Marshall 18U cruises by Springfield to earn doubleheader sweep
MARSHALL — After splitting a doubleheader against Mankato East on Tuesday, the Marshall 18U baseball team looked to end its week on a high note with a pair of games against Springfield. Marshall did just that, breaking out the bats for a 13-2 win in six innings in game one before using a key inning to highlight a comeback effort for an 11-4 win in game two to complete the sweep Thursday at Legion Field.
In the opener, Marshall got out to a hot start, as Matt Hmielewski connected on a double before Chase Douglas drew a walk and a wild pitch brought in the game’s first run. Jack Bly then smacked an RBI double before back-to-back walks by Peyton Grant and Jacob Hughes and an error added three more runs to give Marshall a 5-0 lead after one.
Springfield would get its offense going over its next couple of at-bats, scoring a pair of runs to cut the deficit to 5-2. But Marshall had an answer, as AJ Toulouse drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third before a single by Grant and a walk by Hmielewski loaded the bases with two outs. Douglas then stepped up and smacked a single to left that brought in two runs to push Marshall’s lead to 7-2.
After neither side found scoring in the fourth, Marshall kept things going in the fifth, with Jaden Pearcy reaching on an infield single before coming around to score on an RBI single by Hmielewski to make it 8-2. Marshall wasn’t done there, as it used five hits to plate five runs in the sixth. Toulouse led things off with a single before Grant reached on an error to put a pair of runners aboard before back-to-back hits by Hughes and Pearcy made it 10-2. After Hmielewski connected on a single, Jordan Mernaugh blasted a shot over the left-field fence for a three-run walk-off home run to give Marshall a 13-2 win in six innings.
Hmielewski led the way for Marshall with three hits and an RBI while Hughes and Douglas had a hit and two RBI each and Mernaugh had a hit and three RBI.
Josh Baker earned the complete-game victory on the mound, allowing just four hits while striking out eight.
The nightcap saw Marshall jump out to another early lead, this time getting things started in the second inning when AJ Toulouse reached on an infield single before Matt Hmielewski smacked an RBI triple to make it 1-0.
Springfield would have an answer, though, using a leadoff walk and a hit batter in the third before a pair of errors and a wild pitch brought in a trio of runs to make it 3-1. Marshall then got a run back in the bottom of the frame when Jordan Mernaugh reached on an infield single and Cole Felcyn connected on a single before a fielder’s choice brought in a run to cut the deficit to one at 3-2 after three.
After a scoreless fourth, Marshall got a strong opportunity to do some damage in the bottom of the fifth when Chase Douglas, Spencer Wambeke and Mernaugh all drew walks to load the bases with no outs. Felcyn kept the walk train moving with a four-pitch free pass to bring in a run, before a double play plated another and gave Marshall a 4-3 lead.
That advantage didn’t last long, though, as Springfield used a walk, sacrifice and an RBI single to tie things up at 4-4 in the top of the fifth. But Marshall gained it right back on the ensuing trip to the plate, getting a walk from Benson Keucker and consecutive bunt singles by Douglas and Wambeke to load the bases before Mernaugh drew a walk to bring in a run. After a wild pitch and a hit batter brought in two more runs, Toulouse connected on an RBI single before Josh Baker brought in a run on a fielder’s choice to make it 9-4. One batter later, Hmielewski reached on an error to plate two more runs to bring it to the 11-4 final.
Pearcy earned the start on the mound, going five innings while allowing three runs on four hits and struck out four.
Mernaugh and Felcyn led the way for Marshall with two hits and an RBI each while Toulouse added a pair of hits and two RBI and Hmielewski had a hit and an RBI.