By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield baseball team has prided itself on its stellar defense this season, which had allowed the Tigers to stay in nearly every game.
On Tuesday the Tigers committed four errors and misplayed a number of other balls as they were blanked by Stevens Point 12-0 in a Wisconsin Valley Conference matchup Tuesday at Jack Hackman Field.
Two Marshfield errors led to three unearned runs in the first inning, and another error allowed the flood gates to open in a five-run third inning for Stevens Point (6-2, 5-0 Wisconsin Valley Conference).
The Panthers’ top starting pitcher, Alex Lee, proved to be nearly unhittable as well. The senior right-hander allowed just one hit—a single by Sam Klein to lead off the second inning—and struck out eight in five innings of work to earn the victory.
Marshfield (4-4, 0-3 Wisconsin Valley Conference) loaded the bases in the second after Klein’s hit, an error, and a walk, but Lee struck out two-straight Tigers to get out of the inning.
Lee then struck out the side in the third and again in the fifth.
“Their No. 1 (Lee), he’s good,” Marshfield coach Mark Zee said. “He was busting it in low and was throwing hard. Some of those guys, I don’t think, have seen that type of velocity before, and that’s something you just need to see and get adjusted to.”
Noel Winch had an RBI single and two runs scored on an error to put Stevens Point ahead 3-0 before the Tigers even batted.
The Panthers pushed the lead to 8-0 in the third, Winch singled and scored on an error, and Point scored four more runs after two were out on a two-run single by T.J. Schrank and RBI hits by Trevor Anderson and Andrew Ruzek.
Jack Donahue suffered the loss for Marshfield, allowing those eight runs in three innings, four of which were earned. He gave up eight hits, walked two, and hit a batter.
“We were a little light today and will get some guys back healthy here in the next week,” Zee said. “I told the guys that wasn’t our typical game. The seven games leading up to this we played really good defense with really good pitching performances.
“We play them again on Thursday, and let’s have a good workout tomorrow, get our minds fresh for Thursday, and treat it like a series.”
Stevens Point put the finishing touches on the win with four runs in the sixth. Nick Schroeder had an RBI double, Jake Ligenza followed with an RBI single, and Nathan Olds drove in two with a double.
Marshfield will play at Stevens Point at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Bukolt Park.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Panthers 12, Tigers 0
Stevens Point 305 004 – 12 14 2
Marshfield 000 000 – 0 1 4
WP: Alex Lee. LP: Jack Donahue.
SO: Lee (5 inn.) 8, Austin Reed (1 inn.) 3; Donahue (3 inn.) 0, Scott Berg (3 inn.) 2. BB: Lee 3, Reed 0; Donahue 2, Berg 1.
Top hitters: SP, T.J. Schrank 2 RBIs; Trevor Anderson 3×3, RBI; Noel Winch 3×3, 3 RBIs; Brady Erickson 2 runs; D.J. Drohner 2B; Nick Schroeder 2B; Nathan Olds 2B, 2 RBIs.
Records: Stevens Point 6-2, 5-0 Wisconsin Valley Conference; Marshfield 4-4, 0-3 Wisconsin Valley Conference.