Marinette’s Aaron Benson is caught in a rundown in the first inning against Hortonville Friday at Pedersen Ball Park. A run scored on the play. <br>EagleHerald/Jody Korch
Marinette’s Aaron Benson is caught in a rundown in the first inning against Hortonville Friday at Pedersen Ball Park. A run scored on the play.
EagleHerald/Jody Korch
MARINETTE - Bottom line, the Marinette Marines didn't hit the ball well enough to win Friday's Bay Conference baseball showdown.

Hortonville rallied for a 2-1 victory in a zany pitcher's duel at Pedersen Ball Park.

The game turned surreal in the bottom of the first inning. Marine leadoff batter Derek Klegin reached on an error, took second on a passed ball and reached third on Nate Kallestad's groundout. Aaron Benson walked, got caught leaning the wrong way by Hortonville southpaw Ryley Rosenfeldt, and was tagged out in a rundown as Klegin broke for home.

Klegin's father, Dave, talked the home plate umpire into counting the run.

Truth be told, Klegin was well short of home when Benson was tagged.

Hortonville coach Don Williams - a good friend of Dave Klegin's father, Eddie - went ballistic and was ejected.

"I don't think it really unnerved them at all," Williams said of his team. "The old guy goes berserk once in awhile."

The Polar Bears gained poetic justice in the sixth.

Held scoreless through five innings by Marine pitcher Jake McMahon, Hortonville got a leadoff single by Connor Hafeman in the sixth. Connor Dougherty then walked and Jon Boushley lined a game-tying RBI single to left.

One out later, Andrew Thompson bounced into a fielder's choice. Dougherty was ruled safe on a play at the plate. Coaches and players on both sides figured it was a makeup call for Marinette's run.

"They got the break at the end, we got the break at the beginning," Marinette coach Dave Francour said. "Hey, good high school game. What are you going to do? Our kids played good, their kids played good."

Rosenfeldt out-dueled McMahon with a complete-game one-hitter. He had heat on his fastball and spotted his curveballs well.

"I'm really blessed with a deep pitching staff," Williams said. "We've been struggling at the plate a little bit. There's one reason we're undefeated (5-0) at this point. Pitchers were the name of the game today."

McMahon gave up just five hits and three walks while striking out seven.

"Jake is a battler," Francour said. "I don't think he had his good stuff. He was up all day. When he had to get the pitches he made the pitches."

Klegin lined a 1-2 curveball to left in the sixth for Marinette's only hit.

"Their pitcher kept us off balance," the Marine coach said. "We didn't get many good swings off him.

The Marines fell to 4-3 overall and in the Bay.

"More than happy with the way we've been playing," Francour said. "Doing a lot of good things. That's all you can ask."

Williams, who watched the game from beyond the fence in left, had praise for the Marine program and their second-to-none ballpark.

"I have a lot of respect for Marinette," Williams said. "They do it the right way. I hope their kids appreciate what they've got up here. They're a lucky group."

WP - Ryley Rosenfeldt 7 IP, 1R, 0ER, 1H, 1W, 8K

LP - Jake McMahon 7 IP, 2R, 2ER, 5H, 3W, 7K

Leading hitters (Marinette): Derek Klegin 1x3; (Hortonville): Rosenfeldt 2x3; Jon Boushley 1x3, RBI

Hortonville 000 002 0 - 2

Marinette 100 000 0 - 1