By Steve Pilz For Zaleski Sports
ALTOONA – The Marshfield Chaparrals amateur baseball team had their season end Sunday afternoon at Cinder City Park when they lost to the perennially powerful Osseo Merchants 6-0 in a Wisconsin Baseball Association playoff game.
The Chaps finish their 2019 season with an 11-10 record.
After winning their first playoff game in six seasons on Saturday, a 5-4 decision over Spring Valley, the Chaps simply weren’t able to generate enough offense against Merchants starter Logan Boettcher, who went seven innings, or his relief Preston Gamoth, who pitched the final two frames.
Marshfield could muster just five hits with Sam Schwanebeck getting two of those and Nate McDonald, Shawn O’Connell and Kyle Westhuis with one each. The Chaps were walked three times and hit by pitch three more times, resulting in 10 runners left on base and yet no runs.
Hunter Korger pitched gamely through the sixth.
The Merchants got a two-run lead in the third off an error and a Ryan Frietag run-scoring ground out. Frietag, a man amongst boys, or in this case a man amongst men, bashed a long home run in the fifth for a 3-0 lead. It was his 16th four-bagger of the season.
In the sixth, Frietag ripped a two-run double to center after Neal Matson had a homer earlier in the inning, and the Merchants had all the runs they would need, pulling ahead 6-0.
Frietag would prove his worth once again later in the game with a line shot to right for his third hit of the game. He finished with four RBIs.
Connor Jasurda pitched the seventh in relief of Korger, and Bobby Pilz took the eighth to keep the Merchants at bay, but the damage had been done.
Marshfield player/manager Justin Rayburn reflected on the Chaps 2019 season.
“I’m very proud of how the Chaps team played this year,” said Rayburn, “especially down the stretch.
“I say this every year…it takes a while for our younger guys to gel with the veteran guys, and once that happens, we usually finish the season strong. We were able to do that this year and make a nice second half push this season.”
Rayburn and co-manager/player Sam Schwanebeck will be leaving the Chaparrals family after about a decade.
Merchants 6, Chaparrals 0
Marshfield 000 000 000 – 0 5 1 Osseo 002 013 00x – 6 11 1 WP: Logan Boettcher. LP: Hunter Korger. SO: Korger (6 inn.) 3, Connor Jasurda (1 inn.) 0, Bobby Pilz (1 inn.) 1; Boettcher (7 inn.) 6, Preston Gamoth (2 inn.) 3. BB: Boettcher 3; Korger 2. Top hitters: O, Ryan Frietag 3×5, HR, 2B, 4 RBIs; Aaron Hagberg 3×4; Jaxon Kostka 2×4. M, Sam Schwanebcek 2×3. Records: Marshfield 11-10; Osseo not reported.