Dons baseball struggling down the stretch
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — As the regular season winds down, the Marshfield Columbus Catholic baseball team is searching for answers.
After a 4-3 start to the season, the Dons head into Friday’s game at home against Owen-Withee on a seven-game losing streak after an error-filled 20-1 loss to Greenwood at Jack Hackman Field on Tuesday.
The Dons blew two leads late in losses to Wisconsin Rapids Assumption in a doubleheader last Saturday and lost their focus heading into the game against Greenwood.
The Indians scored 13 times in the top of the first inning, and seven of the runs were unearned as Columbus committed numerous errors in the field.
“I think, mentally, we aren’t where we need to be,” Columbus Catholic coach Joe Seitz said. “I think sometimes kids look at, ‘Oh, we’ve got six games this week,’ and they let that dictate their thought process going to that game. You have to look at it as playing one game at a time. Sometimes when you have that many games your mind starts wandering. You have to bring it back and turn the season around.”
Columbus Catholic has four games left to figure things out before a Cloverbelt Conference crossover game and the start of the WIAA playoffs on June 2.
The Dons’ top two starting pitchers, Kienan McIntee and Jeremy Binder, have had up-and-down seasons, but both have shown they are capable of throwing well in spots. Billy Young and Charles Payant have provided depth on the pitching staff.
Offensively, McIntee and Tyler Fuerlinger combined for five hits apiece in the doubleheader against Assumption, but during its losing streak, Columbus has been held to five hits or less on four different occasions.
“We’re going to have to get our minds right. That’s the first thing,” Seitz said. “Hopefully, with repetition we’ll start making those routine plays. If we can start building off making the routine plays and not giving the teams extra outs, we can build off of that.”