STEVENS POINT – The Marshfield Senior American Legion baseball team staved off elimination twice on Monday, beating Merrill 3-0 and Wisconsin Rapids 3-2 to advance to the final day of the Class AAA Senior Legion Regional at Bukolt Park.
Marshfield (17-20) will play Stevens Point (20-9) at 5 p.m. Tuesday with the winner taking on Wisconsin Rapids (23-8) at approximately 7:30 p.m. for the regional title and a berth in the Class AAA State American Legion Baseball Tournament, which begins Friday at Chippewa Falls.
Against Merrill, Chandler Schmidt threw a complete game shutout for the Blue Devils, allowing just three hits and one walk, while striking out seven.
Marshfield gave Schmidt all he needed in the first inning. With two outs, Mason Coffren and Devyn Palmer singled, and Isaiah Baierl knocked in both with a double to give the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead.
Marshfield added the final run of the game in the third when Eli Drexler singled, stole second and third, and scored on an error on the steal attempt of third base.
Marshfield beat Wisconsin Rapids, which had eliminated Plover earlier in the day and came into the matchup unbeaten in the regional, in walk-off fashion.
The Blue Devils took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Drexler, the leadoff hitter, reached on an error. Drexler reached second on a fly out, stole third and scored when the Wisconsin Rapids catcher threw the ball away.
Wisconsin Rapids tied the game in the fifth. After a pair of walks, Josh Zwicke delivered an RBI single to make it 1-1.
Marshfield quickly regained the lead in the bottom of the inning. Preston Wagner and Drexler singled and moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Baierl. Wagner was thrown out at home after a ground ball by Mason Coffren, before Palmer singled home Drexler to put the Blue Devils on top 2-1.
Wisconsin Rapids tied the game again in the top of the seventh. The Rangers loaded the bases with no outs against Cole Hediger. Wagner entered and got a ground ball to earn a force out at home, but then uncorked a wild pitch that scored Zwicke to tie the game at 2-2.
Wagner coaxed a ground ball double play to get out the inning and after Marshfield went three-up, three-down in the bottom of the seventh, the game went to extra innings.
Wagner worked out of another bases loaded jam in the top of the eighth, again getting a ground ball double play, setting up the walk-off win for the Blue Devils.
After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Schmidt singled and moved all the way to third on a pair of wild pitches. Ty Pankratz walked and Jacob Earll ripped an RBI single to score Schmidt with the game-winning run and kept Marshfield’s season alive.
Schmidt finished 3-for-4 and Wagner was 2-for-3 for the Blue Devils.
Marshfield 3, Merrill 0 Merrill 000 000 0 – 0 3 1 Marshfield 201 000 x – 3 5 1 WP: Chandler Schmidt. LP: Spencer Schnider. SO: Schnider 3; Schmidt 7. BB: Schnider 1; Schmidt 1. Top hitter: MAR, Isaiah Baierl 2B, 2 RBIs. — Marshfield 3, Wisconsin Rapids 2 (8 inn.) Wisconsin Rapids 000 010 10 – 2 9 3 Marshfield 100 010 01 – 3 9 0 WP: Preston Wagner. LP: Jack Wenzel. SO: Tyler Beyer (7 inn.) 4, Wenzel (2/3 inn.) 1; Cole Hediger (6 inn.) 4, Wagner (2 inn.) 0. BB: Beyer 1, Wenzel 1; Hediger 6, Wagner 2. Top hitters: WR, Donovan Brandl 2×3, 2B; Josh Zwicke 1×3, RBI; Jake Wipfli 3×4. M, Eli Drexler 1×4, 2 runs; Schmidt 3×4, run; Jacob Earll 1×4, RBI; Preston Wagner 2×3. — Class AAA Regional Friday, July 19, to Tuesday, July 23 At Bukolt Park, Stevens Point Friday, July 19 Game 1: Marshfield 9, D.C. Everest 5 Game 2: Merrill 6, Wausau 2 Game 3: Plover 4, Stevens Point 2 Sunday, July 21 Game 4: Wisconsin Rapids 11, Merrill 2 Game 5: Stevens Point 6, D.C. Everest 2 Game 6: Plover 7, Marshfield 1 Game 7: Stevens Point 8, Wausau 2 Monday, July 22 Game 8: Marshfield 3, Merrill 0 Game 9: Wisconsin Rapids 5, Plover 4 Game 10: Stevens Point 11, Plover 9 Game 11: Marshfield 3, Wisconsin Rapids 2 Tuesday, July 23 Game 12: Marshfield vs. Stevens Point, 5 p.m. Game 13 (Championship Game): Game 12 winner vs. Wisconsin Rapids, 7:30 p.m.