By Steve Pilz
MARSHFIELD – The Marshfield Chaparrals amateur baseball team made it two straight Dairyland League wins Sunday afternoon at Jack Hackman Field, bashing the Abbotsford Merchants 15-2 in seven innings on the strength of 17 hits, five for extra bases.
After getting 15 hits last Sunday in their season opener against Merrill, the Chaps stayed hot at the bat giving them 32 hits in their first two games. The pitching has been equally strong, surrendering just five earned runs in the season’s first 17 innings.
Jason Kurth stayed hot on the young season when he drove in Luke Wirtz, who had doubled, with two out in the first for a 1-0 Chaps’ lead.
To say Kurth is hot would be an understatement. The Neillsville native may want to buy a lottery ticket or two since he’s started the season 8-for-11 with six RBI, including going 4-for-5 on Sunday. He reached base all five times with one being on an error.
Kurth was at it again in the third, driving in high school teammate Nate McDonald, who had led off the inning with a double and the Chaps led 2-0.
After a quiet fourth, Marshfield broke the game open in the fifth.
Wirtz led off with a walk before Kurth hit his third single of the game. Sam Schwanebeck pushed the lead to three when he singled to score Wirtz.
After a pop-up out to the catcher, Nick Anderson walked to load the bases. Bobby Pilz lashed a one-hopper to the third baseman, who stepped on the bag to expire Schwanebeck but the subsequent throw sailed by the first baseman and the race was on. Kurth scored easily and Anderson crossed the plate all the way from first, with Pilz ending up on third. Hunter Korger’s double plated Pilz and McDonald’s second double of the game brought Korger in for a 7-0 Chaps’ lead.
Meanwhile the Abby bats were silent as Pilz allowed just two hits through the first five innings.
After a pair of outs, the Merchants’ Luis Rivera dumped a hump-back liner into right field and Victor Gonzalez got a single to center. Trevor Stuttgen walked and Neal Hogden blooped a single just over the first baseman’s head to score two and spoil the shutout. That would be Pilz’s last inning as he runs his season record to 2-0 on the strength of 10 strikeouts. He surrendered just four hits and walked three.
The Chaps sent 14 batters to the plate in the sixth to greet new Abby hurler Edwin Colon, who couldn’t get out of the inning, retiring just two batters.
Wirtz led off the inning with his second double and Kurth reached on an error. Schwanebeck walked and Shawn O’Connell drove in Wirtz. Anderson hit a two-run single and Connor Jasurda, hitting for Pilz, reached on an error. McDonald followed a strikeout with a two-run single.
After a fly out to right, Wirtz got his second hit of the inning when he singled. Kurth’s fourth single brought in Jasurda. Schwanebeck walked to chase Colon. O’Connell walked with the bases loaded against new pitcher Christia Lebron to end the scoring.
Marshfield scored eight runs in the inning off seven hits. There were two errors and three left on base.
Jasurda struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh and the Chaps won going away.
“We really put together a clean game in all aspects,” remarked Chap manager Justin Rayburn. “We hit the ball well and played good defense. That was all mixed with good pitching from Bobby and Connor.”
McDonald finished 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs, Kurht added three RBIs, Wirtz was 3-for-3 with two doubles, and Pilz also had two hits for Marshfield.
Rivera finished 2-for-3 with a double for Abbotsford.
The Chaparrals’ next game is next Sunday, June 9, at the Interwald Woodticks in a Dairyland League game at 1:30 p.m.
Chaparrals 15, Merchants 2
Abbotsford 000 002 0 – 2 4 6
Marshfield 101 058 x – 15 17 1
WP: Bobby Pilz. LP: Aaron Morrow.
SO: Morrow (5 inn.) 3, Edwin Colon (2/3 inn.) 1, Christia Lebron (1/3 inn.) 1; Pilz (6 inn.) 10, Connor Jasurda (1 inn.) 3. BB: Morrow 3, Colon 2, Lebron 1; Pilz 3, Jasurda 0.
Top hitters: Abby, Luis Rivera 2×3, 2B, run; Neal Hogden 1×3, 2 RBIs. M, Nate McDonald 4×5, 2 2Bs, 3 RBIs, 2 runs; Jason Kurth 4×5, 3 RBIs, 2 runs; Luke Wirtz 3×3, 2 2Bs, 4 runs; Pilz 2×3, run; Shawn O’Connell 1×3, 2 RBIs, run; Sam Schwanebeck 1×3, RBI, run; Hunter Korger 1×3, 2B, RBI, run; Nick Anderson 1×4, 2 RBIs, 2 runs.
Records: Abby not reported; Marshfield 2-0 overall and Dairyland League.