Marshfield baseball uses big inning to top Merrill in WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal
Tigers play at Eau Claire North in regional final Thursday
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield offense was held hitless through the first three innings of its WIAA Division 1 baseball regional semifinal on Tuesday, but the bats were hot in the fourth and turned the game around.
The Tigers smacked seven hits and plated seven runs in the decisive fourth inning, and they went on to a commanding 10-2 victory over Merrill at Jack Hackman Field.
Marshfield (13-13) moves on to a Division 1 regional final at Eau Claire North (19-2) on Thursday. The game will be played at Carson Park beginning at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on WDLB-AM 1450 and wdlbwosq.com.
Merrill (9-15) scored an unearned run in the first inning and maintained the 1-0 lead as pitcher Ryan Golish kept the Tigers hitless through three innings.
Trevor Schwecke, who went 3-for-4 in the game, led off the bottom of the fourth with a double to break up the no-hitter and open the flood gates for Marshfield.
The Tigers had six more hits and walked three times in the inning to pile up seven runs and take control of the game.
Tyson Slade and Braden Bohman had two-RBI singles, and Jake Brueggen and Schwecke added RBI singles in the inning for the Tigers, chasing Golish from the game.
“Seeing him (Golish) a little bit more and having expectations for ourselves,” Marshfield coach Shane Freitag said were keys in the big inning. “I don’t think he got tired, but as he went on his velocity was going down a little bit. I think seeing through the second time and knowing what to expect from him (were factors).”
Brueggen added an RBI single in the fifth to score Mason Metz, who had walked, to make it 8-1.
Logan Jakobi had an RBI single and Metz delivered a sacrifice fly to score pinch-runner Austin Goode with the Tigers’ final two runs in the sixth.
Brueggen did the rest on the mound, striking out 10 in 6 1/3 innings. Schwecke finished off the game by getting the final two outs after Brueggen had walked two-straight hitters.
Eau Claire North, ranked 10th in the last Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Division 1 state poll, had a first-round bye and will have a fresh pitching staff heading into the regional final Thursday, making it a tough road for the Tigers. The winner moves on to the sectionals on June 7 at Marshfield.
“We’ve been hitting the ball a little better lately, but we haven’t seen the pitching we are going to see Thursday either,” Freitag said. “I was telling the kids tonight that we had 12 hits tonight, and that’s good, but we need to keep doing that. They need to swing the bats.”
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Tigers 10, Bluejays 2
Merrill 100 000 1 – 2 5 3
Marshfield 000 712 x – 10 12 1
WP: Jake Brueggen. LP: Ryan Golish.
SO: Golish (3 1/3 inn.) 2, Collin Grefe (2 inn.) 0, Kyle Juhlke (2/3 inn.) 0; Brueggen (6 1/3 inn.) 10, Trevor Schwecke (2/3 inn.) 1. BB: Golish 2, Grefe 2, Juhlke 0; Brueggen 5, Schwecke 1.
Top hitters: MER, Golish 3 BBs; Drew Hoff 3×3, RBI; Jared Schmeltzer 1×4, RBI. MAR, Braden Bohman 1×4, 2 RBIs; Schwecke 3×4, 2B, 2 runs, RBI; Logan Jakobi 2×4, RBI; Jared Klein 2×3, 2B; Mason Metz 2 runs, RBI; Tyson Slade 1×4, 2 RBIs; Brueggen 2×3, 2 RBIs.
Records: Merrill 9-15; Marshfield 13-13.