Merrill Varsity Baseball Team hits the field with four games last week and go 2-2
BY TINA L. SCOTT
It was a busy week for the Merrill Varsity Baseball Team with four games in just five days last week.
Tuesday, May 2, 2023, was a home game hosting Wausau East, and despite the cold temps, the Merrill Boys took the win in a big way with a score of 14-1.
“Conditions for the game on Tuesday night were less than ideal,” said Shawn Schultz, Merrill Varsity Baseball Head Coach. “We played a game on a Friday in April and the temperature was about 80 degrees down in Marshfield. I don’t think it was 80 if you added the temps from Tuesday and Saturday together.”
“Sam Reimann had a great night on the mound,” he said. “He took a no hitter into the 5th inning–the game was shortened due to the 10-run rule–and did a great job on a night where it is tough to be consistent with the low temps and 20-30 mph winds.
“He forced them into a lot of weak contact and got some great support from our offense,” Schultz said. “We had a big nine-run second inning, which is kind of nice for a change. Offensively, we are starting to perform more consistently, and that makes it so much easier to get on the mound and go after the opposition.”
“Nathan Brzoznowski had three hits, including a double and drove in four. Isaak Clapper, Bradyn Pieper, and Sam Reimann each had two hits and drove in two runs apiece,” he said.
Wausau East 1 @ Merrill 14
On Thursday, May 4, Merrill traveled to Wausau East “and the game started where we left off on Tuesday,” Schultz said. “Merrill scored two in the top of the first with four consecutive hitters reaching base and with Connor Cortright and Tyson Glisch picking up RBI.”
“East came back with a run in the bottom of the second, but Merrill answered back in the top of the third with a two Sam Reimann double. Sam stole third and then scored on a throwing error by the catcher. Merrill scored one more in the top of the fourth with a Carter Baade ground out driving in a run. The bottom of the fourth proved costly with a couple of plays giving East three runs to tie it up at four.”
“In the sixth, East scored the go-ahead run on a leadoff double followed by a base hit,” Schultz said. “Tyson Glisch came in to relieve Brady Kanitz with no further damage. Brady Kanitz pitched 5 1/3 innings with 4 BB and 3 K. We started out the game hitting the ball well, but their pitcher made some adjustments and we couldn’t get anything going after the fourth.
Merrill 4 @ Wausau East 5
Saturday, May 6, the Bluejays traveled to Waunakee where they played two games. Game one was up against Eau Claire Memorial.
“They had been playing better, having just beat their crosstown rival Eau Claire North twice this week,” Schultz said.
“Dawson Schulz started on the mound and pitched great. He went the distance giving up a single run in the top of the third,” he said.
“In the bottom half of the inning, after two quick outs, EJ Weix drew a walk to get things started. Bradyn Pieper followed with a line drive base hit to left.”
“Sam Reimann came through with a booming two-run double to left center to plate two,” Schultz said. “And the pitchers and defense held everyone scoreless the rest of the way.”
“Our defense did a great job on another windy day with a lot of fly balls,” he said. “Nothing in the air was easy, but they made all of the plays.”
“In the top of the seventh, Memorial had led off with single to right. Schulz got the next two batters and had Memorial down to their last strike before grazing their two hitter with a pitch. That set up runners on first and second with their #3 hitter at the plate. Earlier in the game, he drove a home run through the wind and hit a liner to left center for a double, but Schulz got him to pop it up to center field where the wind pushed the shallow fly a bit and Carter Baade made a great sliding catch to seal the win.”
It was definitely an exciting way to end the game.
Merrill 2 @ Eau Claire Memorial 1
Game two put Merrill up against Onalaska.
“Isaak Clapper started on the mound and pitched four strong innings, giving up just two in the bottom of the third on a couple of hits and some miscues on defense,” Schultz said.
“Merrill was scoreless until the top of the sixth when Braiden Voigt led off with a line drive to right. Baade moved him up to second with a ground ball, and Voigt then stole third base.”
“Bradyn Pieper came through with a line drive to left to get Merrill on the board at 2-1,” Schultz said.
“Tyson Glisch pitched a scoreless fifth and sixth to set up the last chance for the Bluejays,” he said. “We got a guy on with a BB by Glisch but came up just short trying to tie it up.”
Onalaska took home the victory on this one.
Merrill 1 @ Onalaska 2
“For the season, that puts us at 2-6 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference and 4 – 9 overall, with games this week on Tuesday and Thursday with Wausau West and a Friday non-conference game with Rhinelander,” Schultz said. This week’s Thursday and Friday games will be at Merrill’s Athletic Park, and Friday night is Senior night, so come out to support the Merrill Baseball Varsity Team and celebrate the Seniors.