it early in the sixth when Mason Reinhardt’s RBI double pushed it to 11-1.
“We needed a win,” MHS coach Brian Artac said. “We knew they were struggling and we were struggling, but they play in a little bit different conference than we do and we have seniors.
“Brian (Stockowitz) had three hits. I told the guys they should be fighting to get to the bats. We had 10 hits against Antigo, too, so the hits are starting to come. Rein?hardt is a machine. He has more doubles than singles. He had three more today, so he’s got eight on the season. The school record is 12 or 14.”
The Jays used four hits by David Pophal (two), Stockowitz and Reinhardt (double) as well as six walks to score the nine in the third. Ty Grunenwald doubled in the lone run in the fifth.
Pitchers Reinhardt and Justin Pyan teamed up to stymie Medford.
Merrill– 009 011–11.
MP: David Pophal 3 I, 3 H, 3 W, 2 K, 1 R, 1 ER; Justin Pyan 3 I, 0 H, 0 W, 4 K, 0 R, 0 ER. MH: 11 H, 9 W; Stockowitz 3-3, 3 R; Reinhardt 3-4, 2-2B, 2 RBI; Grunenwald 2-3, 2B; David Pophal 2-3.
The Bluejays dropped a 10-9 opener at Antigo on Friday, then fell 5-1 in the second game.
“It’s getting sickening to get leads and lose in the end,” Artac said. “It gets taxing and tax time’s over. Something’s got to go our way here pretty soon.
“That first game we hammered their top two pitchers. Mason had a heck of a day.”
The Bluejays grabbed a 5-3 lead in the fourth inning but the Red Robins rallied for five in the fifth. Merrill stormed back with four in the seventh for an 9-8 edge on a Reinhardt RBI walk and a Pophal run-scoring double.
But Antigo pulled it out with a pair in the bottom of the frame, aided by two hits, a walk and two errors.
Merrill– 120 200 4–9.
Antigo– 030 050 2–10.
MP: Brad Juhlke 4 I, 4 H, 6 W, 5 K, 3 R, 3 ER; Pyan 1 I, 3 H, 2 W, 0 K, 5 R, 5 ER; Stockowitz 1-1/3 I, 3 H, 2 W, 2 K, 2 R, 0 ER. MH: 10 H, 5 W; Reinhardt 4-4, 2-2B, 3B, 3 R, 2 RBI; Grunenwald 2-5, 2B, 3 RBI; Pophal 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI.
The Jays trailed just 1-0 arfter three innings of the Game 2, but the Red Robins picked it up with a pair of scores in the fourth and sixth innings.
Reinhardt doubled and scored in the sixth, after being pushed over by Pophal and home by Grunenwald’s sacrifice fly.
Antigo– 001 202 0–5.
Merrill– 000 001 0–1.
MP: Stockowitz 4 I, 5 H, 4 W, 3 K, 3 R, 3 ER; Pophal 2 I, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K, 2 R, 1 ER. MH: 3 H, 3 W; Reinhardt 1-4, 2B; Juhlke 1-3, 2B.