VFW BASEBALL: Marshall Orange breaks out the bats in doubleheader sweep against Hutchinson
MARSHALL — After falling in a pair of games against Pipestone on Thursday, the Marshall 15U Orange baseball team looked to bounce back in a doubleheader against Hutchinson on Monday. Thanks to a strong offensive display, Marshall did just that, cruising to 7-0 and 11-6 victories at Legion Field. Both games were five innings each.
Marshall co-coach Brad Bahlmann said they were able to do some good things right away in the first game which allowed them to move players around in the field and was overall pleased with their effort in both games.
“It was a fun last couple of games, it was our last games at home, so we let the kids have some fun with it. We got up right away, so the second game we let some kids move around to spots they’ve never played before; they’ve been asking all year so we let them do that,” Bahlmann said. “The last couple of innings they kicked the ball around and it wasn’t the prettiest but we got it done. But at the end of the day it’s just the things that we haven’t done that much all summer which is timely hitting and not leaving runners on base. And then if you don’t beat yourselves and make any errors, usually you’re going to be sound in high school baseball so we were happy with them.”
Marshall Orange 7, Hutchinson 0
In the opener, Marshall Orange jumped out to a quick start, as Brayden Myhre reached on an infield single before Karson Rowe reached on an error and another Hutchinson error plated two runs and gave Marshall a 2-0 lead after one. Neither team found scoring in the second, but Marshall Orange wasn’t done on the offensive end. In the bottom of the third, Myhre led things off with a walk before Andrew Cowden and Ashton Blomberg connected on singles to load the bases with one out. Colin Klenken then drew a walk to bring in a run before a wild pitch plated another and made it 4-0.
After not being able to record a hit in its first three at-bats, Hutchinson got a pair of baserunners aboard in the top half of the fourth with a hit batter and a double, but Rowe was able to get Marshall out of the jam with a flyout. Marshall Orange then plated three more runs in the bottom of the frame, using a wild pitch, a Blomberg RBI double and an error to bring it to the 7-0 final.
Blomberg led Marshall with two hits and an RBI while Myhre, Cowden and AJ Haas each had a hit and Klenken had an RBI.
Rowe earned the victory on the mound, going five innings while allowing no runs on two hits and struck out five.
Looking to continue its momentum, Marshall Orange did just that to open Game 2, with Jude Knudson reaching on an error and Cowden and Myhre drawing a walk before a wild pitch and an RBI single by Haas made it 2-0 after one.
Marshall wasn’t done there, this time capitalizing with two outs in the second. Luke Novotny reached on an error before Knudson connected on a single to plate a run. Rowe then stepped up and lined an RBI double before scoring on an error on the same play to push their lead to 5-0.
After a scoreless third, Hutchinson battled back, getting a leadoff single before another single and a hit batter loaded the bases with no outs. They then scored a pair of runs on an RBI groundout and a wild pitch to make it 5-2, but Marshall had an answer in the bottom half of the fourth.
Carter Kepler led things off by reaching on an error before Brayden Louwagie and Novotny each connected on a single and Preston Grosklogs smacked a single to plate a run. After Blomberg reached on an error to load the bases, Cowden drew a walk before Brayden Ust smacked a two-run double to make it 9-2. Marshall then added two more runs on an RBI groundout by Haas and a Drew Parsons RBI single to push it to 11-2.
Despite the deficit, Hutchinson kept fighting, and led off the fifth with a walk before a pair of errors plated two runs to make it 11-4. Another error and a fielder’s choice brought Hutchinson to within five at 11-6, but Haas was able to get a strikeout to get out of the jam and seal the doubleheader sweep.
Ust and Haas led Marshall with a hit and two RBI each while Grosklogs, Knudson, Rowe and Parsons each had a hit and an RBI and Novotny and Louwagie each had a hit.
Bahlmann said their key offensively in both games was just staying disciplined and confident at the plate and saw it up-and-down the lineup.
“I think it’s just confidence,” Bahlmann said. “Hitting is contagious is the old phrase so if one or two guys start to barrel one up everybody gets a little confidence up there and that’s what happened here.”
Kepler earned the victory on the mound, going 2 1/3 innings while allowing no runs on one hit and struck out four.
Marshall Orange (8-12-1) will compete in the Minnesota Sports Federation 15U state tournament next weekend, with opponents still to be determined.