By Steve Pilz
For Zaleski Sports
MARSHFIELD - In a game that saw both teams struggle at the plate, the Marshfield Chaparral amateur baseball team was the more opportunistic, downing the visiting Tomahawk Titans 7-4 in a drizzly affair at Jack Hackman Field.
The Chaps run their record to 2-0 this season, but both teams’ bats were about as cold as the day.
In fact, Isaiah Bairel’s infield single was the first hit in the game to lead off the Chaparral fourth inning. Caleb Krommenakker followed that with a picture-perfect bunt. Luke Wirtz hit a several-hopper that he was in the process of beating out. Titan shortstop Jared Jarvensivu, realizing he had no play on Wirtz, warily waited as Bairel rounded third, threw behind him and caught him off the base for the first out. After a strikeout and a Garrett Huber walk, Will Lee saved the inning for the Chaparrals with a two-run single. His over-zealous base running got him thrown out at second, but the Chaps had the lead at 2-0.
Facing new pitcher Caleb Armstrong, who replaced starter Eli Wurl, the Chaps added a run in the fifth when Nathan Krommenakker hit a two-run single, took second on a passed ball and scored when the second baseman couldn’t handle a ball off Bairel’s bat and it was 3-0.
The Titans had their first hit in the sixth, a two-out single by Wurl, but couldn’t do anything with it as Marshfield starter Caleb Krommenakker was on cruise-control.
The Chaps took advantage of shoddy Tomahawk play in the sixth. Wirtz led off with a single. After a strikeout, Huber walked again. Wirtz scored all the way from second on a passed ball when the catcher couldn’t find the ball right away. Lee grounded out to the shortstop scoring Huber and it was 5-0 in favor of Marshfield.
The Chaps made it four-straight innings with a run, again taking advantage of less-than-stellar defense. Cole Hediger led off the inning with a grounder that turned into an error. Nathan Krommenakker walked and Bairel reached on another error with Hediger scoring. Caleb Krommenakker singled and Wirtz was hit by a pitch. Huber drew a bases-loaded walk and the Chaps led 7-0, with five of those being unearned.
Caleb Krommenakker pitched seven innings striking out 10, walking four and allowing just one hit.
Bobby Pilz pitched a clean eighth before the Titans put up four runs in the ninth. Cody Strassman had a two run, two-out single before Wurl reached on an error. Strassman scored the final run while Wurl got caught in a run-down that ended the game.
“Caleb (Krommenakker) kept putting up zeroes on the board every inning,” said Chaparrals manager Luke Wirtz, “and we were able to finally scratch out some runs in the later innings to close it out.
“There was a ton of different guys up and down the batting order that contributed today and that’s what it takes to score some runs.”
The Chaparrals play a make-up game at home on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against the Plover Pteradactyls at Hackman Field. As is the case all season, the game will be broadcast on zaleskisports.com.
Chaparrals 7, Titans 3
Tomahawk 000 000 004 - 4 3 4
Marshfield 000 212 20x - 7 7 1
WP: Caleb Krommenakker. LP: Eli Wurl.
SO: Wurl (4 inn.) 2, Caleb Armstrong (2 inn.) 3, Fletcher Schoone (2 inn.) 0; C. Krommenakker (7 inn.) 10, Bobby Pilz (2 inn.) 1. BB: Wurl 3, Armstrong 1, Schoone 5; C. Krommenakker 4, Pilz 3.
Top hitters: T, Cody Strassman 1x2, 2 RBIs. M. Luke Wirtz 2x3, 2 runs; Caleb Krommenakker 2x4; Will Lee 1x4, 3 RBIs.
Records: Tomahawk not reported; Marshfield 2-0.