EagleHerald/Brian Bell
Menominee’s Dante Sartorelli throws a pitch for one of his nine strikeouts during the second game of the Red Wave’s doubleheader against Sault Ste. Marie at Spies Field on Sunday.
EagleHerald/Brian Bell

Menominee’s Dante Sartorelli throws a pitch for one of his nine strikeouts during the second game of the Red Wave’s doubleheader against Sault Ste. Marie at Spies Field on Sunday.

MENOMINEE — Sault Ste. Marie made the long trip to Menominee for a doubleheader on Sunday and the Red Wave sent them home with two losses, pushing Menominee’s record to 11-0 on the season.

“We’re playing some very good baseball right now and it’s been really fun to watch,” Menominee coach John Lauzer said. “We may struggle to hit at times, but we know it’s always going to come through for us when we need it most, and that’s what happened today.”

It was a tale of two games for Menominee at the plate as the Red Wave batters were out in front of the first pitcher they saw in Game 1 and struggled to just one hit through the first six innings of play. Andrew Schroeder and Keagan Monroe did a good job of keeping Sault Ste. Marie guessing at the plate as they had only one hit as well, and neither team was able to score a run so the game went to extra innings in a scoreless tie. Since it was a doubleheader, the teams agreed to play two six-inning games.

After Monroe retired the Sault Ste. Marie batters in order in the top of the seventh, Menominee stepped to the plate and Braeden McMahon drew a leadoff walk for this third free base of the afternoon to give the Red Wave a prime chance at ending the game.

Austin Burnside then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance McMahon over to second, but a fly-out to center field was not deep enough to allow him to move to third so he stayed put on second. With two outs, No. 9-hitter Ethan Russell stepped into the batter’s box with a chance to be the hero, and he did not disappoint.

On a 2-2 count, Russell hit a blooper out to center field that Sault Ste. Marie’s centerfielder had no chance to get to and that allowed McMahon to easily score from second base to allow Menominee to sneak out of the first game with a 1-0 victory.

“I know the top of our order is strong so I was really just looking for any way on base. I would have been happy to just draw a walk, but I got a good piece on the ball and it dropped down for the win,” Russell said. “It feels pretty good actually because being the nine-hitter people don’t expect a lot out of you sometimes and then coming through in the clutch just feels really good.”

Pitching is not usually an issue for Menominee, and that was true again on Sunday as Monroe threw five innings of nearly perfect baseball, walking one batter while striking out nine and allowing no hits. He got the win in relief of Schroeder, who went two innings but was taken out after having some pain in his side after being beaned in Menominee’s 12-2 win in Negaunee on Saturday.

In the second game of the afternoon, the Red Wave’s bats were much more lively as Menominee fed off of the momentum of Russell’s walk-off to rip eight hits, score 11 runs and the pitching and defense stayed locked in to win by 10-run rule in five innings.

Menominee started out the scoring in the first inning when Werner drew a one-out walk and came around to score on an RBI-triple from Monroe who later scored on a passed ball. Buddy Beyer drew another walk and also later scored on a passed ball to give Monroe — who started the second game on the mound after finishing the first — a 3-0 lead heading into the top of the second.

Once again, Monroe had Sault Ste. Marie in the palm of his hand, striking out three of the first four batters he faced before hitting his 105-pitch limit for the day and had to be relieved. Dante Sartorelli took over with one out in the top of the second, and after walking the first batter he faced, Sartorelli found his groove and K’d the next two batters to retire the side.

Two more runs came in Menominee’s half of the second when Hunter Goldschmidt lined a single to leadoff the inning and Schroeder reached base on an error two batters later to put runners on first and second with one out. After a strikeout, Monroe struck again with another triple, this time scoring two runs to hike the lead to 5-0 after two.

Sartorelli picked up where he left off on the mound, making easy work of the Soo in the third and fourth innings before striking out his seventh, eighth and ninth batters in the top of the fifth to close out the game as Menominee scored six runs between the third and fourth innings.

Monroe, Beyer and McMahon all had RBI-singles in the fourth inning and Keaton Uecke and McMahon singled and scored on wild pitches in the third.

Since he threw just 1 1/3 innings, Monroe was not available to pick up his second win of the afternoon, so the win went to Sartorelli who allowed just one hit while walking three in addition to the nine punchouts.

“Our pitching has been outstanding these last few games,” Lauzer said. “The first game, I’m not sure why but we just came out flat but still somehow got the win and then we picked it up like we know we can in the second, but it’s all possible because of our pitching. Our pitchers know all they have to do is get the ball over the plate because our defense has been fantastic this year too, so that makes it a lot easier on them.”

Menominee has been a buzzsaw so far this season, running through its competition with ease, but the Red Wave have a big test ahead of them today when they travel to Marquette for a matchup with the Blues. Lauzer and the Red Wave have not won in Marquette since 2013.

“(Marquette) is probably going to be the best team we face all season,” Lauzer said. “That will be a test for us to see where we are really at.”

Menominee 1, Sault Ste. Marie 0

WP — Monroe 5IP, 0H, 0R, 1W, 9K

Leading hitters (Menominee): Russell 1x3, RBI; Schroeder 1x3, SB; McMahon 0x0, 3BB, R.

Menominee 11, Sault Ste. Marie 0

WP — Sartorelli 3 2/3 1H, 0R, 3W, 9K

Leading hitters (Menominee): Monroe 3x3, 2 3B, 4RBI, 2R; Uecke 1x1, 2R, 2BB; McMahon 2x3, RBI, R; Goldschmidt 1x2, R, BB, SB; Beyer 1x2, BB, 2R.

Menominee 12, Negaunee 2 (Saturday)

WP — Austin Burnside 5IP, 2H, 2R, 1W, 12K

Leading hitters (Menominee): Werner 2x3, HR, 2B, 2BB, 2R, 2SB; Beyer 2x3, 2B, BB, 2R; Burnside 1x1, 3BB, 2R; Goldschmidt 2x3, BB, 2RBI.