Merrill Varsity Baseball Team wraps up their season

Boys get a win in final regular season game, a win to start the playoffs, but a loss in the second playoff game

Students in grades 5-6 who attended the 2023 Bluejay Baseball Camp in Merrill. Submitted photo.


On Monday, May 22, 2023, the Merrill Bluejays Varsity Baseball team finished their regular season with a win over Antigo at Merrill’s Athletic Park.
“Tyson Glisch got the start on the mound and, after a quick first inning, Antigo picked up a pair of runs on a two RBI double,” Merrill Varsity Baseball Coach Shawn Schultz said. “Merrill answered back in the bottom of the second when Brady Kanitz doubled and Braiden Voigt followed with a base hit. Nate Brzoznowski singled in Kanitz for the first run, and Dawson Schulz came up with a base hit to score the second run.”
“Antigo came back with two more in the top of the third to make it 4-2.”
“It stayed that way until the bottom of the fifth when Schulz walked and Sam Reimann was hit by a pitch,” Schultz said. “Lucas Reist came up with a line drive base hit to left that scored Schulz to make it 4-3.”
“Antigo scored a run in the top of the sixth to make it 5-3,” he said. “But Kanitz led off the bottom of the sixth with a big homerun to right center field.”
“Walks to Bradyn Pieper and Brzoznowski and a couple of wild pitches scored another run, making it 5-5.”
“Schulz followed that with a bunt to put runners at first and third with one out,” Schultz said. “A ground out to the pitcher allowed Antigo to cut down the runner at the plate. A two-out walk loaded the bases, setting things up for Lucas Reist. Reist came up with a huge base hit to right to give Merrill the lead 6-5.”
“Schulz, who had come on to relieve Glisch in the fourth, finished the game by getting a ground out to end the game after consecutive singles had put runners on first and second.”
“It was a nice way to end the regular season with contributions by lots of different players,” Schultz said. “It set us up well going into the playoffs.”
Box Score
Antigo 5 @ Merrill 6

Thursday, May 25, marked the start of the WIAA playoffs for Merrill. They kicked that off with a another win, this time against Lakeland, also at Merrill’s Athletic Park.
“Lakeland jumped out to the early 1-0 lead on a wild pitch strikeout and a wild pitch that allowed the runner to get to third base with one out,” Schultz said. “An RBI ground out scored him from third.”
“Merrill got one back in the bottom when Sam Reimann singled with two outs, advanced to second on a walk, and scored on an error by the Lakeland right fielder,” he said.
“In the bottom of the second, Nathan Brzoznowski put Merrill up 2-1 with his fifth homerun of the spring,” Schultz said. “Lakeland answered back with four consecutive hits in the top of the third to take a 3-2 lead, but it was all Merrill after that.”
“A Pieper walk, followed by a Reimann single, put two on for Merrill. A couple of wild pitches scored Pieper, and an RBI ground out by Clapper put the Bluejays on top for good. Up 4-3, a Brzoznowski walk followed by an EJ Weix RBI double scored another in the fourth,” Schultz said.
“In the fifth, Braiden Voigt got a big pinch-hit single that started a five-run fifth to seal things,” he said. “Reist, Brzoznowski, and Carter Baade all had hits in the inning.”
“It was another great team win with solid defense and great pitching,” Schultz said. “Other than the four hits in the third, Lakeland didn’t string any together. Kanitz had 12 K’s in five innings, and Clapper came in to finish in the sixth and had 2 K as well. Offensively, Reimann and Brzoznowski each had two hits and Brzoznowki picked up four more RBI.”
Box Score
Lakeland 3 @ Merrill 10

On Tuesday, May 30, the Merrill Bluejays traveled to face #1 seed Mosinee. “Mosinee is a real solid team, but we have continued to improve and are ready to take the next step,” Schultz said prior to the game.
Unfortunately, a loss against Mosinee ended the season for the Bluejays and Mosinee advanced to the next level.
“Mosinee jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first with a two-run HR and RBI triples,” Schultz said afterward. “Merrill got one back in the top of the second with a long homerun by Brady Kanitz.”
“Tyson Glisch came on in relief to get out of the first and did a good job keeping Merrill in the game,” he said.
“In the top of the third, Sam Reimann led off with a double and Lucas Reist scored him with an RBI single. In the bottom of the third, Glisch got the leadoff man out. Mosinee managed to get runners on first and second, but Glisch came back to strike out their leadoff hitter. Then in a pivotal at bat, Lemanski worked a walk which led to a three-run double to give Mosinee a 9-2 lead,” Schultz said.
“Merrill got two more runners on in the fifth with a Cortright base hit and a walk but couldn’t score. Mosinee finished things off with four runs in the bottom of the fifth.”
“They are a good hitting team and took advantage of a couple of opportunities to score some runs,” Schultz said. “We had runners on all game but just couldn’t come up with the big hit, and that proved to be the difference in the game.”
“It was a tough way to end the season, but we had a great group of guys that battled to the end of every game,” he said. “We were always in the game and gave ourselves a chance.”
“Now we have to take the next step forward and find ways to finish those games off–come up with the big play on defense and the big hit on offense,” Schultz said.
Box Score
Merrill 2 @ Mosinee 13

All Conference
On Wednesday night, May 31, the Wisconsin Valley Conference coaches voted on the 2023 All Conference team. Merrill had three representatives.
Sam Reimann was named unanimous First Team All Conference. “He batted .412, sixth best in conference, with 3 doubles, 2 HR, which led the conference, and 5 RBI. He also played a great shortstop,” Schultz said.
Nathan Brzoznowski was named second Team All Conference. “He batted .348 with 1 2B, 2HR, also leading the conference, and 10 RBI, which was good for third most in the conference,” Schultz said.
“Brady Kanitz was a tough luck 1-4 in Conference but had 25 K in 28.33 innings and pitched to 1.98 ERA.” he said. “Brady earned Honorable Mention Pitcher in an excellent pitching conference this spring.”
“Congratulations to all three who earned those well-deserved accolades with a lot of hard work and the help of their teammates,” Schultz said.

Students in grades 7-8 who attended the 2023 Bluejay Baseball Camp in Merrill. Submitted photo.

Annual Bluejay Baseball Camp
Merrill also held their annual Bluejay Baseball Camp from Tuesday, May 30, through Thursday, June 1. “We had 56 players from grades 3-8 come in and work on their baseball skills and have a lot of fun,” Schultz said. “We hope to develop the skills that will make them successful baseball players now and in the future.”

Students in grades 3-4 who attended the 2023 Bluejay Baseball Camp in Merrill. Submitted photo.

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