Marinette’s Derek Klegin dives safely into third base ahead of the tag by Denmark’s Jake Reetz in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday.  EagleHerald/Jody Korch
Marinette’s Derek Klegin dives safely into third base ahead of the tag by Denmark’s Jake Reetz in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday.
EagleHerald/Jody Korch
MARINETTE - If hits are hard to come by, you'd better get good pitching and play good defense.

The Marinette baseball team did just that in a 4-0, 2-1 baseball doubleheader sweep of Denmark Saturday at Pedersen Ball Park.

Marinette (7-4) managed five hits in the first game and six in Game 2, but held the Vikings to five hits all day.

"Pitching and defense, the name of the game with the new bats they have," Marinette coach Dave Francour said.

The switch to BB core bats beginning last season for safety reasons, slows down the speed of batted balls. Still, the Marines are looking for more production from an offense that has produced just 30 runs in 11 games.

"Hopefully our bats will warm up when the weather warms," Francour said.

Jake McMahon pitched a complete-game gem in Game 1. The Marine senior righthander allowed just one hit - Kendall Meyer's slow roller in the third inning. The Vikings (4-9) also reached on two borderline errors on slow rollers. McMahon struck out 10 and walked two.

"It was on today," McMahon said. "So far, yes, that is the best I've pitched this spring. The fastball and curves were working really good. I was throwing strikes right away and not starting out with a ball."

McMahon got all of the run support he needed in the fourth inning. Leadoff batter Alex Servatius was hit by a pitch and McMahon reached on a fielder's choice. Ty Bebo then laid down a safety squeeze bunt and reached safely, but Servatius was tagged out diving back to third base.

Derek Klegin then lined a two-run single to right/center, and Austin Wright followed with an RBI single.

Marinette got an insurance run in the fifth. Jake Swenson lined a double into the right/center gap and scored on McMahon's sacrifice fly to left.

Denmark never got a baserunner past second.

"Didn't hit the ball worth a darn," Denmark coach Bill Miller said.

Francour said McMahon was dominant.

"He had a nice curveball today," the coach said, "really kept them off-balance on their front foot."

In Game 2, No. 3 hitter Nate Kallestad blasted a solo home run to center in the first inning for the Marines.

Wright pitched the first three innings. He allowed a run on Meyer's RBI single down the third-base line, but pitched out of a first and second, one-out jam when third baseman Aaron Benson fielded a grounder, stepped on the bag and fired to first for a double play.

Marinette got a gift run in the sixth when Wright reached on a dropped fly ball, advanced on Benson's single and scored on an infield error.

"That was an unearned run," Miller said. "Missed a grounder - that's the winning run."

Klegin breezed through three innings but in the seventh he walked the leadoff batter, Devon Oswald, and Tanner Umentum bunted him to second. Klegin was replaced with a 1-1 count on Ryan Havlovitz. Oswald was thrown out on a close play trying to reach third on a wild pitch, and Bebo got the final out on a comebacker.

"Defense was solid all day," Francour said. "Thank God - we've got some tired arms right now."

The Marines have some sore catchers, as well. Cody Tessmer suffered a fractured arm early in the season, and freshman Luke Johnson has filled in admirably. Johnson took a foul ball off his shin in Saturday's second game, limped for a couple of innings and was replaced behind the plate by McMahon.

It was McMahon's first time catching since Legion ball last summer.

"It was nice to help out," he said. "If they need me to play there I'll play there."

Marinette 4, Denmark 0

WP - Jake McMahon 7 IP, 0R, 1H, 2W, 10K

LP - Devon Oswald 4 IP, 3R, 3ER, 4H, 5W, 3K

Leading hitters (Marinette): Derek Klegin 2x4, 2 RBIs; Austin Wright 1x2, RBI; Ty Bebo 1x2; (Denmark): Kendall Meyer 1x3

Denmark 000 000 0 - 0

Marinette 000 310 x - 4

Marinette 2, Denmark 1

WP - Klegin 3 1/3 IP, 0R, 1H, 2W, 3K

LP - Tanner Umentum 6 IP, 2R, 1ER, 5H, 1W, 4K

Leading hitters (Marinette): Nate Kallestad 2x4, HR; Aaron Benson 1x2; Jake Swenson & Quentin Ellie 1x3; (Denmark): Oswald 1x2; Kendall Meyer 1x3, RBI

Marinette 100 001 0 - 2

Denmark 001 000 0 - 1