By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — With only a handful of players returning from last year’s team and a new head coach at the helm, it would figure that Marshfield would be a work in progress.
With a 5-2 win over Mosinee on Monday, the Marshfield baseball team had won three of its last four games prior to Thursday’s nonconference game against Rhinelander, giving the Tigers hope that they may be gelling earlier than to be expected.
Marshfield (3-4) boasts a solid pitching staff that includes juniors Jake Brueggen, Hunter Korger, Connor Jasurda, and senior Tyson Slade, who tossed a complete-game, no-walk effort in the win against Mosinee.
“Our pitching staff is more solid than I thought it would be coming in as a new coach,” first-year head man Shane Freitag said. “We have hitters. They need to be more consistent at this point. It will come around. Altogether, we have a solid team. It’s not just one thing.”
Marshfield scored 11 runs in an 11-10 win over Chippewa Falls on April 16 to split a doubleheader. Other than that game, however, the Tigers have managed just 23 runs in their other six contests.
Slade, who plays third base when not pitching; junior catcher Jared Klein; senior shortstop Trevor Schwecke; senior outfielder Jeremy Brost; and junior outfielder Braden Bohman were all starters last season. Newcomers to the everyday lineup include senior first baseman Scott Berg, sophomore second baseman Austin Palecek, junior outfielder Paul Maguire, and Korger, who was the designated hitter on Tuesday.
After playing a doubleheader in Illinois to open the season on April 2, the Tigers had their next two games postponed and 10 days off before finally getting on the field. In the meantime, they were unable to practice outside.
Now that the schedule has found some semblance of continuity, Freitag hopes the Tigers will keep improving.
“I think the team is coming together. We just need to get more playing time out on the field,” Freitag said. “It’s been a long spring of indoor ball, and the guys got a little frustrated. Our first few games were in bad weather and our first time outside. I think we’re starting to hit our groove now. That’s what I’m hoping for — that we’re starting to hit our groove, and the guys are going to start popping the ball.”
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.