JUNIOR LEGION BASEBALL: Marshall Black cruises past Marshall Orange

Photo by Jake Przytarski Marshall Black’s Spencer Wambeke follows through on a swing during their game against Marshall Orange on Thursday. Marshall Black defeated Marshall Orange 12-0 in five innings.

MARSHALL – The Marshall Junior Legion Black baseball team showcased its plate discipline in Thursday’s matchup with Marshall 15U Orange by generating eight total walks in the contest and six in the first inning alone in a 12-0 victory in five innings.

Marshall Black coach Chace Pollock credits the team for not trying to do too much in their at-bats early on.

“Yeah we were disciplined early and didn’t try to do too much,” said Pollock. “To our credit we got on base and made the most of it and that’s all you have to do around here.”

With 12 runs scored on Thursday, Marshall Black’s offense has now generated 37 runs in their last three games that all ended in wins. Pollock attributes the offensive surge to quality hitters up and down the lineup and the group feeding off of each other’s success.

“Well we feel like we’ve got some good hitters in this group and when we’re all hitting it’s contagious,” said Pollock. “Hitting is contagious just like anything else, and so we’re just feeding off each other a little bit and we took advantage of some things tonight.”

Marshall Black was lifted early on by starting pitcher Jaden Pearcy, who delivered his first of five shutout innings and added one of his six total strikeouts. Marshall Orange had an opportunity to score in the frame with a two-out double by Conner Nuebeck, but the runner was left stranded following a groundout to end the top half of the inning.

In the bottom of the first, Marshall Black took full advantage of Marshall Orange’s trouble finding the strike zone by accumulating four consecutive walks before a wild pitch scored their first run. Following the fourth walk, the team elected to make a pitching change with Ethan Brau taking over for Neubeck with the bases still loaded and no outs.

Brau’s outing would last just three batters as Marshall Black continued to turn walks into runs with three more coming across to make it 4-0. Following the fourth run, Marshall Orange made another pitching change with Preston Hoflock taking over for the remainder of the inning, but not before two more runs scored to give Marshall Black a 6-0 lead through one inning.

Marshall Orange coach Justin Bouwmann admitted that nerves played a factor early on in their inability to find the strike zone, but was pleased with their effort the rest of the way through.

“I think we did well. We kind of struggled right away. I think we had a little butterflies (because) we were worried about playing another Marshall team and you know they’re older,” said Bouwmann. “Then I think we kind of figured it out and we started throwing strikes. When we throw strikes, we’re not a bad baseball team.”

After a pair of 1-2-3 half innings and a scoreless top half of the third, Marshall Black’s offense found its rhythm again in their third time up as Braden Meyer led off with a single and would later score on a bases-loaded walk to A.J. Toulouse two batters later.

With the bases still loaded, Noah Blomme connected on a line drive single to left to score two. Spencer Wambeke kept the rally alive with another RBI base hit before Jacob Hughes belted a double to score another run. Cole Felcyn would conclude the scoring for Marshall Black with a sacrifice fly to center field that drove in their 12th and final run.

Marshall Black will be back in action on Friday when they kick off their home tournament with a game against Andover at 5 p.m. at Legion Field. Pollock looks forward to the challenge that the tournament will present for his team.

“Well we’ll be challenged this weekend, there’s no doubt about it,” said Pollock. “We’re going to have to be ready to play this weekend. We play a couple bigger schools which will be nice for us in Andover and into the weekend Fargo and Alexandria, so we’ll be challenged. It’ll be fun, but we need to keep the momentum going.”

Marshall Orange won’t return to the field until Monday when they host Pipestone in a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. at Legion Field. Looking ahead, Bouwmann hopes to see his team play with confidence right from the opening pitch.

“Just getting that confidence right away (is our focus) and playing like we played the second part of that game,” said Bouwmann. “Just have that confidence and roll with it.”

Marshall Black 12, Marshall Orange 0

Orange 000 00 — 0 2 1

Black 606 0x — 12 5 0

HITTING: Orange (Neubeck 1-1, 2B; Meyer 1-3); Black (Wambeke 1-2, 2R, RBI; Hughes 1-2, 2B, R, RBI; Meyer 1-2, 2R, RBI; Pearcy 1-1, R, RBI; Blomme 1-3, R, 3 RBI).

PITCHING (IP-R-ER-H-BB-SO): Orange (Neubeck 0-4-4-0-3-0; Brau 0-2-2-0-3-0; Hoflock 3-6-5-5-1-1; Bouwmann 1-0-0-0-1-0); Black (Pearcy 5-0-0-2-2-6).