Double extra-inning heartache
Marinette leaves a win stranded
Thursday, July 25, 2013 7:00 PM
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Shockers don't have much pitching depth. They do have one pitcher that Marinette Legion cannot beat.
Marinette Legion’s Austin Wright slides safely back to first base but gets Dylan Watzka’s glove in the face during Green Bay Southwest Regional play Thursday. EagleHerald/Jody Korch
Anthony Radloff pitched seven scoreless innings in relief, as the Shockers beat Marinette 3-2 in 11 innings in Wednesday's Green Bay Southwest Regional opener.
Marinette (21-14) will play the Appleton DoubleDays today at 1 p.m. in the six-team, double-elimination tourney.
Radloff had pitched six scoreless innings in a win at Marinette Saturday night.
"I'm extremely proud of him," Shockers' coach Jim Dagneau said of Radloff. "That's why I didn't start him - I knew in a nine-inning game I'd have to go to him."
Legion games are extended from seven to nine innings for the postseason. Marinette wasted an excellent pitching performance from Jake McMahon, who allowed two earned runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and just one walk in nine innings. He came out after throwing 118 pitches.
"He pitched great," Marinette coach Brian Lesandrini said. "He threw strikes. Tough luck."
Marinette left a first-round win on the basepaths, where they stranded 11 baserunners. Post 39 chased southpaw starter Dylan Watzka from the mound but failed the break the game open.
"We had too many opportunities with men on base and didn't cash in," Lesandrini said.
Leadoff batter Derek Klegin lined a double to left/center to open the game but was left stranded. In the third, Watzka walked the bases loaded with one out, but right fielder Cam Sternberg made a diving catch of Austin Belonga's shallow fly. Luke Kelly then spoiled two-strike pitches twice and coaxed an RBI walk to put Marinette ahead 1-0.
Green Bay tied the game in the fourth on Brian Wentland's single, a stolen base, a groundout and Jake Landrum's sacrifice fly.
Marinette wasted another golden opportunity in the fifth. Klegin beat out an infield grounder and scored on Scott Eldredge's double into the right/center gap. Aaron Benson walked, but Radloff relieved Watzka and retired the next three batters in order to leave runners at second and third.
In the sixth, Wentland walked and scored the tying run on Landrum's double into the left/center gap.
The Shockers scored the winning run in the 11th when Watzka drew a two-out walk and scored on Radloff's RBI double deep to right/center.
Green Bay drew just two walks and Marinette coaxed nine walks.
"Their walks scored, ours didn't," Lesandrini said. "We have the pitching. We have to battle back and fight another day."
The regional winner earns a berth in the AAA state tourney, to be held in Marinette July 31-Aug. 4. As the tourney host, Marinette earns an automatic berth. The Shockers could not afford a loss to Marinette and the long route through the regional loser's bracket.
"With the depth that we have pitching, we had to win," Dagneau said. "It was do-or-die, first game."
WP - Anthony Radloff 7 IP, 0R, 2H, 3W, 3K
LP - Austin Belonga 12⁄3 IP, 1R, 1ER, 1H, 1W, 1K
Leading hitters (Marinette): Derek Klegin 2x3, 2B; Scott Eldredge 1x4, 2B, RBI; Luke Kelly 1x4, RBI; (Green Bay): Radloff 3x4, 2B, RBI; Jake Landrum 1x4, 2B, 2 RBIs
Marinette 001 010 000 00 - 2
Green Bay 000 101 000 01 - 3By TOM KAESER
EagleHerald assistant sports editor
MENOMINEE - In the span of 24 hours, the Menominee Red Wave went from extra-inning elation to extra-inning dejection.
Hayden Hardwick crushed an RBI double to the fence in left field in the ninth inning to lift Gladstone to a 5-4 win in the U.P. Zone Tournament.
Gladstone (22-14) clinched a trip to the Class A state American Legion tournament with its second straight harrowing win.
The Indians rallied from a 4-1 deficit to pull out the win on Menominee's home field.
"We persevered," exclaimed Gladstone coach Jim Groleau. "The kids responded. They're a great group of kids and they deserve this."
Trailing 4-3 in the seventh inning, Gladstone was down to its last out when Cody Frazer bashed his third hit of the game, an RBI double that dropped between two Menominee outfielders, to score James Capadilupo with the tying run. Capadilupo opened the inning with a pinch-hit single and took second on Justin Jurek's sacrifice.
Jurek lit the fuse for the Indians' winning rally with a leadoff single. R.J. Woods forced a pair of fly balls before Hardwick crushed his game-winner.
The gritty relief pitching of Christian Groleau kept the Indians in the game after the Wave fired up the hometown crowd with three runs in the fourth inning.
Groleau allowed just two hits while slamming the door on two serious scoring threats to earn the win.
"My arm was kind of sore, so I knew I wasn't going to be overpowering," Groleau explained. "I let the defense do the work. We punched our ticket to Adrian. That was the big job for today and we got the job done."
Menominee was 90 feet away from building a 5-3 lead in the top of the seventh inning. Landen Maccoux reached on an error and advanced to third with one out. Chris Kelley drew a walk and swiped second to put two runners in scoring position with one out.
The Indians trapped Maccoux in a rundown for the second out and Hardwick made a diving stab of Mason Kewley's liner to first to end the threat.
The Red Wave were banging on the door again in the ninth when Woods reached on an error. Derek Reiswitz dropped down a sac bunt and Maccoux drew an intentional walk. The Indians' defense came through again with a forceout at third and Justin Jurek gloved Jaden Kleinke's liner to short to bury Menominee's final scoring chance.
"We haven't had a lot of runners in scoring position, but tonight we did," coach Tony Hofer said. "We need to score those runs. We could have scored a couple of more runs. We made some mental errors tonight and it cost us."
Kelley ignited Menominee's third-inning uprising with a walk. Kleinke ripped a single to center and Mason Kewley mashed an RBI single to break a scoreless deadlock. Riley Hegg came through with a two-out, two-run single to spike the lead to 3-0.
The Indians got a run in the bottom of the fourth when Frazer reached on an error and Hardwick previewed his game-winning shot with an RBI double.
A defensive gem by Kewley at second base wiped out a Gladstone run in the inning. Christian Tackman's grounder spun through the legs of the Red Wave first baseman. With Hardwick hustling toward home plate, Kewley hustled to the ball and flipped to first for the out, preserving the Wave's two-run lead.
Menominee pushed its lead to 4-1 in the top of the sixth when Mark Pulver raced to first on a bunt and then sprinted to third on an errant pickoff throw. Ryne Francour rifled a two-out single down third-base line to score Pulver.
Woods checked Gladstone on two hits before the Indians rapped out three singles in the sixth inning to cut the margin to 4-3. Frazer and Hardwick set the stage with back-to-back singles and Hunter Garling laced an RBI single to center. Tackman's sac fly drove in Hardwick.
"We didn't come out with good intensity the first four innings," coach Groleau said. "Once we got our backs to the wall, the kids decided to play baseball and started hitting the ball."
Frazer and Hardwick each had three hits to pace Gladstone's 10-hit attack.
Woods struck out four and walked two while going the distance for Menominee.
"He's the one of the hardest competitors we have on this team," Hofer said.
Kleinke's two hits led Menominee.
Hancock also advanced to the state tournament with a 5-1 win over Marquette.
The winner of today's Kingsford-Menominee game will play either Escanaba or Marquette today at 4 p.m. on the Red Lacousiere diamond.
WP - Christian Groleau 5IP, 1R, 1ER, 2H, 3W, 2K
LP - R. J. Woods 8 2/3 IP, 5R, 4ER, 10H, 2W, 3K
Leading hitters: Gladstone: (Hayden Hardwick 3x3, 2 2Bs, 2RBI; Cody Frazer 3x5, 2B, RBI; Hunter Garling 2x4, RBI) Menominee: (Jaden Kleinke 2x4, Riley Hegg 1x4, 2RBI)
Menominee 000 301 000 - 4
Gladstone 000 102 101 - 5
Kingsford 11, Ishpeming 0
Escanaba 2, Eastern U.P. 1
Kingsford 13, Channing 1
Hancock 5, Marquette 1
(Ishpeming, Eastern U.P. and Channing eliminated)
Elimination games today
1 p.m. - Menominee vs. Kingsford (Red's Field)
1 p.m. - Escanaba vs. Marquette (B.J.'s Field)
4 p.m. - Winners of 1 p.m. games (Red's Field)
4 p.m. - Hancock vs. Gladstone (B.J.'s Field)