Marinette Legion Post 39 shortstop Derek Klegin fires an acrobatic strike to first base during the team’s first game against De Pere 17-U on Tuesday. EagleHerald/Billy Betts
Marinette Legion Post 39 shortstop Derek Klegin fires an acrobatic strike to first base during the team’s first game against De Pere 17-U on Tuesday. EagleHerald/Billy Betts
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MARINETTE - Marinette Post 39's best baseball is yet to come, but a double-header split against De Pere 17U was satisfying enough for coach Brian Lesandrini on Tuesday.

Despite racking up nine hits, Post 39 dropped its first game 5-3 and followed with a nail-biting 5-4 victory in the second game.

"We didn't play our best today, there are a lot of things we need to improve on," Lesandrini said. "I'll take a split though, especially the way we played against a young, talented team like that."

In the first game, De Pere took 1-0 lead in the first inning after a lead-off double by Reece Lude and a run-scoring single up the middle by Will Reabe.

Post 39 tied the game in the second. Austin Belonga doubled, Aaron Benson grounded out to second to advance Belonga to third and Nate Kallestad drove him in with a groundout to second.

De Pere scored two runs in the third on a Ben Reynolds two-RBI single to right-center.

Marinette added a run in the bottom of the third, but seemed out of sync against pitcher Zak Sanders, who used a combination of fastballs and curveballs to keep Post 39 off-balance.

"I was very pleased with how Zak threw and we had some timely hits to help his cause," De Pere coach Erik Rutherford said. "We mainly had 16-year-olds playing tonight and I thought they did a nice job against a veteran group like Marinette."

After Austin Wright suffered the tough-luck loss in the first contest, Beau DeLaet switched from catcher to the mound.

DeLaet struggled through the first two innings with command issues, but De Pere was unable to take advantage.

Post 39's bats started strong in the second as Nate Kallestad roped a double to left and was driven home by Jake McMahon infield single and an error on the throw, which drove in Kallestad.

De Pere tied the game up at one in the fourth. Paul Grout lined a one-out single, Beau Mommaerts followed with a single and after an error at first, Jake Buboltz drove in Grout with a single to center.

With the game tied at one in the top of the fifth, Wright reached on a fielder's choice with one out and scored on two De Pere errors.

Marinette added three insurance runs in the seventh on a two-run single by Luke Kelly with the bases loaded. Scott Eldredge scored on the play on an error at second to give Post 39 a 5-1 lead.

DeLaet ran out of gas, allowing back-to-back walks.

McMahongave up an RBI-single to left, and walked in two more runs to cut the Marinette lead to 5-4.

Lesandrini then turned to Derek Klegin.

Klegin struck out Lude and forced Sam Deruyter to fly out to Ty Bebo to end the game.

In the first game, Klegin went three for four and finished the night hitting successfully in five of his eight at-bats. He also made a web-gem play on a grounder deep in the hole between short and third and capped off the night with a mound victory.

Game One

WP - Zak Sanders 7IP, 3R, 3ER, 9H, 2K, 0W
LP - Austin Wright 7IP, 5R, 4ER, 6H, 4K, 2W

Leading hitters (De Pere 17-U): Reece Lude 3x4, 2B; Ben Reynolds 1x3, 2RBI; (Marinette): Derek Klegin 3x4; Scott Eldridge 1x4, 2B; Beau DeLaet 1x3, 2B

De Pere 17-U 102 011 0 - 5
Marinette 011 000 1 - 3


Game Two

WP - Klegin 2/3IP, 0R, 0H, 1K, 0W
LP - Will Reabe 3IP, 4R, 2ER, 3H, 0K, 4W

Leading hitters (Marinette): Klegin 2x4; Nate Kallestad 2x4, 2 2B; (De Pere 17-U): Paul Grout 2x2

Marinette 010 010 3 - 5
De Pere 17-U 000 100 3 - 4