By Steve Pilz
June 12, 2018
Whittlesey-– The perennially strong Whittlesey Reds battled right down to their last out in the ninth inning but they couldn’t get the best of the Marshfield Chaparrals bowing 5-3 to the visitors Sunday afternoon in a Dairyland League game at Whittlesey’s Mike Roiger Stadium.
The Chaps had been quite workman-like in their first six games without showing a real flair for the dramatic. That changed Sunday when they controlled the game, until they didn’t, and then came back to prove there’s no quit in the 2018 Chaps, running their record to 6-1.
After Whittlesey came back in the eighth with a pair of runs, after trailing much of the contest, the Chaps Justin Rayburn came to the plate with the bases loaded and no one out in the top of the ninth. Austin Palacek and Luke Wirtz had led off the inning with walks before lefty-batter Kyle Westhuis pushed a perfect bunt toward third and past the pitcher. Rayburn bashed his first double of the year off the centerfield wall for the biggest hit of the Chaps young season.
“Kyle’s bunt single before my at-bat was what really set the table,” said player/manager Rayburn. “I was just hoping to put it in play to get the go-ahead run in. He gave me a good pitch to drive and it worked out for us.”
Rayburn’s double was one of six on the day for the Chaps who blasted seven extra-base hits of their nine hits.
Bobby Pilz started for the Chaps and was bit by the base-on-ball bug for the second straight game. He walked three in the first inning and allowed a run before settling down, for the most part. Jack Donahue snagged a liner at first and stepped on first for a double-play to end the first.
Pilz wiggled off the hook again in the third when Jason Kurth started another double play by grabbing a liner out of the air and throwing a strike to Sam Schwanebeck at second to end the inning.
One more inning-ending double play in the fourth proved the Chaps may be charmed on this Sunday, when Nate McDonald grabbed a routine fly to deep left and doubled-off an over-zealous Red baserunner at second base.
“We danced out of danger early and ground-out some at-bats later in the game,” continued Rayburn. “We made some plays on defense and didn’t have any errors.”
The Chaps got single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth.
Schwanebeck got his first homer of the season in the fourth to tie the game at one.
Donahue led off the fifth with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hunter Korger two batters later.
The Chaps took a 3-1 lead in the sixth when McDonald, Kurth and Donahue hit back-to-back-to back doubles off Reds starter Brandon Loertscher. Kurth’s double scored McDonald making it 3-1. Loertscher would last just one more inning.
Pilz had only so many lives in him Sunday and gave way to Kade Lancour after 5 1/3 innings after he hit his only batter of the game. He allowed just one run while walking nine,, striking out five and allowing just four hits.
Lancour, the lanky flame-thrower, struck out three of the first seven batters he faced before running into trouble with the base-on-ball in the eighth.
After walking the first two batters Lancour allowed a double to lead-off hitter Nick Meyer to plate a run. Tom Mildbrand grounded out to short but it tied the game. Lancour threw a 4-6-3 double play to end the eighth tied at three.
After Rayburn’s drive put the Chaps ahead 5-3 going into the bottom of the ninth it was all up to Lancour. After a fly ball to center, the Reds got a base runner with a single. The Chaps then turned their fifth double play of the day; Kurth to Schwanebeck to Donahue, to give Lancour his first win of the season and the Chaps their sixth. Lancour allowed a couple runs on just three hits, striking out three while walking four.
“Mix all that together with some extra-base hits with guys on and we put together a nice win over a good team.”
Marshfield 000 111 002 — 5 9 0
Whittlesey 100 000 020 — 3 7 1
WP- Kade Lancour. LP- Cody Loertscher
SO- Bobby Pilz (5 1/3 inn.) 5, Lancour (3 2/3 inn.) 3. Brandon Loertscher (6 1/3 inn.) 3, Cody Loertscher 2, #10 (1 inn.) 0. BB- Pilz 9, Lancour 4, B. Loertscher 3, C. Loertscher 2.
Top hitters: M- Justin Rayburn 2×4 2B 2 RBI, Jack Donahue 2×4 2 2B, Nate McDonald 2×5 2 2B, Sam Schwanebeck 1×4 HR RBI, Jason Kurth 1×4 2B RBI. W- Jeff Kraschewski 2×2 2 2B, Nick Meyer 1×3 2B RBI, Derek Nichols 2B.
Records: M- 6-1. Whittlesey- not reported.