Blue Devils improve to 18-4
By Paul Lecker
EAU CLAIRE — The Marshfield Clinic Post 54 Senior American Legion baseball team continued its hot play, winning the 21st annual River City Classic Invitational at Carson Park on Friday and Saturday with a perfect 3-0 record.
The Blue Devils are now 18-4 this season and have won 10 of their last 11 games, including five in a row.
Marshfield defeated Green Bay Southwest 5-4 on Friday and beat Winona (Minn.) 8-0 and Eau Claire 4-1 on Saturday. Sunday’s scheduled game against defending state champion and current No. 1-ranked Madison Impact was cancelled due to rain.
Jake Brueggen tossed a five-inning shutout in the win over Winona. An eight-run rule after five innings was in effect for the tournament. Brueggen gave up just three hits and three walks, striking out one.
Nate McDonald had two singles, a double, and scored twice, and Jack Donahue and Paul Maguire each had two RBIs in the win for Marshfield.
Bobby Pilz earned the win on the mound for the Blue Devils against Eau Claire, the second-ranked team in the state behind Madison. Pilz went 4 1/3 innings, giving up just one unearned run despite walking seven.
Marshfield took control with a three-run top of the fifth as Donahue provided a bases-clearing double to score three.
After Jason Kurth got the Blue Devils out of a jam by getting two outs in the fifth, Donahue tossed two shutout innings to grab the save and finish off a perfect tournament for Marshfield.
Marshfield will be home for the rest of the season. It hosts Plover on Tuesday and Wausau on Thursday to finish off its Wisconsin Valley Legion League schedule. The Blue Devils will also host a non-league doubleheader against Eau Claire on Wednesday.
Marshfield hosts a Class AAA regional from July 19-22. The Blue Devils will take on Stevens Point at 1 p.m. July 19 at Hackman Field to open the five-team, double-elimination tournament.
As the host team, Marshfield is also ensured a spot in the Class AAA State Legion Baseball Tournament, which will take place from July 26-30. Four games, starting at 9:30 a.m., will be held on July 26-27 with Marshfield playing its first game at 7 p.m. on July 26. Play concludes with the championship game or games on July 30 at 1 p.m.
The winner of the state tournament advances to the Great Lakes Regional Tournament in Edwardsville, Ill., on Aug. 3-7 with a berth in the Class AAA Legion Baseball World Series in Shelby, North Carolina, on the line.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)