Marinette Legion’s Beau DeLaet beats out an infield grounder in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against Sheboygan at Pedersen Ball Park.<br>EagleHerald/Jody Korch
Marinette Legion’s Beau DeLaet beats out an infield grounder in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against Sheboygan at Pedersen Ball Park.
EagleHerald/Jody Korch
MARINETTE - Marinette's sixth and seventh straight victories were blueprints for how Post 39 will want to emulate when it hosts the state tourney in four weeks.
With 3-2 and 5-2 victories over Sheboygan Tuesday night, Marinette (14-7) realized its potential. Sheboygan is tied for 10th in this week's Legion AAA rankings, and leads the Fox River Valley Legion South Division.
"Pitching and defense were phenomenal," Marinette coach Brian Lesandrini said. "I think everyone's playing with a little more confidence, they have a little more bounce in their step."
In Game 1, Post 39 won an extra-inning classic with a daring call and perfect execution.
Sheboygan took a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth inning on Aaron Peterson's base hit, two infield singles and Tyler Van Calligan's sacrifice fly.
Nate Kallestad beat out an infield single to lead off Marinette's half of the eighth, and Aaron Benson singled through the hole. Luke Kelly bunted the tying and winning runs into scoring position, and Beau DeLaet was intentionally walked to set up a force at any base. Jake McMahon punched an opposite-field single off the end of his bat to tie the game.
Lesandrini then replaced Benson, who pitched all eight innings, with a faster baserunner, Austin Wright. Sheboygan pulled in left fielder Carter Amundsen for a fifth infielder. With Sheboygan suspecting a suicide squeeze bunt, Ty Bebo swung away at the first pitch and fouled it off.
"I was just looking to hit the fastball," Bebo said.
Then, Lesandrini called for the squeeze play on the second pitch.
"I figured even though the infield was up they weren't gonna expect it on the second pitch," Lesandrini said.
Bebo bunted it down the first-base line for a game-winning suicide squeeze.
"The pitch was outside," Lesandrini said. "He put it down the first base line exactly the way you practice it."
Bebo said he just wanted to make sure he got the bunt down because he noticed that Wright got a good jump on the previous pitch.
"I surprised myself," Bebo said. "First base line - that's where it was pitched."
Benson worked in and out of jams all game. He allowed two earned runs on five hits with four walks and one strikeout. The defense was errorless.
"Just use my defense," Benson said. "Couldn't ask for better defense, really."
Benson, who will be a senior this fall, threw 125 pitches - his most since undergoing labrum surgery on his pitching shoulder his freshman year.
Marinette scored its other run in the fourth on two walks, a DeLaet single and Bebo's infield single in which he slid head-first to beat the throw.
DeLaet pitched 61⁄3 innings in the nightcap. He worked out of a bases loaded, no-out jam in the first inning with a popup and a 1-2-3 double play.
Marinette took a 2-0 lead in the second on Kelly's single, Wright's RBI double deep into the corner in left, and Bebo's RBI sac fly.
Sheboygan got a run back in the third on Austin Mork's sac fly, but center fielder Nate Kallestad's running catch saved at least one run.
Benson then followed Kallestad's base hit with a towering two-run home run to left in the bottom of the third.
In the fourth, Bebo walked, slid around a tag for a stolen base and scored on Derek Klegin's bloop single.
Amundsen's RBI chased DeLaet from the mound in the seventh, but Klegin got the final two outs to earn the save.
"The defense made a lot of good plays tonight," Lesandrini said. "The pitching obviously benefited from that."
Marinette 3, Sheboygan 2 (8 innings)
WP - Aaron Benson 8 IP, 2R, 2ER, 5H, 4W, 1K
LP - Andy Seymour 11⁄3 IP, 2R, 2ER, 4H, 1W, 0K
Leading hitters (Marinette): Beau DeLaet 2x3; Ty Bebo 2x4, 2 RBIs; Nate Kallestad, Aaron Benson & Cody Tessmer 1x3; (Sheboygan): Cody Weis 1x1; Robert Hoffmann 1x2
Sheboygan 000 100 01 - 2
Marinette 000 100 02 - 3
Marinette 5, Sheboygan 2
WP - DeLaet 61⁄3 IP, 2R, 1ER, 6H, 3W, 4K
LP - Tyler Zietz 6 IP, 5R, 5ER, 7H, 2W, 3K
Leading hitters (Marinette): Benson 2x3, HR, 2 RBIs; Klegin 2x3, RBI; Kallestad 2x3; Austin Wright 1x3, 2B, RBI; Luke Kelly 1x3; (Sheboygan): Carter Amundsen 2x4, RBI; Cody Weis & Hoffmann 2x4
Sheboygan 001 000 1 - 2
Marinette 022 100 x - 5