NEKOOSA – The one team the hot-hitting Marshfield Post 54 Junior American Legion baseball team could not beat this season was Plover.
Prior to Sunday’s matchup in a winner’s bracket game at the 17U Legion Baseball Regional, four of Marshfield’s five losses this season came at the hands of the Black Sox, and unfortunately that sore spot for the Blue Devils continued.
Plover scored four times in the third inning to take a commanding lead and held on from there to win 8-3.
Marshfield came back in an elimination game and blasted Wausau 19-9 to set up a rematch with Plover in the championship round on Monday. Both teams are guaranteed spots in the upcoming 17U American Legion Junior State Tournament, which begins on Friday in Marshfield. As the host team, Marshfield earns an automatic spot in the state tournament, meaning Plover would be the Nekoosa regional’s representative no matter the outcome on Monday.
Marshfield (21-6) and Plover (31-2) will play at 4 p.m. Monday. If Plover wins, it claims the regional title. If Marshfield would win, the two teams would play again for the regional championship in the double-elimination tournament that began July 12.
Plover scored a run in the top of the first then had the big four-run third, chasing Marshfield starter Riley Bauman from the game.
Marshfield cut into the Black Sox’ lead with three runs in the fourth, but that was all it would get. Plover put the game away with three runs in its final two at-bats.
Parker Weik scored on a fielder’s choice RBI by Ky Swanson, Nick Urban had an RBI single to plate Mason Pavloski, and Bauman singled to score Swanson for Marshfield’s three runs.
Bauman finished with three of Marshfield’s seven hits in the loss.
The loss to Plover provided an emotional hangover for Marshfield.
In the elimination game against Wausau, the Bulldogs scored five times in the top of the first inning and added another run in the second to take a 6-0 lead.
After Marshfield scored four times in the third, Wausau came back with three in the top of the fourth to go on top 9-4.
Then the Blue Devils’ bats really woke up.
Marshfield plated nine runs in the fourth inning and ended the game via the 10-run rule with a six-run fifth to earn a spot in the championship round.
Logan Homolka and Bauman each had three hits and three RBIs, and Max Heller had three hits and knocked in two for Marshfield, which had 14 hits and won despite committing an uncharacteristic seven errors.
Chase Higgins added two hits, and Bauman and leadoff hitter Nick Urban each scored three times in the victory.
Black Sox 8, Blue Devils 3
Plover 104 002 1 – 8 7 1
Marshfield 000 300 0 – 3 7 1
Plover roster not reported.
LP: Riley Bauman.
SO: Bauman (2 inn.) 0, Nick Urban (5 inn.) 4. BB: Bauman 2, Urban 5.
Top hitters: M, Trey Montalvo 2B; Bauman 3×4, RBI.
Records: Marshfield 20-6; Plover 31-2.
Blue Devils 19, Bulldogs 9
Wausau 510 30 – 9 6 6
Marshfield 004 96 – 19 14 7
Wausau roster not provided.
SO: Will Fetting (3 inn.) 2, Bauman (2 inn.) 2. BB: Fetting 0, Bauman 1.
Top hitters: M, Urban 1×2, 3 runs; Logan Homolka 3×5, 2 2Bs, 2 runs, 3 RBIs; Mason Pavloski 1×2, 2 runs; Parker Weik 2 runs; Chase Higgins 2×3, RBI; Max Heller 3×3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Bauman 3×5, 2B, 3 runs, 3 RBIs; Peter Earll 1×3, 2 runs.
Records: Marshfield 21-6; Wausau not reported.