Neillsville pulls away late to beat Columbus Catholic baseball
Dons drop to 5-11, finish regular season Monday at Spencer
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — Neillsville busted open a tight game with nine runs in its final two at-bats to defeat Marshfield Columbus Catholic 11-1 in a Cloverbelt Conference East Division baseball game Friday at Jack Hackman Field.
Neillsville (13-5, 12-3 Cloverbelt East) scored twice in the top of the first inning against Columbus Catholic pitcher Ethan Meece, and the Dons (5-11, 5-10 Cloverbelt East) responded with a run in the bottom of the inning.
The score remained 2-1 until the sixth, when the Warriors scored five times to knock Meece out of the game, and they added four more against reliever Calvin Brown in the seventh to finish off the victory.
Columbus was held to two hits by Neillsville pitcher Marshal Opelt, who struck out five and walked four in a complete-game effort.
Columbus Catholic plays at Spencer in its Cloverbelt East and regular-season finale on Monday at 5 p.m. The Dons open postseason play with a WIAA Division 4 regional quarterfinal at Wisconsin Rapids Assumption on Thursday.
Neillsville can wrap up no worse than a share of the Cloverbelt East championship with a win in its conference finale Monday at home against Colby.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Warriors 11, Dons 1
Neillsville 200 005 4 – 11 13 1
Columbus Catholic 100 000 0 – 1 2 3
WP: Marshal Opelt. LP: Ethan Meece.
SO: Opelt 5; Meece (5 2/3 inn.) 0, Calvin Brown (1 1/3 inn.) 2. BB: Opelt 4; Meece 3, Brown 1.
Top hitters: N, Matson 2×4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Opelt 3×5, 2 RBIs; Horder 2×5, 2B, 2 RBIs; Barth 2×4; Erickson 2×4, RBI.
Records: Neillsville 13-5, 12-3 Cloverbelt Conference East Division; Columbus Catholic 5-11, 5-10 Cloverbelt East.