Marshall Black 17U edges Adrian 5-4 in eight innings
MARSHALL — Heading into their final home game of the season, the Marshall Black 17U baseball team hoped to get some strong momentum before the postseason. Marshall went toe-to-toe with Adrian, battling into extra innings, and an RBI single by Brock Schultz in the bottom of the eighth inning helped Marshall earn a 5-4 victory on Monday at Legion Field.
Marshall manager Mitch Maxwell said he was pleased with how both Mitchell Bouwman and Schultz attacked the zone and kept their team within striking distance on the mound while continuing to never give up as the game went on.
“I thought both of our pitchers did a nice job of coming out and attacking the strike zone. Obviously each pitcher had their moments but I thought they both did a really nice job giving us a chance to win a ballgame. Credit to Mitchell for coming out with the start, he’s continued to throw well this summer and we’ve been happy with how he’s done so far and then for Brock to come in and give us those key three innings,” Maxwell said. “And I feel like I’m a stuck record, but this group just doesn’t give up. We did some things early to put ourselves in a hole but again we came back and continued to battle.”
After a scoreless first, Adrian got things started in the top half of the second, using a single and a walk before an error on a stolen base attempt gave them a 1-0 lead. Adrian then added a run in the next inning on a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Despite not being able to get a hit in the first couple of at-bats, Marshall continued to attack offensively, as Seth Radtke reached on an error before advancing to second with two outs before coming around to score on an RBI double by Keaton Maertens. Jacob Eben followed that up with an RBI single of his own to help tie things up at 2-2 after three.
Neither side would find scoring in the fourth, but Adrian was able to capitalize at the plate an inning later, drawing a one-out walk before an error and a wild pitch put the baserunner on third. One batter later, Adrian got an RBI single to take a 3-2 lead.
Marshall wouldn’t go down without a fight, though, as Connor Neubeck led off the bottom of the sixth with a single before Zach Allen smacked an RBI single to tie the game again at 3-3. After a strikeout, Allen was able to steal second and then take third on a wild pitch, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position. Owen Knochenmus then stepped up and placed a single down the left-field line to plate Allen and give Marshall a 4-3 lead.
Adrian answered right back, however, drawing a walk with two outs in the seventh and stealing second before a single up the middle scored a run and made it 4-4. Marshall would go down in order in the bottom of the frame to send the game into extras.
After Adrian couldn’t take advantage of a one-out walk in the top of the eighth, Marshall got a walk of its own in the bottom half when Eben got aboard. Eben then capitalized on a couple of wild pitches to get to third with one out before Schultz lined a single past the infield to seal the 5-4 victory for Marshall in walk-off fashion.
Maertens led the way for Marshall with a couple of hits and an RBI while Eben, Allen, Knochenmus and Schultz each had a hit and an RBI.
Bouwman earned the start, going five innings while allowing two runs on five hits and struck out seven. Schultz picked up the win in relief, tossing the final three innings while allowing one run on one hit and struck out two.
Marshall will head to Luverne on Friday for a seeded district tournament, beginning at 1 p.m.