Merrill Legion holds off RSW

Merrill’s American Legion Post 46 baseball team dropped an absolute pitchers’ dual to Stevens Point in a 1-0 no-hit loss last Monday, but rallied by taking RSW down 8-6 on Thursday.
A new week dawned on a old result as Merrill fell 12-2 in six innings in Rhinelander on Monday.
Rhinelander scored pairs of runs in the 1st, 3rd and 4th innings but Merrill tallied single scores in the 5th and 6th to cut it to 6-2. The host team killed comeback thoughts with 6 runs in the 6th.
“When we started out we didn’t throw strikes and we didn’t make the key play,” Merrill manager John Annis said. “We didn’t change our approach again or come up with the key hit. It’s just a matter of making the changes and executing them. The approaches at the plate and the little things like knowing the situations defensively, and offensively, for that matter.
Mike Koppelman hit an RBI double in the 5th and Ty Grunenwald walked, stole second and scored on Tom Zuels­dorff’s hit in the 6th.
Short-circuited rally
A big 5-run 4th inning keyed Merrill’s triumph over RSW. Post 46 had trailed 2-1 at the time, but took the lead, then bosted it to 8-2 in the 5th.
The Everest team would score pairs of runs in the next two innings but it came up short.
“It was a great game,” Annis said. “We played solid defense, and the pitchers threw strikes and got ahead in the count.
“We finally got the key hit, and made key plays in the field. It was good defense by both teams.”
Two walks in the 6th and a hit-batter and error in the 6th handed RSW extra outs.
“Walks will kill you, but the kids didn’t give up,” Annis said. “They kept battling and got out of it both times.”
Ben Anderson (3-3), Grunenwald (2-2), Alex Cordova (2-3), Jake Hassel (1-1, 2 RBI) and Golisch (1-3, 2R HR) pushed Post 46 to 10 hits.
Tim Jahnke (6 H, 4 W, 1 K, 4 ER in 5-1/3 I) won and Colton Bloch (3 H, 0 W, 2 K in 1-2/3 I) relieved.
Shut down
Point’s Logan Mallek showed why he was Second Team All-State, firing a no-hitter with 18 strikeouts. Merrill’s Golisch was no slouch either, scattering 6 hits and striking out 5. The only run of the game was unearned.
“We got a strong pitching performance out of Golisch,” Annis said. “He threw well enough to win. We just didn’t help him out offensively, obviously.”
Coty Rajek walked in the second inning but was picked off first base by Mallek.
Grunenwald reached on an error in the 5th, but Bloch’s fly ball was caught in right field to end the inning.

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