Bluejay baseball wins season opener
By Jared Schmeltzer
On Tuesday afternoon the Merrill baseball team traveled to Wausau West for their first game of the season. The Jays would get an early lead and add on to it, as they topped the Warriors 8-1.
The Bluejays captured the lead with a two run second inning. Holden Smith and Jayden Sus would each draw a walk and later move to second and third on a ground out. Chase Bonnell then singled to left field to score both Smith and Sus.
In the fourth inning the Jays extended their lead to 5-0. Walks to Alex Mann and Smith would start Merrill’s rally. Sus then reached on a bunt single to load the bases, as Alex Gehrke singled to right field to drive in Mann. Later in the inning Peyton Becker singled to center field to drive in Smith and Sus.
Wausau scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, however the Jays would respond with three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Walks to Kordell Renken and Casey Hoffman put a runner in scoring position early. Smith would later get hit by a pitch to load the bases for Ethan Schelbert who would also be hit by a pitch, scoring Renken. Gehrke then stepped to the plate and would be the third straight batter to be hit by a pitch, which scored Aaron Kufahl from third. A single by Bonnell scored one final run for the Jays as they took an 8-1 lead.
Chase Bonnell started on the mound for the Jays and pitched six and a third innings, allowing one run on three hits. Bonnell struck out six batters while walking four. Spencer Schneider pitched for the final two outs and would not allow a runner on base.
Leading hitters for the Jays include: Chase Bonnell (2H, 3RBI), Peyton Becker (H, 2 RBI), Kordell Renken (H, R, BB), Holden Smith (2BB, 3R), Jayden Sus (H, BB, 2R) and Alex Gehrke (H, 2RBI, BB).