Post 46 season ends at regionals
By Jared Schmeltzer
On Friday the Merrill Post 46 Legion team traveled to Chippewa Falls for the Class AAA regional playoffs. In the past Merrill was Class AA, however this year Post 46 had two players from Wausau West High School, bumping them up a class. Post 46 played well at the regional getting two wins, but it would not be enough as they would be eliminated on Sunday.
Merrill’s first game of the regional was against Eau Claire, who would go on to beat Post 46 by a final score of 4-0.
Two runs for Eau Claire in the first inning gave them the early advantage on Merrill. Another run in the third inning extended their lead to three runs. With the bats cold for Post 46, Eau Claire would add another run in the fifth inning to seal the 4-0 win.
Merrill tops Hudson
On Saturday Merrill would look to bounce back from their cold night at the plate. Post 46 didn’t get the bats hot, however a stellar pitching performance got them the 2-0 win.
It was a tie game at zero going into the fourth inning, where Merrill would score the first run of the game. Zach Anderson would lead off and get hit by a pitch. A single by Casey Hoffman would advance the runner to scoring position. Two ground outs would move the runners over and eventually score Hoffman to give Merrill the lead. Post 46 would add to their lead the very next inning, scoring another run. Holden Smith led off the inning with a single, where he would later score on a Brody Gehrke double.
Holden Smith did the pitching for Merrill and would go the whole game, striking out an incredible 13 batters, with six of them going down looking on his way to the win.
Merrill beats Superior
Later on Saturday Merrill would match up with Superior. It was a tight game throughout with Merrill coming out on top at the end by a score of 5-3.
Superior would take the early lead on Merrill, scoring one run in the first inning. Merrill responded quickly with two runs of their own in the second inning to take the lead. Adam Detert would lead off the inning with a single, followed by a walk to Zach Anderson to get runners on first and second. A walk to Alex Gehrke loaded the bases for Merrill as Brett Seubert singled in two runners.
Superior would tie the game in their half of the second inning with one run. In the fifth inning Superior would retake the lead with one run. With their season on the line, Merrill would come up to bat in the seventh inning, down one run. Post 46 would come up big and score three runs to take a 5-3 lead, and eventually win. Brody Gehrke singled to get things started, followed by an error on Superior allowing Casey Hoffman to reach base. Adam Detert would then single to score Gehrke from second and tie the game. A sacrifice fly ball by Zach Anderson scored anther Merrill run, with the last run scoring on a Vinnie Galella double.
Chippewa Falls eliminates Merrill
On Sunday Merrill would play their final game of regionals as they went up against host team Chippewa Falls. Merrill wasn’t able to score a run as they lost by a final score of 10-0 in five innings.
Chippewa Falls would grab the lead in the first inning, scoring one run. They would add to their lead in the second inning, scoring three runs on four hits. A big third inning saw Chippewa falls putting another six runs on the scoreboard to take a 10-0 lead, which would be the final score. Merrill was only able to come up with three hits in the game as the pitcher for Chippewa Falls shut them down.
This loss would mark the end of the season for Merrill, who had their struggles this year, however showed up to play in regionals.