Merrill Rangers drop two, only one hurts
The Merrill Rangers dropped a 13-3 practice game to Taylor County last Wednesday with a make-shift squad, then fell 10-3 to Westboro in Sunday’s Dairyland League contest with much more of their regular crew. Both games were played at Athletic Park.
Westboro pulled within a half-game of the Rangers at 2-3 with Sunday’s win. Merrill dropped to .500 at 2-2.
“We had a lot of guys on base, we just couldn’t get them in to score,” Merrill manager Shawn Schultz said. “We had about the same number of hits, we just couldn’t come up with them when we needed them.”
Westboro scored two right off the bat, dropping a pair of singles in short left field. Merrill answered with one when Alex Cordova led off with a single, moved up on Brad Kanitz’ walk and scored on Dylan Schielke’s hit.
But Westboro offset it in the second and pushed it to 7-1 with a four-run fourth. Ben Anderson slap-bunted to lead off the bottom of the fourth, and moved up on Garrett Pagel’s hit. Anderson scored on a Luke Golisch single, but a double play ended the rally.
Five more Merrill base-runners would reach scoring position, but only Dakota Ress would get home. He singled to start the seventh, stole second, and crossed the plate on an error.
“We had our chances up to the ninth inning, but didn’t score anybody,” Schultz said.
Westboro added three unearned runs in the ninth with a pair of errors setting up a one-out three-run home run.
Westboro– 210 400 003–10.
Merrill– 100 100 100–3.
MP: Alex Cordova 8 H, 2 W, 1 K, 7 R, 5 ER; Luke Golsich 3 H, 1 W, 7 K, 3 R, 0 ER. MH: 11 H, 0 W, 1 HBP; Schielke 3-5, 2B; Garrett Pagel 2-4; Cordova 2-5.
Calling the troops
The Rangers needed to make a few calls for Wednesday’s game.
“We were scrambling a little bit,” Schultz said. “We had some guys come down to play and we got beat. We had some guys that hadn’t played much but they hit the ball real well.”
Merrill scored twice in the fourth with Schultz and Anderson singles, a Schielke grounder and a Pagel RBI hit. Rajek led off the fifth with a triple and got home on Austin Bonnell’s single.
Anderson filled in on the mound, despite not filling the role often.
“Ben did pretty well, and that’s a guy that hasn’t pitched a lot,” Schultz said. “He got into the fifth inning, and had a little trouble. That happens. We didn’t help him out much. We haven’t scored a lot of runs, period.”
Taylor Co.– 020 147 0–13.
Merrill– 002 100 00–3.
MP: Ben Anderson 4-2/3 I, Brad Kanitz 1-1/3 I; Dylan Schilke 1 I; Shawn Schultz 2 I.. MH: 7 H, 0 W,; Anderson 2-3, 2B; Kyle Rajek 1-3, 3B.