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AMATEUR BASEBALL: Resiliency shines through

Key hits by A’s propel Marshall to 9-8 win over Granite Falls in high-offense contest

Photo by Sam Thiel Marshall’s King Blanchette crosses home plate to score a run during their game against Granite Falls on Wednesday. The A’s defeated the Kilowatts 9-8.

MARSHALL — The offensive production has been relatively quiet for both the Marshall and Granite Falls amateur baseball teams over the past week. Those woes at the plate quickly disappeared Wednesday night, with the A’s and Kilowatts combining for 17 runs and 28 hits in a heated battle.

It appeared that Marshall was heading towards its second extra-inning contest within a week, but an RBI triple from King Blanchette followed by a Granite Falls error in the eighth was just enough to help the A’s snap a four-game losing streak with a 9-8 victory over the Kilowatts at Legion Field.

After a back-and-forth battle all night and the score deadlocked at 6-6, both sides were in search of a spark in the late frames. The A’s were the first to find an answer in the bottom of the seventh. Zach Olson led things off by reaching on an error before Ryan Schwagel drew a walk. After a wild pitch advanced both runners, Justin Greenwood came up with the go-ahead RBI with a single.

Granite Falls would put runners at the corners with one out in the top of the eighth before Landon Tanner tied things back up at 7-7 with an infield single. In need of another answer, the A’s got it through the bat of Blanchette, who blasted a base hit to deep right-center for a standup triple that gave Marshall an 8-7 lead. The A’s then scored on an error to make it 9-7.

The Kilowatts wouldn’t go down without a fight, however, as Granite Falls took advantage of a Marshall error to plate a run and draw to within one again. Granite Falls would have a runner in scoring position with two outs, but Drew Hmielewski ended the game with a key strikeout to secure the victory for the A’s.

It took an inning to get their footing, but once the offensive gates opened, they didn’t seem to close. Granite Falls used extra-base hits to its advantage in the top of the second, as Colton Vien and Ayden Friese connected on doubles while Jordan Odegard smacked a triple to help give the Kilowatts a quick 3-0 lead. Marshall had a response, however, with Olson reaching on an error before a pair of wild pitches brought in a run. An RBI single from Peyton Grant then brought Marshall to within one at 3-2 after two innings.

The Kilowatts weren’t done there, though, as Craig Listul and Bennett Knapper immediately lined consecutive doubles before a run was scored on a throwing error. Colton Vien then connected on an RBI infield single before another double from Ayden Friese made it 6-2.

Once again, the A’s were right on Granite Falls’ trail and followed up their pair of runs with three more in the bottom half of the frame. Tanner Strommen roped an RBI double to bring in King Blanchette before a Kilowatt error and an RBI single from Alex Thompson cut the deficit to a run again at 6-5 after three. After Marshall held Granite Falls to a scoreless frame, the A’s continued to stay hot on the offensive end, using a sacrifice fly from Olson to tie things up at 6-6, setting the stage for the late-game dramatics.

Up next

Marshall will face Minneota today at 7:30 p.m. while Granite Falls will face Wabasso next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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