Blue Devils fall into loser’s bracket, play Wednesday at 1 p.m.
By Paul Lecker
PLOVER — The Marshfield Post 54 American Legion baseball team lost a two-run lead late and fell in extra innings 7-6 to Wausau Post 10 in the first round of the Class AAA regional tournament on Tuesday afternoon at Memorial Park.
Marshfield (12-13) falls into the loser’s bracket and takes on the loser of Tuesday’s game between Stevens Point and D.C. Everest at 1 p.m. Wednesday. The loser of that game will be eliminated from the six-team, double-elimination tournament that boasts a spot in next week’s state tournament at Kimberly for the winner.
Marshfield led 6-4 after scoring twice in both the sixth and seventh innings, but reliever Jacob Neve was hit hard in the eighth, allowing four hits to the five batters he faced. Payton Nelson and Zach Raeder had RBI singles to tie the game.
Connor Jasurda entered on the mound and got Marshfield out of the jam without any further damage. He was strong in the ninth and 10th innings before Wausau finally got to him in the 11th.
Raeder led off with a double, and then Jasurda struck out Logan Gruenenwald and walked Paul Weise. After a 15-minute rain delay, the second stoppage of the game that began 35 minutes late because of a quick shower prior to the first pitch, Jasurda coaxed a fielder’s choice groundball that Zach Pearson barely beat out at first base to keep the inning alive.
After another walk, Clay Schult hit a dribbler toward shortstop that Ryan Krueger had little chance to field cleanly and throw any of the runners out. The ball slid under Krueger’s glove as Raeder scored the winning run.
The first three runners reached for Marshfield in the top of the first, but the Blue Devils managed just one run on an Austin Palacek RBI sacrifice fly.
Wausau responded with a pair of runs in the first as the Bulldogs tagged Marshfield starter Jake Brueggen with four hits. Nelson singled and scored on a throwing error, and Grant Hill added an RBI single in the frame.
Nelson had a sac fly in the second to put Wausau up 3-1 before Brueggen settled in.
The Marshfield left-hander allowed just three baserunners over the next four innings as the Blue Devils clawed back in it.
Brueggen doubled and scored on a single by Neve in the fourth, and Marshfield went ahead with a two-run sixth. Two Wausau errors and an RBI fielder’s choice by Hunter Korger led to the two runs.
Andy Goettl led off the seventh with a single and promptly stole second. Krueger was hit by a pitch, and after a groundout advanced the runners, Paul Maguire ripped his second double of the game to plate both runners and put the Blue Devils up 6-3.
Wausau chased Brueggen after scoring a run in the seventh. Brueggen left after seven innings and 110 pitches.
Marshfield was unable to get anything going offensively in the final four innings. The Blue Devils had one runner on in the eighth, ninth, and 11th innings but managed no more runs against Wausau relievers Raeder and Nelson.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Bulldogs 7, Blue Devils 6 (11 inn.)
Marshfield 100 102 200 00 – 6 10 3
Wausau 210 000 120 01 – 7 15 3
WP: Payton Nelson. LP: Connor Jasurda.
SO: Jake Brueggen (7 inn.) 2, Jacob Neve (1/3 inn.) 0, Jasurda (3 1/3 inn.) 3; Grant Hill (7 inn.) 5, Zach Raeder (2 inn.) 1, Nelson (2 inn.) 3. BB: Brueggen 4, Neve 0, Jasurda 2; Hill 1, Raeder 0, Nelson 0.
Top hitters: M, Ryan Krueger 2×5, 2 runs; Paul Maguire 3×5, 2 2Bs, 2 RBIs; Brueggen 1×5, 2B, 2 runs; Neve 2×5, RBI. W, Nelson 2×4, 2 RBIs; Raeder 3×5, 2B, 2 runs, RBI; Hill 2×5, RBI; Clay Schult 3×6, RBI; Steve Labandowski 2×5, 2 2Bs, 2 runs.
Records: Marshfield 12-13; Wausau 11-16.