VFW BASEBALL: Marshall 15U Orange uses key inning to get past Minneota Junior Legion 7-3
MARSHALL — After falling to the Minneota Junior Legion team 2-1 on Thursday, the Marshall 15U Orange baseball team looked to have a response when it faced the same opponent just a few days later. Marshall Orange did just that, using a five-run fifth inning to highlight to a 7-3 victory against Minneota on Monday at Legion Field.
“We kind of have a tale of two teams right now,” Marshall Orange co-coach Mason Penske said. “If we want to be a good team, we’re going to be a good team but we have to put in the effort to get out there and that’s what we did [today].”
Marshall got out to a strong start, as Luke Novotny reached on an error before Karson Rowe connected on an RBI single. Andrew Cowden then reached on another error before Braeden Myhre lined an RBI single to make it 2-0 after one.
After a scoreless second frame, Marshall had a chance to extend its lead in the bottom of the third when Karson Rowe reached on an error, Cowden got aboard on a fielder’s choice and AJ Haas got hit by a pitch to load the bases but Minneota starter Isaac Pohlen was able to escape the jam with a strikeout.
Minnesota then had a response on the offensive end, with Eli Gruenes drawing a leadoff walk in the fourth before Parker Bradley drew a walk and Keaton Jurrens advanced both runners on a sacrifice. After a wild pitch brought in a run, Joe Voight connected on an RBI double to tie things up at 2-2.
The deadlocked score wouldn’t last long, though, as Cowden led off the bottom of the fifth with a walk before Ashton Blomberg drew a walk and Haas got hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Carter Kepler then reached on an error to plate a run, but Marshall wasn’t done there, as a wild pitch brought in another run before Novotny and Drew Parsons smacked back-to-back base hits to plate three more runs to push their lead to 7-2.
Neither side would find scoring in the sixth, but Minneota wouldn’t go down without a fight. Matt Gamrak led off the seventh by reaching on an error before another error plated a run, but that was the closest Minneota got, as Myhre got a pair of flyouts to end the game and seal the victory for Marshall.
Minneota manager JD Pesch said they just had too many mistakes out in the field that were costly.
“I think we played okay, there were three errors on the board, but we actually had four mental errors beyond that out in the field,” Pesch said. “Isaac pitched pretty well but when you have seven errors behind you, it’s kind of difficult but he kept it together though so I was proud of him for that.”
Voight led Minneota with a hit and an RBI while Ryan Dalager added a hit.
Pohlen took the loss on the mound, going five innings while allowing seven runs on five hits and struck out seven.
Pesch said he felt Pohlen did a good job of using his fastball effectively throughout the game.
“He was locating his fastball pretty well,” Pesch said. “He didn’t really have much of a curveball [today], but his fastball was locating around the zone and his changeup was okay too.”
Novotny led Marshall with three hits and two RBI while Rowe added two hits and an RBI and Parsons and Myhre each had a hit and an RBI.
Penske said they did a good job of getting out to a strong start on offense but was proud of their defensive efforts in both games against Minneota.
“We started going out from the get-go and didn’t wait until the end of the game,” Penske said. “Hitting is going to be hitting but I think defensively is where I think you really make your money and keeping them to two runs on Thursday and three runs here, that’s what I’m most happy about.”
Parsons earned the victory on the mound, going four innings while allowing two runs on two hits and struck out two. Myhre tossed three innings, allowing one run on no hits and struck out one.
Marshall Orange (2-4-1) will face Luverne on the road on Thursday at 6 p.m. Minneota’s next game was not available at press time.
Marshall 15U Orange 7,
Minneota Junior Legion 3
Minneota 000 200 1 – 3 2 3
Marshall 200 050 x – 7 8 1
Hitting: Marshall (Novotny 3-4, 2 RBI; Parsons 1-4, RBI; Rowe 2-4, RBI; Myhre 1-2, RBI; Kepler RBI; Mormon 1-3); Minneota (Voight 1-2, RBI; R. Dalager 1-4).
Pitching (IP-R-ER-H-BB-SO): Marshall (Parsons 4-2-2-2-4-2; Myhre 3-1-0-0-0-1); Minneota (Pohlen 5-7-2-5-2-7; Bradley 1-0-0-0-0-1).