Merrill Rangers split games over the weekend
By Jared Schmeltzer
The Merrill Rangers baseball team took an early lead over Spirit on Sunday night, with a four-run sixth inning being the decisive blow, in an 11-0 ten-run rule victory.
A two-run second inning gave the Rangers an early advantage. A leadoff single by Garret Pagel, followed by a hit batter and a walk, loaded the bases for Justin Pyan. Pyan grounded into a double play, however Pagel scored on the play. An error on the Spirit shortstop then allowed another Ranger run to score. A five-run fourth inning, highlighted by a Jared Schmeltzer two-run homer, extended the Rangers’ lead to 7-0. Following the homer, back-to-back singles from Pyan and Dan Duginski, set up Dylan Schielke’s RBI single. Later in the inning, Clay Schult doubled to left field, driving another run and Pagel followed Schult with a single to left-center, scoring another Merrill run.
Four runs in the sixth inning sealed the win for Merrill. Back-to-back hit batters, followed by a walk, loaded the bases for Pyan. Pyan then singled to left field, driving a runr. Duginski then drew a walk, scoring another Merrill runner. Schielke came through with a double to right field, scoring two more Ranger runs. Merrill then got the final three outs in the top of the seventh inning to enforce the ten-run rule and take the 11-0 win.
Shawn Schultz pitched all seven innings for Merrill, not allowing a run on only three hits, while striking out seven hitters.
Rangers fall to Tomahawk
A tightly contested game would go to extra innings, where Tomahawk came out on top with a 7-6 win over the Merrill Rangers.
Tomahawk struck first, scoring two runs in the bottom of the third inning. The Rangers responded with four runs in the fourth inning, taking the lead. Clay Schult led off the inning with a double to left field, moving over to third base on a Garret Pagel single. Chris Grunenwald drove in Schult with a line drive single to left field. Chase Nelson then doubled to left-center, scoring Pagel from second base. Later, Brody Gehrke grounded out to second base, however, it was enough to score the runner from third. Dylan Schielke drove in the final run of the inning with a single to left field.
Two Tomahawk runs in their half of the fourth inning tied the game at 4-4. The Rangers then regained the lead, scoring two runs in the top of the fifth. Another lead off double from Schult got the Rangers started. An error on the Tomahawk third baseman then allowed runners to reach second and third with two outs. Justin Pyan singled to left field, scoring both runners and giving Merrill the 6-4 advantage.
One Tomahawk run in each the seventh and ninth innings, forced the game into extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th inning, a two-out Merrill error allowed Tomahawk to score and win the gamein walkoff fashion.
Chase Nelson pitched the first nine innings for Merrill. Nelson allowed six runs on 11 hits, striking out nine batters, while walking three. Justin Pyan pitched the 10th inning, allowing one run on one hit, with no walks or strikeouts.