Dons pound Port Edwards in playoffs
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – A Columbus Dons baseball team that lost eight of its first 10 games this season is getting hot at just the right time.
The Dons have now won five of their last seven games, including a 12-2 decision over Port Edwards on May 23, in a Division 4 regional quarter-final contest in Marshfield.
Port Edwards jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Marshfield Columbus answered with two runs in the first and eight more in the second. Port Edwards scored one more time in the third, but the Dons scored twice in the bottom of the fifth inning to end the game on the mercy rule.
Columbus outhit Port Edwards 14-3. Bryce Fuerlinger, Jarred Mandel, and Cole Noreen each went 3-for-4. Noreen drove in three runs and Mandel two. Noah Taylor knocked in a pair of runs as well. Will Schlafke picked up the win on the mound. He threw a complete-game and gave up three hits and one earned run while walking three and striking out two. He threw 63 pitches – 29 of them for strikes.
The playoff win came three days after the Dons closed out the regular season with an 8-2 loss to Gilman on May 20 at Reeths Field in Marshfield. The Pirates scored five times in the first inning and three more times in the fifth. The Dons got their only runs of the game in the sixth inning.
Columbus earned the right to play Greenwood in a Division 4 regional semi-final on May 28. The Dons lost two regular-season matchups with the Indians, who are the No. 1 seed in their regional. The Indians were also the winners of the Eastern Cloverbelt Conference championship.