Post 46 Jr. Legion team knocks out Merrill regional title

The Merrill Junior Legion 16U team locked down a state tournament berth by blasting through their competition in last weekend’s Merrill regional.
Post 46 rocked Altoona 12-1 in Friday’s opener, then handled Chippewa Falls by a 10-2 tally on Saturday. They completed their title run with Sunday’s 5-1 triumph over D.C. Everest.
“They’re pumped,” Merrill manager John Annis said of his team’s reaction to the state opportunity. “They’re ecstatic.
“They came into the tournament fired up and had the state tournament in the back of their mind the whole time.
“There was no stopping them. Everyone was always cheering for everyone and nobody was getting on anyone else. As a coach, it was good to see the positive support and reinforcement.”
Merrill assistant Adam Cordova added, “Earlier this summer, there was a lot of goofing around, but John and I had a huge heart-to-heart (talk) with them on Thursday and they were a totally different team this weekend.”
State tournament action will be held in Mayville, beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday for Post 46.
Merrill took an immediate 2-0 lead in the first inning of Sunday’s finale with help from a Brian Stockowitz 2-run single. Ty Grunenwald had singled, Kevin Bolder walked and Alex Klug grounded out to set the path.
Post 46 doubled the lead in the 3rd after walks by Alex Zettler and Grunenwald, a single by Klug and an RBI double by Stockowitz. Stockowitz also doubled and scored in the 6th on a Cole Gustke grounder.
Everest finally scored in the bottom of the 6th.
Klug (2 H, 3 W, 0 K, 0 R in 4 I) collected the win and Bolder (3 H, 1 W, 3 K, 1 ER in 3 I) closed it out.
Stockowitz hit 3-3 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI.
“Brian had a huge tournament for us,” Annis said. “He came up with a lot of big hits.”
Dropping Falls
The local boys held just a 2-1 lead after an inning on Saturday, but upped it to 5-2 in the 3rd with a Benji Hintze 2-run 2-bagger, and Gustke’s RBI grounder.
Hintze ripped an RBI double and Zettler hit a 2-run single in the 3-run 5th, and Hintze singled in another score in the 2-run 6th.
Hintze (3-4, 2-2B, 4 RBI) and Bolder (2-4) helped Merrill reach 9 hits. Stockowitz scored 3 times.
“The first two days we annihilated the ball,” Cordova said.
Bolder (4 H, 2 W, 9 K, 2 ER in 7 I) worked the win.
Derailing Altoona
Post 46 wasted little time in dispatching Altoona on Friday.
A 2-out, 2-run double by Hintze fueled a 3-0 lead in the first.
“Benji is another one seeing the ball well,” Annis said. “Altoona dropped a fly ball at the mound with two outs and he came up with a huge double on the next pitch.
“We always remind the guys that they’ve got to capitalize on the other team’s mistakes and they did.”
Merrill pushed it to 10-0 in the 2nd, boosted by a Bolder RBI single, a Stockowitz 2-run double, a Brad Juhlke run-scoring walk and 2-run Zettler single. Bolder doubled home a run in the 3rd, and Grunenwald singled home the final run in the 4th.
Altoona finally broke through with a run in the 5th, but Merrill didn’t need to bat due to the 10-run-rule.
Klug (0 H, 0 W, 4 K, 0 R in 3 I) picked up the win and Juhlke (2 H, 0 W, 1 K, 1 R in 1-1/3 I) and Stockowitz (0 H, 0 W, 0R in 2/3 I) relieved.
Klug (2-3), Bolder (2-4, 2B, 3 RBI), Stockowitz (1-2, 2B, 2 RBI), Hintze (1-2, 2B), Zettler (1-2, 2 RBI) paced Merrill to 12 hits.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top