Marinette Takes 19-14 Record Into "AAA" Legion Regional
Finishing the regular season on a winning note and as North Division champions, the Marinette Legion team will now shift its sights to the AAA regional at Ash-Port starting on Thursday.
Marinette will take a 19-14 record into the 4-team tourney with the winner advancing to the state meet in Appleton August 1-5.
Opening round regional play finds Marinette meeting the Shockers at 5pm followed by the Green Bay Bluejays and Ash-Port at 8pm.
Games will continue on Friday with the losers meeting at 2pm, winners at 5pm and the winner of game 3 against the loser of game 4 at 8pm. Saturdays action will pit the final two winners at 1pm and if necessary, another game at 4pm.
This past week was so-so for Marinette, notching two wins in four outings.
Marinette dropped its home finale Saturday 9-8 to the Shockers after owning a 7-1 lead in the fifth. Traveling to Appleton Sunday, Marinette came up with a split, losing the opener 5-3 before bouncing back in game two 11-5.
The final regular season game came in a 3-1 division clinching win over Oconto on Monday.
7-1 Lead Disappear
In 9-8 Loss Saturday
Leads of 7-1 and 8-4 werent enough as Marinette saw the visiting Green Bay Shockers rally for 3 runs in the sixth and 5 more in the 7th to claim a 9-8 win Saturday night.
The disappointing loss saw Marinette reliever Max Hipke get battered for 5 runs on 2 hits while recording just one out in the 7th inning.
Marinette took control of this non-league clash early scoring 5 runs in the first inning and built up a 7-1 cushion after 5 frames.
Ten batters stepped to the plate in the first frame as two hits, 3 walks and an error opened the door for 5 runs. Aaron Pettit singled to start the game while Mike Mergener reached on an error. Scott Eldredge, Trent Mehlberg and Ty Bebo walked before number nine hitter Heath Rowe blooped a two-run single to left.
In the fourth inning, Pettit doubled and scooted home on a single by Mergener.
Kelly doubled and scored on a single by McMahon for a 7-1 spread.
The rest of the game belonged to the Shockers. One out singles by Dylan Watzka, Zach Dagneau and Zach Kinjerski followed by a double off the bat of Jake Lindrum closed the gap to 7-4 in the sixth.
Marinette gained a little more breathing room when Pettit got aboard on an error and scored on the front end of a double steal.
With starter Belonga done after 6 innings, Marinette turned the ball over to reliever Hipke. Eleven hitters took a turn in the box as 2 hits, 4 walks, a hit batsman, balk and wild pitch enabled the Shockers to rally for a 9-8 edge.
Down to their final 3 outs, the Legion gang mounted one last rally. Kelly lashed a leadoff single and moved to second on a sac bunt by Mehlberg. An error on McMahons grounder put runners at the corners with one out.
Up stepped Bebo, who saw a potential squeeze bunt turn into a game-ending double play. Bebo got the ball down, but was hit outside the box for an out. On the play, Kelly was racing home from third and barreled into the catcher resulting in the second out and finishing the game.
Belonga allowed 4 runs on 8 hits over 6 innings before giving way to Hipke and Mergener.
Marinette Earns Split
With Appleton Legion
Getting back on the field Sunday, Marinette fell to state-ranked Appleton 5-3 in the opener before earning an 11-5 nightcap victory.
Game one had Kelly and Mergener share mound duties with 3 innings of work each. Kelly allowed 4 runs on 6 hits while Mergener was nicked for one run on a hit and walk.
Trailing 4-0 after three frames, Marinette saw Bebo double and score on a single by Rowe. In the sixth inning, Eldredge singled and cruised home as Belonga belted a two-run homer.
Sawyer Schultz was the winning pitcher with 4 innings of scoreless and hitless ball.
In game two, Marinette rallied from a 2-0 deficit with 3 runs the third, 2 in the fourth and 5 in the sixth inning.
McMahon hurled 6 innings of 9 hit ball with 6 strikeouts and no walks to earn the win.
Bebo went 3-4 in the win with a double, Rowe 3 singles while Pettit and Derek Klegin added two hits each.
Belonga keyed a 3-run third inning with a run scoring single, Klegin and Bebo socked two baggers in the fourth and Mergener a RBI single.
In the sixth inning, Klegin lashed a two-run single to put Marinette in front 11-4.
Bebo, Marinette Win
North Division Title
With Bebo scattering 5 hits over 7 innings, Marinette concluded the regular season with a 3-1 road win over Oconto Monday. The victory gave Marinette its first North Division title in 3 seasons.
Bebo fanned 3 and walked 3 while giving up just one earned run.
Marinette backed Bebos pitching gem with single runs in the second, third and seventh innings.
Hipke walked and scored on a two-out single by Rowe in the second frame while Belonga singled and scooted home on a hit off the bat of Kelly.
Oconto closed within 2-1 in the fifth on a double by Ricky Mataitis and single by Kyle Krueger.
Marinette tacked on an insurance run in the 7th when Eldredge was beaned, moved to second on a wild pitch and raced home on single by Belonga.
Belonga finished with a 3-4 effort at the plate, including a double while Hipke lashed a pair of singles.
Tyler Trepanier absorbed the loss, yielding 8 hits and 3 earned runs with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts.
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