Seasons End For Area Legion Teams
Running into some stiff competition at the AAA regional, Marinette Legion could only come up with a split to end the season.
Both of Marinettes wins came against the Green Bay Shockers in the double elimination event and the losses to state-bound Ash-Port (31-8).
Marinette opened the tourney with a 9-8 win, before falling to Ash-Port Saturday 5-0. Forced into the losers bracket, Marinette stayed alive with a 4-1 victory before dropping another 5-0 clash to Ash-Port.
The Ash-Port pitching staff was very impressive, hurling 27 scoreless innings in the 3 tournament games.
The tourney split finishes Marinette with a 21-16 overall record and the North Division championship.
Kelly Hits, Hurls
Marinette To Win
In Opening Game
Marinette pushed across 2 runs in the 8th inning to turn back the Shockers in the tournament opener Friday 9-8.
Marinette grabbed a 3-0 cushion in the fourth frame, battled back from a 4-3 deficit to go ahead 7-4 in the sixth before being forced to rally late for the win.
The hitting and pitching of Luke Kelly sparked Marinette, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits with 2 walks. At the plate, Kelly lashed a pair of two run singles to key the offense.
A two-out single by Kelly gave Marinette a 2-0 edge in the opening inning. Aaron Pettit walked while Mike Mergener and Scott Eldredge singled. After Pettit was thrown out at the plate following a wild pitch, Kelly lined a single to right for the early lead.
In the fourth inning, Heath Rowe walked and scored on a single by Eldredge for a 3-0 lead.
Marinette didnt hold on to the upper hand long as the Shockers played small ball with a pair of suicide squeeze bunts to go up 4-3 in the fifth.
Answering in a big way, Marinette batted around the order to jam the plate for 4 runs in the sixth.
Jake McMahon singled, Rowe walked and Pettit put down a sac bunt. An error and two-out hit by Kelly put Marinette in front 7-4.
The Shockers didnt back down, instead scored 3 runs in the seventh and one in the 8th for an 8-7 lead. The key hit was a two-run single by Merrick Griffin.
With the game winding down, Marinette bounced back in its half of the 8th for the winning runs. Mergener reached on an error, Eldredge walked and Belonga was beaned. After a strikeout and grounder, Marinette got a huge break when Derek Klegins grounder was booted at second base allowing two runs to score.
Reliever Belonga gave up one run on 2 hits over 2 innings to earn the win.
By Ash-Port 5-Zip
Going up against tournament favorite Ash-Port in round two, Marinette managed just 3 hits against Brett Nohr in suffering a 5-0 defeat.
The game was scoreless until the sixth when Ash-Port pushed across 3 runs on singles by Earl Vorpagel, Kyle Mrozinski, Brett Neuville, Nick Lesage and Jake Monroe.
Ash-Port added solo runs in the seventh on a double by Ben Messenger and sac fly from Vorpagel while Monroe added a RBI single in the 8th.
Nohr took a perfect game into the 7th when Mergener lined a single.
McMahon took the loss giving up 5 runs on 11 hits and 4 walks over 7 1/3 innings.
Nohr finished with 13 strikeouts and 2 walks for his complete game 9-inning work.
Marinette Knocks Off
Shockers For 2nd Time
Ty Bebo scattered 8 hits over 9 innings as Marinette avoided elimination with a 4-1 victory over the Shockers Saturday night. Bebo walked just one batter and set 5 down on strikes.
Trailing 1-0, Marinette pushed across 3 runs in the third to take the lead for good. Trent Mehlberg and Belonga singled, Kelly added a two-run single before Klegin capped the uprising with a RBI hit.
Marinettes final run came in the 7th as Belonga singled, moved up on Klegins bunt before scoring on a squeeze bunt by Mehlberg.
Merrick Griffin was tagged with the loss giving up 4 runs on 7 hits over 7 innings.
Mehlberg, Mergener, Belong and Kelly collected 2 hits each for Marinette.
For the second time over the weekend, Ash-Port used a 5-0 shutout to end Marinettes season and keep the pitching staffs scoreless streak intact.
Sunday afternoon it was the pitching of Jack Violetta, who twirled a complete game 7-hitter with 2 walks and 8 strikeouts.
Ash-Port took advantage of Marinette errors to take control with 3 runs in the first inning. The fielding miscues along with a run scoring single by Mrozinski highlighted the uprising.
Marinettes deficit grew to 4-0 in the second inning and 5-0 in the third. Messenger headed home on a single by Vorpagel in the second while Lesage doubled and scored in the third.
Mergener and Klegin lashed singles while Belonga added a double in the opening frame and Kelly a two bagger in the 9th.
Belonga absorbed the loss allowing 5 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits over 3 innings. Max Hipke hurled two innings, Mergener 3 innings and Heath Rowe one frame of scoreless relief work.
Vorpagel, Neuville and Lesage registered two hits each for the winners.
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