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Marshall 17U comes up short against Luverne, 18U takes down Cardinals with strong start

Photo by Sam Thiel Marshall 18U’s Jacob Hughes celebrates after hitting an RBI triple during their game against Luverne on Monday. Marshall defeated Luverne 7-4.

MARSHALL — The Marshall 17U and 18U baseball teams returned home Monday night for a doubleheader against Luverne. The 17U team was deadlocked in a scoring battle for the majority of the game, but ultimately came up just short in a 10-7 loss. Meanwhile, the 18U team was able to use some quality offense of its own to help hold on to defeat Luverne 7-4 in the nightcap.

Luverne 10,

Marshall 17U 7

After going 1-2 in its tournament in Brandon (S.D.) over the weekend, Marshall 17U looked to bounce back in a big way, but it was Luverne who jumped out of the gates right away, using three walks to load the bases with one out before a sacrifice fly made it 1-0. Marshall 17U answered right back, though, as Keaton Maertens drew a leadoff walk before coming around to score on an RBI single from Connor Neubeck. Brock Schultz then followed that up with an RBI base hit of his own to give Marshall the 2-1 lead after one.

That was the beginning of an extremely back-and-forth scoring affair, as Luverne scored twice in the second thanks to a pair of singles, an error and some key baserunning to take a 3-2 lead. Once again, Marshall had a response in the home half of the frame, with Ethan Brau getting hit by a pitch before an RBI double by Kadam Brinkman tied things up. After Maertens drew a walk and advanced on a wild pitch, Jacob Eben gave Marshall the lead back at 4-3 with a sacrifice bunt.

The Cardinals continued to find a groove on offense, getting a double and an RBI single in the third before another RBI double made it 5-4. Luverne would later push it to a two-run advantage on an RBI single but Marshall had yet another answer in its at-bat. Schultz led things off with a single before Zach Allen ripped an RBI double to cut the deficit to one.

The scoring barrage continued in the top of the fourth, as Luverne plated two more runs with a couple of singles, an error and a balk to extend its lead to 8-5. The bottom half saw Marshall take advantage of a walk from Maertens with three straight hits, including RBI base hits by Neubeck and Schultz, to bring in a pair of runs and draw to within one again at 8-7, but Luverne was able to escape out of the jam and preserve its lead after four.

After a fifth inning that saw no scoring from either side, Luverne picked it right back up in the sixth, getting a couple of singles, a walk and an error to plate two more runs and take a 10-7 lead. Luverne then kept Marshall off the board the rest of the way to earn the victory.

Schultz led the way for Marshall with a 3 for 3 day at the plate and two RBI while Neubeck added a pair of hits and two RBI and Eben had two hits and an RBI.

Mitchell Bouwman took the loss on the mound, going 4 1/3 innings while allowing eight runs on 10 hits and striking out three.

Marshall 18U 7,

Luverne 4

Both Marshall and Luverne weren’t able to take advantage of a base hit in its first at-bats, but Marshall quickly found some momentum in the second inning. AJ Toulouse would reach on an error before advancing to second on a fielder’s choice. One batter later, Jacob Hughes roped a triple to center to make it 1-0.

Marshall continued to keep things rolling in the next frame, as Peyton Grant drew a two-out walk before Jack Bly connected on an RBI single. Back-to-back RBI base hits from Toulouse and Jaden Pearcy helped push Marshall’s advantage quickly to 4-0.

Luverne wouldn’t go down without a fight, though, as it got a baserunner aboard in the ensuing at-bat before a two-run homer cut the deficit to 4-2. In the fifth, Luverne added a run on an RBI single to make it a one-run game.

But Marshall answered back an inning later, scoring three more times. Jordan Mernaugh connected on an RBI single before Grant and Bly recorded back-to-back RBI doubles to push Marshall’s lead to 7-3. Luverne had one final chance to get back into the game in the seventh and loaded the bases before scoring a run, but that was the closest it got as Marshall earned the 7-4 victory.

Bly led the way for Marshall with a 2 for 4 day at the plate and two RBI while Mernaugh added a pair of hits and an RBI and Grant, Toulouse, Pearcy and Hughes all had a hit and an RBI.

Mernaugh earned the victory on the mound, going six innings while allowing four runs on nine hits and striking out three.

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