AMATEUR BASEBALL: Sunday showcase
Key hitting, strong pitching helps A’s hand Yankees first league loss
MARSHALL — The Marshall amateur baseball team has been able to put up games with a lot of hits this season, but has struggled to find the scoring that’s usually associated with that part of the offense. The A’s made it count Sunday against the Milroy Yankees, scoring 12 runs on 13 hits to earn a crucial 12-7 victory at Legion Field.
Marshall manager Ryan Schwagel said after Friday night’s loss to Willmar in which they left 19 runners on base, it was an important thing to see their team capitalize at the plate the way they did Sunday.
“We finally started to hit the ball; we had 13 hits and Friday we lost a tough one (against Willmar), we left 19 runners on base and we finally started capitalizing on our opportunities,” Schwagel said. “It’s fun playing baseball when you’re hitting the ball.”
The game had the makings of a pitcher’s duel early on, as both Marshall’s Logan Terfehr and Milroy’s Nathan Deutz commanded the zone in the first couple of innings. The Yankees got on the board first, as Eric Dolan and Aaron Mathiowetz reached on errors before Cody Greve plated a run with an RBI groundout. But the A’s had a quick response, with Zach Olson getting a leadoff single before a couple of wild pitches brought him in to tie it at 1-1 after two.
Neither team found the scoreboard in the third, but the A’s continued to stay disciplined at the plate, with Olson reaching on an error in the next frame before Alex Thompson connected on an RBI single. After Logan Tomasek reached on an infield single, Jordan Mernaugh and Schwagel would record run-scoring hits, with Schwagel’s single bringing in two to make it 5-1. The A’s weren’t done there, as Matt Hmielewski and Peyton Grant got back-to-back singles to score another run and extend their lead to 6-1.
The Yankees wouldn’t go down without a fight, though, as Jacob and Jackson Hughes smacked one-out singles in the ensuing at-bat before Derek Rasmussen reached on an error to plate a run. Andy Schmidt then connected on an RBI double before Matt Bauer brought in a run with a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to two at 6-4.
The two teams traded empty at-bats, but the A’s got right back into the offensive groove in the bottom half of the sixth. Tanner Strommen connected on a one-out double before Olson was intentionally walked and Thompson lined an RBI single. One batter later, Tomasek smacked a double that brought in two more runs to push Marshall’s advantage to 9-4.
The A’s kept things going in the next inning, as Zach Olsen drew a leadoff walk before Grant brought him in with an RBI single. Strommen and Olson then got aboard by a walk to load the bases with one out before a walk from Thompson plated a run. A fourth straight walk, this time from Justin Greenwood, scored another run to make it 12-4.
Milroy continued to fight, though, with Schmidt getting a leadoff single in the eighth before walks from Bauer and Derick Walker loaded the bases. Greve would reach on a fielder’s choice to score a run, but the Yankees weren’t able to produce any further damage in the frame.
In need of a spark, the Yankees built a small rally in the top of the ninth, as Jackson Hughes and Rasmussen reached on infield singles before Schmidt got another RBI base hit to bring in a run. Eric Dolan plated another run with an RBI groundout to make it 12-7, but that was the closest Milroy got.
Yankees manager Ryan Rohlik credited Marshall for coming out ready to go and taking advantage of their mistakes and said they just didn’t play like themselves all game.
“We were flat. To be honest, we were terrible, but I’m not going to take anything away from how Logan threw; he threw very well, threw strikes and made us put it in play,” Rohlik said. “Something was wrong with us and maybe that’s what Logan did, but credit to them, they put it in play and we made a bunch of miscues. We were not ourselves.”
Schmidt led the way for the Yankees with four hits and two RBI while Jacob Hughes added a pair of hits and Greve had a couple of RBI.
Deutz took the loss on the mound, going 5 1/3 innings while allowing nine runs on 12 hits and striking out five.
Rohlik said despite being able to put up a decent amount of runs, they weren’t able to take advantage of Marshall’s miscues both offensively and in the field as a group as much as the A’s did with the Yankees’ mishaps. He added they’ll need to make adjustments quickly if they want to earn an automatic bid in the region playoffs.
“Offensively, it was being smart at the plate and waiting for your pitch. Logan is a strike machine, so you have your gameplan and you go with that; we put up a good amount of runs, but you’ve got to make them pay when they have their miscues and I don’t think we did that very well here. As far as in the field, we had too many passed balls and some gaffs here and there,” Rohlik said. “We just haven’t been on as of late and you’re going to have those ebbs and flows throughout a season; Marshall really needed that win and it was a great win for them and I take nothing away from them winning the game, we just have to be better and as our schedule gets tougher and if we want to be a top four team (in the league), we have to wake up and wake up in a hurry.”
Tomasek led the way for Marshall with three hits and two RBI while Thompson added two hits and three RBI and Grant had a pair of hits and two RBI.
Schwagel said their key on offense was not only their hitting but their base-running ability throughout the game and felt they capitalized when they needed to.
“Just being smart baserunners. Moving up when they gave us opportunities, moving guys over with bunts, just playing smart baseball,” Schwagel said. “We still had a few too many errors but we played a good game overall.”
Terfehr earned the victory on the mound, going eight innings while allowing five runs on five hits and striking out three.
Schwagel added he was pleased with the focus Terfehr had during his performance and felt he did a great job of attacking the strike zone.
“He was awesome, he just locked in and was throwing strikes and forcing them to swing the bat,” Schwagel said. “That’s the best thing he can do up there, just throw strikes and put some pressure on them and our offense scored some runs right away to kind of take the pressure off of Logan so he could just relax and he gave us a great performance.”
Marshall (3-7) will hit the road to face Wabasso on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. while the Yankees (9-3-1) will face Bird Island on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.