Merrill Varsity Baseball loses to rival Wausau East, then edge out a win in re-match

Pitcher Brady Kanitz delivers a pitch while holding a runner on at first base. Rick Argall photo.


On Tuesday, April 30, 2024, the Merrill Varsity Baseball Team played at Wausau East and “lost in the bottom of the 11th,” Head Coach Shawn Schultz said.
East scored two runs out of the gate in the first inning, and then Merrill got one in the third, but East still led the game. The game got tied up in the fourth inning when Merrill scored four runs and East scored three, bringing the score to 5-5.
From there, it was a scoreless battle for both teams, inning after inning, until East scored a run in the 11th.
“It was a tough game, but Sam Reimann started and battled for three innings and then EJ Weix came in and pitched great,” he said. “Both teams had opportunities but couldn’t come up with the big hit until the 11th.”
“We had a solid day on defense, turning four double plays,” Schultz said. “It set up a big game for Thursday which was pushed to Friday by the rain – and we played real well behind Brady Kanitz on the mound.”
Merrill players scoring runs were Brady Norton, EJ Weix, Cooper Wendorf, and Nicholas Palecek scored two runs.

Box Score:
Merrill 5 @ Wausau East 6

Issak Clapper rounds third base and steals home. Rick Argall photo.

In what turned out to be a late schedule change, the Merrill Varsity Bluejays ended up hosting conference rival Wausau East on Friday, May 3, in a bit of a re-match, this time at Athletic Park in Merrill. Nonconference opponent Tomahawk was originally scheduled for this game, but the league wanted both teams to play make-up games in their Conference due to the weather cancellations.
As the game turned into a pitcher’s duel, Merrill was able to capitalize with aggressive base running while stealing four bases for the game, resulting in a 4-2 win over The Lumberjacks. Merrill scored in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by EJ Weix (1-3, 1 RBI, 1 SO) to take an early 1-0 lead and never trailed in the ball game after that. “Pitcher Brady Kanitz did a great job pitching and we were able to get enough guys on base and scored when we had the opportunities. Their guy did a good job throwing and they were able to keep us off balance. We had a couple base running plays that paid off big when 3B Issak Clapper (0-3, 1 R, 1 SO) was able to steal home when they threw down to second base which turned into a huge run for us. Carter Baade’s double in the fifth inning was a big hit for us, as he was able to score on a Sam Reimann RBI single to add on another big run,” said Schultz.
Pitcher Brady Kanitz (7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 SO, 4 BB) got the win for the Bluejays as they improved their season record to 6-8.
“Brady did a great job for us, as he has done all year,” Schultz said.
Merrill was led by LF Brady Norton (2-3, 2 R) and SS Sam Reimann (2-3, 2 RBI) as the Bluejays tallied six total hits for the game.

Box Score:
Wausau East 2 @ Merrill 4

The Merrill Varsity Bluejays traveled south to Waunakee to play a doubleheader on May 4 versus Eau Claire Memorial and Onalaska and split those games, losing the first game to Eau Claire Memorial in a shutout game, 5-0, and winning the second matchup against Onalaska, 7-4.
“We played two good teams,” Schultz said.
Though they lost against Eau Claire Memorial in the first game, “Cam Wallin and Carter Kaminski pitched very well against a strong lineup,” he said. “They led 2-0 through six innings and found some holes to tack on a few in the top of the seventh. Offensively, we had some chances but they were unable to work their way out of trouble.”
“In the second game, we got out to a 6-0 lead and Dawson Schulz held them scoreless through four,” Schultz said. “They scored four in the top of the fifth, but Clapper came and slammed the door as we got one back in the bottom of the inning to get to 7-4.”
Racking up the runs for Merrill against Onalaska: Brady Norton, Isaak Clapper, Sam Reimann, EJ Weix, Kaiden Henrich, and Carter Baade (2).
“Very good pitching and defense all week long against some good opponents,” he said. “[Now we] just have to stay consistent!”

Box Score: Game 1
Eau Claire Memorial 5 @ Merrill 0

Box Score: Game 2
Merrill 7 @ Onalaska 4

The Merrill Bluejays are 7-9 as of May 5.

Sam Reimann at bat versus Wausau East. Rick Argall photo.

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