Marinette Legion catcher Scott Eldredge runs down a popup near the backstop at Pedersen Ball Park Tuesday night.  EagleHerald/Jody Korch
Marinette Legion catcher Scott Eldredge runs down a popup near the backstop at Pedersen Ball Park Tuesday night.
EagleHerald/Jody Korch
MARINETTE - Off to an 0-2 start to the season and trailing 3-0 early Tuesday night, the Marinette Legion baseball team may have jumpstarted its season.

Marinette sent 11 batters to the plate in a seven-run third inning and went on to beat Northern Door 10-3 at Pedersen Ball Park.

Defense played as big a role as the pitching and the offense. In the first inning, second baseman Ty Bebo started a 4-6-3 double play which averted a big inning after Northern Door's first two batters reached base. In the second, Bebo made a nice 4-3 putout.

After Marinette's big third inning, Bebo made the play of the night to rob Tanner Biwer of an RBI single. Bebo ranged behind the second base bag to glove his hard grounder and gunned Biwer down for the third out.

"That second baseman made some unbelievable plays," Northern Door coach Jay Kita said.

Bebo's highlight film play came at a big point in the game, Marinette coach Brian Lesandrini said. "He backhanded it down on his knees, popped up and threw a strike," he said. "That was a great play. I think it certainly kept our momentum up."

Marinette third baseman Aaron Benson was not on his game early, but his teammates picked him up in the dugout, and Benson went 2 for 2 with a walk and an RBI.

"Errors happen," said Austin Belonga, who pitched the first five innings to earn the win. "You can't be perfect, so you just have to have your backs and rely on each other."

Cody Giesseman's RBI single gave Northern Door a 1-0 lead in the first. Jack Brennan singled in a run in the second, and an error gave Northern Door an unearned run in the third.

Marinette's huge third inning started with a leadoff walk by Kiefer Powers. Cody Tessmer was hit by a pitch and Derek Klegin singled. After a fielder's choice, Luke Kelly, Belonga and Benson hit consecutive RBI singles as Post 39 played station-to-station baseball with one out, Jake McMahon walked and Bebo lined a two-run single to center.

"A couple walks, a couple hit batsmen, that's gonna change it every time," Kita said.

Four consecutive walks chased Giesseman from the mound in the fourth. In the fifth, Kelly singled in a run and another run scored on an error.

"It certainly seemed like we loosened up a lot," Lesandrini said. "Our bats came alive. Our defense was outstanding. That's the type of baseball we're capable of, and hopefully that will continue."

Belonga had pitched just once - a relief appearance for the Marinette Redbirds late last month - since last summer. He was on an 80-pitch count.

"Felt good," the righthander said. "Felt like not pitching for a year gave my arm rest time."

Klegin pitched two scoreless innings in relief.

Marinette (1-2) will play in the Green Bay Southwest Fathers Day Tourney. After playing AshPort Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Marinette will play Escanaba Friday at 2:30 p.m., then the Green Bay Shockers Saturday at 9 a.m.

WP - Austin Belonga 5 IP, 3R, 2ER, 8H, 3W, 4K

LP - Tanner Biwer 3 IP, 7R, 7ER, 7H, 3W, 1K

Leading hitters (Marinette): Aaron Benson 2x2 & Belonga 2x2, RBI; Luke Kelly 2x3, 2 RBIs; Ty Bebo 2x4, 2 RBIs; Jake McMahon 1x2, RBI; (Northern Door): Cody Giesseman 3x4, RBI; Jack Brennan 2x4, RBI

Northern Door 111 000 0 - 3

Marinette 007 120 x - 10