Legion fends off the Falls
Marinette squeaks out one-run victory
Thursday, June 20, 2013 7:00 PM
MARINETTE - During Chris Hilberg's tenure as the Oconto Falls baseball coach, his teams have battled Marinette tightly, but were unable to pull out victories.
Marinette Post 39 shortstop Jake McMahon fires the ball to first to record the final out and secure Marinette’s victory over Oconto Falls Thursday. EagleHerald/Billy Betts
Thursday night fit the script once again for the Falls as Marinette rode the strong pitching of Ty Bebo and Derek Klegin en route to a 3-2 victory.
"In all my years playing against Marinette at Pederson Ball Park, we've never been able to win," Hilberg said. "We always give them a good game, but they seem to pull it out at the end. Tonight was just the same."
Marinette's bats were silent early and Oconto Falls jumped on the scoreboard first.
In the second inning, Taylor Bataut led off with a double to left and after Bebo struck out the next two batters, Colton Giese smashed a run-scoring single.
Jake McMahon jump-started Post 39's offense in the third by reaching on an error at first to lead off the inning. After he took second on the play, Beau DeLaet move him over to third on a flyout to right before Klegin roped a two-hopper to second to drive in McMahon and tie the game.
In the fourth, Luke Kelly led off with a single. After two flyouts, Nate Kallestad singled up the middle and Kiefer Powers clutched up for a run-scoring single to right to give Marinette the lead.
Austin Belonga added a valuable insurance run in the fifth by smashing a double to left-center which drove in Klegin after he beat out an infield single to second base.
"Clutch hit and we really needed it," Marinette coach said of Belonga's double. "We were having trouble against their pitcher (Ethan Berth) and every hit was key."
Bebo, who sailed through the first five innings, ran into trouble in the sixth.
After getting the first two outs, Bebo walked the Falls' eight and nine hitters before Lesandrini called on Klegin for a four-out save.
Klegin's first batter was Giese, who already registered two singles and was a tough out all game.
After working a 2-2 count, Klegin fooled Giese with a curveball that caught him looking for a strikeout.
"Big pitch and we really needed it with them looking to make a run," Lesandrini said.
Oconto Falls made things interesting in the seventh.
Jacob Abygal drew a one-out walk and after a strikeout, Bo Shroyer roped a tailing liner to right just off the end of Austin Wright's glove to drive in Abygal and put him on second.
Klegin wasn't rattled and on the second pitch against Matt Fournier, he forced a groundout to short to end the game.
"We had opportunities, but weren't able to cash them in," Hilberg said. "They're a good team and I'm happy with how we played tonight."
Bebo earned the victory, allowing just one run in 5 and 2⁄3 innings pitched. He gave up just four hits while racking up seven punchouts.
Klegin, who is batting a blistering 12 for 18 in his last five games, was two for three with a run scored and an RBI. Kallestad also had two singles and has been swinging the bat well.
"I'm pleased with the way we played tonight," Lesandrini said. "I thought our pitchers did a nice job and we had some big hits when we needed to. We have a nice day off tomorrow and back at for a double-header on Saturday."
Marinette improved to 7-6 with the victory and play host to Neenah on Saturday for a double-header that starts at noon.
WP - Ty Bebo 5 2/3IP, 1R, 1ER, 4H, 7K, 4W
LP - Ethan Berth 6IP, 3R, 2ER, 7H, 2K, 3W
Leading hitters (Marinette): Derek Klegin 2x3; Nate Kallestad 2x3; Austin Belonga 1x2, 2B; (Oconto Falls): Colton Giese 2x4; Taylor Bataut 1x3; 2B
Marinette 001 110 x - 3
Oconto Falls 010 000 1 - 2