By Steve Pilz
For Zaleski Sports
SPARTA - After spotting Sparta to an early lead, the Marshfield Chaparrals amateur baseball team righted the ship, got some early runs of their own with strong pitching in the middle and end and went on to defeat the Miller 8-5 on Friday night in Sparta.
After a scoreless first, the Miler took advantage of Chaps starter Bobby Pilz. Caleb Linehart started the inning with a single. After a fly out, Pilz walked Dalton Prelip and hit Adam McKee. Two run-scoring singles by Dale Bratz and Cody Peters put the Chaps in a 3-0 rut before the inning ended with a fly ball to left.
Marshfield designated hitter Al Lalicata led off the Marshfield third with a single to right and the Chaps were off to the races. Nathan Krommenakker walked and Garrett Huber lashed a double to left center, scoring Lalicata and Krommenaker, seconds later.
After a groundout, Luke Wirtz smacked a double scored Huber. Will Lee reached on a single up the middle that shouldn’t have scored Wirtz but a bobble and heads-up base running brought Wirtz home with the fourth run of the inning as the Chaps sent all nine to the plate to take a 4-3 lead.
The Miller came right back in their half of the third. Josh Knoll started with an infield hit and Roman Garcia walked. After a fly ball to right for the first out, Josh Laabe reached on another infield single to load the bases. Prelip’s single scored Knoll, but when the ball got back to Pilz, he took a stroll behind the mound. Garcia inexplicably led off third. Chaps third baseman Isaiah Bairel took note, flipped his glove a bit and Pilz nailed Garcia at third for the second out, much to the chagrin of the Miller third base coach. Pilz struck out McKee and the Chaps were out of the jam.
The Chaps struck back right away with RBI singles from Cale Krommenakker and Jake Earll, wrapped around a Miller error that scored Nathan Krommaneker, who walked, his brother Caleb and Wirtz who reached on the aforementioned error to take a 7-4 lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish.
“Wirtzy (Chap manager Luke Wirtz) asked how I was doing after the third”, said Marshfield starter Bobby Pilz. “I forgot what I said, but to myself, I said, ‘I’m not leaving this game after just three innings.’ I tried something a little different.”
Well, whatever it was, it worked. Pilz retired the side 1-2-3 the next two innings and struck out eight of the 15 batters he faced in his final four innings. He finished with 10 strikeouts with 2 walks, while yielding 10 hits in seven innings of work.
Nathan Krommenakker closed the door, and then some, earning the save by striking out all six batters he faced.
The Chaps travel again on Sunday when they head to Westboro for a 1:30 p.m. game, which, like all Chap games this season, can be seen on zaleskisports.com.
Chaparrals 8, Miller 5
Marshfield 004 310 000 - 8 13 3
Sparta 031 000 100 - 5 10 2
WP: Bobby Pilz. LP: Blaine Whalen. SV: Nathan Krommenakker.
SO: Pilz (7inn.) 10, N. Krommenaker (2 inn.) 6; Whalen (4 inn.) 5, No. 2 (name not reported) (3 Inn.) 1, Dale Bratz (2 inn.) 1. BB: Pilz 2; Whalen 3, No. 2 2.
Top hitters: M, Garrett Huber 3x4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Will Lee 3x4, 2B; Caleb Krommenakker 2x5, 2 RBIs. S, Josh Knoll 3x4, 2 runs.
Records: Marshfield 4-1; Sparta 2-7.