By Steve Pilz
For Zaleski Sports
WESTBORO - What started as a well-played pitcher’s duel through seven hard-fought innings became a rout late as the Marshfield Chaparrals amateur baseball team notched a 14-3 Dairyland League win in an eight-inning affair shortened by the 10-run rule on Sunday afternoon.
Westboro started the scoring in the third inning when Cameron Dietrich singled and Dustin Freeman knocked him in with an RBI double. The Trojans were up 1-0.
Luke Wirtz reached on an error to start off the Chaparrals’ fourth inning. Will Lee singled and Isaiah Bairel walked. Hunter Korger also walked to plate Wirtz and Shawn O’Connell lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Chaps a 2-1 lead.
Marshfield expanded that lead in its half of the fifth when Caleb Krommenakker walked and took second when the pitcher tried to pick him off. He was granted third when the ball went into an unplayable area and scored on Wirtz’s RBI single to put the Chaps up 3-0.
The Trojans battled back in the bottom of the inning when they got back-to-back singles by Marcus Klemm and Dietrich. Butch Weigel drove Klemm in with a single of his own to make it 3-2.
That put an end to Trace Brayton’s afternoon on the hill, but not before he struck out 11 Chaps.
Not to be out-done, his counterpart on the mound, Marshfield’s Caleb Krommenakker, also had 11 punchouts in his seven innings of work.
The Trojans threatened in the sixth with a bases on balls to Connor Westfall. Derek Niemi’s sacrifice bunt moved the runner over before Krommanekker fielded a comebacker for the second out. Travis Niemi sent a ball up the middle ticketed for centerfield but second baseman Wirtz ranged to his right and his throw beat the runner keeping the Chaps on top.
“The score didn’t really reflect the kind of game it was the first six innings,” said Wirtz, also the Marshfield manager. “Their starting pitcher made it tough on us. When that big defensive stop happened in the sixth inning to keep us up by one, I think we really got a lot of momentum back on our side. We seemed to feed off that in the big inning. “
In the eighth inning, all heck broke loose, if you’re a Chaparrals’ fan that is.
Wirtz led off with his first homer of the season to make it 4-2, and Lee singled to chase Weigel. He was replaced by Taylor Brayton, who promptly walked Jake Earll and Baierl to load the bases. He seemed to be off the hook when he got a ground out to short and a strikeout, but his troubles had just started.
Nathan Krommenakker drove in a pair before Garrett Huber blasted a three-run homer to left. Two more singles and a couple walks culminated with Bairel’s three-run double and an 11-run inning. Wirtz, who was one of six Chaps to bat twice in the inning, singled his second time up.
To say Wirtz is on a roll would be an understatement. The Chaparrals’ infielder and manager is 11-for-22 on the young season with a pair of doubles, a home run and six RBIs.
Nathan Krommenakker surrendered a run in the eighth but struck out three to put the Chaps in the win column for the fourth time against just one loss.
The Chaps play Waupaca Wednesday night, June 9, at home at 7 p.m. The game will be live at zaleskisports.com.
Chaparrals 14, Trojans 3
Marshfield 000 210 011 - 14 12 0
Westboro 001 010 01x - 3 8 3
WP: Caleb Krommenakker. LP: Trace Brayton.
SO: C. Krommenakker (7 inn.) 11, Nathan Krommenakker (1 inn.) 3; Tr. Brayton (5 inn.) 11, Butch Weigel (2 inn.) 1, Taylor Brayton (1 inn.) 1. BB: C. Krommenakker 6; Tr. Brayton 4, Ta. Brayton 3.
Top hitters: M, Luke Wirtz 3x5, HR, 2 RBIs; Will Lee 2x4; Isaiah Bairel 2x3, 3 RBIs; Hunter Korger 2x4, 2 RBIs; Garrett Huber 1x4, HR, 3 RBIs. W, Cameron Dietrich 2x4.
Records: Marshfield 4-1 overall, 2-0 Dairyland League; Westboro 1-2 Dairyland.