Tigers halt Cardinals’ winning streak at 8
FAIRMONT — The Marshall Tigers literally walked by the Fairmont Cardinals during a clash of Big South Conference baseball titans Friday at Herb Wolf Field.
The Tigers scratched out nine runs on only four hits, but drew a total of 10 bases-on-balls from three Cardinal pitchers to help manufacture a 9-3 victory in Fairmont.
Marshall slammed the brakes on Fairmont’s eight-game winning streak en route to sweeping the seasonal series. The Tigers edged the Cardinals, 4-1, on April 23 at Legion Field in Marshall.
“We did things today that finally caught up with us. One of those was our pitchers didn’t throw enough strikes,” said Fairmont co-head coach Jerry Brooks. “We also made quite a few situational errors and that cost us, too.
“Marshall is too good of a team to give that many chances to, and they capitalized on our mistakes.”
Two walks, a dropped outfield fly, one wild pitch and Cody Greve’s two-run double generated three unearned runs off Fairmont freshman starting pitcher Zach Jorgensen during the top of the fourth frame.
The Cardinals answered with two unearned runs of their own during the home half of the fourth to inch within one. Jorgensen walked and Zac Ringnell was plunked with a pitch before courtesy runners Tyson Geerdes and Carter Reutzel circled the bases two outs later when Zach Soelter’s fly ball to left-center was dropped.
Marshall then combined two walks issued by Fairmont reliever Cale Steuber with two more Cardinal errors and RBI singles by Jordan Mernaugh and Jackson Hughes to erupt for five more unearned runs in the fifth for an 8-2 lead.
Soelter later collected his second hit of the day and scored the Cardinals’ final run when Geerdes smacked a towering RBI pinch-hit double to left in the seventh.
Ironically, Marshall sophomore right-hander Jack Bly’s stellar pitching performance was somewhat lost underneath the contest’s 11 total unearned runs, five overall errors and 13 combined walks.
Bly, who was not even listed on Marshall’s online varsity roster, allowed two unearned runs on five hits in six innings of work to earn the victory. Bly struck out three, walked two and hit one batter.
“We moved him (Bly) up from the B-squad today, and he won his first varsity (pitching) start,” said Marshall head coach Chace Pollock. “He really gave us some needed innings.”
Dustin Schultz, Dalen Keltgen, Jorgensen and Steuber each produced one hit apiece for the Cardinals.
Fairmont (11-3) plays host to New Ulm in a 4 p.m. doubleheader Tuesday at Herb Wolf Field, while Marshall (7-5) travels to Mankato East today for a 1 p.m. non-league game.
MAR 000 350 1 — 9 4 2
FHS 000 200 1 — 3 7 3
Jack Bly (WP), Jordan Mernaugh (7) and Nicholas Macchio. Zach Jorgensen (LP), Cale Steuber (5), Blake Buntjer (6) and Zac Ringnell.
LOB–Marshall 9; Fairmont 8. 2B–Tyson Geerdes (FHS), Cody Greve (MAR). SAC–Kaleb Welvaert (MAR).
Marshall downed Fairmont, 6-1, during B-squad action Friday.
Donovan Krill doubled home the Cardinals’ only run, while teammate Noah Nelson collected two hits.
Jackson Utermarck allowed six runs in five innings pitched for Fairmont, while Jacob Crissinger struck out two in two shutout innings of relief.
Landon Meyerdirk, Cooper Steuber and Lincoln Becker each collected hits to fuel Fairmont’s 9-4 win over Marshall during C-squad action Friday.
Meyerdirk allowed four runs on 10 hits and struck out three in six innings to earn the win. Carson Musser fanned one in one scoreless relief inning for Fairmont (8-5).
Martin County West 6, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 3 — Wyatt Geistfeld went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored to help the Mavericks double the score on the Knights during Valley Conference action Friday in Lake Crystal.
Zac Spear delivered an RBI double and scored a pair of runs for MCW, while teammate Todd Morrow tripled home two runs.
Geistfeld allowed three runs — all unearned — on four hits, struck out three and walked six in five frames pitched to earn the win. Morrow struck out one, walked three and allowed one hit in two scoreless innings of relief to earn the save.
Ben Graupman went 1-for-2 with two runs scored to top LCWM.
Martin County West (4-7, 3-3 Valley) plays host to Jackson County Central at 9:30 a.m. today in Welcome.
MCW 000 240 0 — 6 6 2
LCWM 001 020 0 — 3 5 2
Wyatt Geistfeld (WP), Todd Morrow (6, Sv) and Zac Spear. Austin Nickels (LP), Ben Graupman (5) and Carter Graham.
Nicollet 3, Martin Luther/GHEC/Truman 2 — The Raiders needed eight innings, but were able to outlast the Jaguars during Valley Conference action Friday in Nicollet.
Avery Northquest drove in the tying run on one of his two hits in the game, while Ben Radke scored the winning run on an Eric Fischer infield dribbler in the bottom of the eighth to walk off the Jaguars.
Radke had two doubles on the game, while Riley Hulke had a walk and scored a run.
Mitchell Prafke had a hit and two runs scored for the Jaguars, while Clay Gieseke had an RBI double and an RBI single. Jaiden Cook added two doubles to the Jaguars’ offensive effort.
Cayden Fischer started on the mound for the Jaguars, throwing 7 1/3 innings and giving up three runs, two earned, on four hits and two walks, while sending 13 batters to the bench with a strikeout.
Jaguars’ left-hander Paxton Gravlin came in for the final third of an inning and gave up two hits and a walk, while getting his lone out via a strikeout.
Hulke started for the Raiders and pitched seven innings of one-run ball, gave up four hits, a walk and a hit batter, while striking out two.
Eric Fischer pitched the final inning for Nicollet, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one.
The Jaguars (7-5, 3-2 Valley) play host to Mankato Loyola at 4 p.m. Monday in Truman in another conference contest.