By Steve Pilz
For Zaleski Sports
MARSHFIELD - What looked early on to be a slugfest quickly evolved into a pitchers’ duel as the Marshfield Chaparrals amateur baseball team earned a 3-1 season opening win over the Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks on Wednesday night at Jack Hackman Field.
Marshfield starting pitcher Nathan Krommanaker, through no fault of his own, found himself in an early first-inning jam. Allowing just one hit, the Chaps committed two errors to load the bases. Krommanker wiggled off the hook, striking out a pair to end the threat.
Chippewa Falls starter Dawson Rice wasn’t quite so lucky. After striking out Nathan Krommanaker, Riley Boushak walked. Caleb Krommanaker singled before Luke Wirtz drove Boushak in with a single. Krommanaker promptly stole third and scored on Garret Huber’s single. Isaiah Bairel ended the scoring with an RBI single of his own. Baierl stole second just for good measure, but the inning ended with a fielder’s choice with the Chaps up 3-0.
The Lumberjacks’ Blake Trippler led off the second with a double before Krommanaker registered back-to-back strikeouts. Tyler Franz followed with a single plating Trippler, and Jake Varsho got the first of his three singles, putting runners on first and second. Krommanaker coaxed a ground ball to the second baseman to end the inning and the Chaps hung on to a 3-1 lead.
And that was that.
Marshfield had six more hits over the final seven innings, but left a whopping 13 runners on base in the game.
The Lumberjacks fared even worse, getting three hits the last seven innings and leaving nine on base.
Rice lasted just one inning before being relieved by Trippler, who struck out four and walked six in his seven innings on the mound.
Krommanker yielded just the one run while striking out six with no walks in his seven innings to earn the victory for Marshfield.
Ethan Peters pitched the last two innings for the Chaps, and sent murmurs through the now chilly crowd with a fastball near 90 miles per hour. After a single, Peters struck out four of the six batters he faced, mostly with his blazer, putting a cap on a Chaparrals’ win and his season as a Chap. He will pitch for Kenosha in the Northwoods League this summer.
“I thought for the first game of the year for some of us, that we played well,” said Chaparrals manager Luke Wirtz. “Our pitching was great tonight, but hopefully we can shake off the rust defensively. Offensively, I thought we hit the ball well and were a few clutch hits away from putting up a crooked number.”
Marshfield hosts the Plover Pterodactyls at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hackman Field. The game will be live at zaleskisports.com.
Chaparrals 3, Lumberjacks 1
Chippewa Falls 010 000 000
Marshfield 300 000 00x
WP: Nathan Krommanaker. LP: Dawson Rice. SV: Ethan Peters.
SO: Rice (1 inn.) 1, Blake Trippler (7 inn.) 4; N. Krommanaker (7 inn.) 9, Peters (2 inn.) 4. BB: Rice 1, Trippler 6; N. Krommanaker 0, Peters 0.
Top hitters: CF, Jake Varsho 3x4; Trippler 1x4, 2B. M, Caleb Krommanacker 3x5; Luke Wirtz 2x3; Garret Huber 2x3; Isaiah Baierl 2x3.
Records: Marshfield 1-0.