Marines make all of the plays
Gressel pitches complete-game gem
Monday, April 21, 2014 7:00 PM
MARINETTE - The Marinette Marines won a baseball game the way they have to win them this spring.
Marinette’s Alex Gressel fires a pitch during Monday’s win over Seymour at Pedersen Ball
Park. Gressel pitched a complete-game victory.
Throw strikes, make the plays in the field, and scratch out a few runs.
Alex Gressel pitched an impressive complete-game two-hitter, as the Marines beat Seymour 3-1 Monday at Pedersen Ball Park.
The Marines don't have a flame-throwing pitcher to rack up double-digit strikeouts, and they don't have a murderer's row of power hitters. But if they play the way they did for Monday's Bay Conference opener, they'll be just fine.
Gressel, a junior righthander, struck out two, walked three and needed just 96 pitches. He showed pinpoint control with fastballs, curveballs and an occasional slider.
"Alex is not gonna be overpowering, but he throws strikes, got ahead of the hitters, and the defense made the plays," Marinette coach Dave Francour said.
The Marine defense was flawless. The infield of Luke Johnson at third base, Aaron Benson at shortstop, second baseman Alex Servatius and Jake Swenson at first made 13 putouts. Center fielder Jimmy Jackimowicz caught four flies and Caylubb Maske grabbed two in left.
"We've got to play good defense to be successful," Francour said. "Today we did and got a victory."
Marinette stranded the bases loaded in the first but capitalized on an error to take the lead in the second. Colton Dessart reached on the infield error, stole second and made it around to third on a throwing error. He scored on Kolby Garza's groundout to second.
Seymour got its leadoff man aboard three times, including the sixth, when Andrew Krueger lined a single to right. He took second and third on wild pitches and scored on Casey Jefson's squeeze bunt.
Blake Miller's leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth set the stage for the winning rally. Dessart then placed a perfect bunt down the first-base line for a single. Pinch runner Kevin Konyn and Dessart advanced on a double-steal. Then, Jackimowicz jumped on a first-pitch fastball for a clutch two-out, two-run single to right/center.
Jackimowicz also jumped on a first-pitch fastball for a single in the first inning.
"I just pictured fastball in my mind, and that's what I was looking for," Jackimowicz said.
In the second inning, Jackimowicz punched an 0-2 curveball over the infield for a single. It was textbook hitting against Casey Jefson, who kept the Marines off balance with sharp-breaking curves.
Seymour coach Curt Jefson was impressed with the Marines.
"I thought that Marinette defended better," he said. "That leadoff hitter (Jackimowicz), that was a real huge hit there."
Marinette improved to 1-2-1 overall, 1-0 in the Bay. Seymour is 1-2 overall and in the Bay.
"We were unsure what we were going to be like this year," Jackimowicz said. "To get a win was just awesome. We have a good program here in Marinette."
WP - Alex Gressel 7 IP, 1R, 1ER, 2H, 3W, 2K
LP - Andrew Krueger 1 IP, 2R, 2ER, 2H, 1W, 2K
Leading hitters (Marinette): Jimmy Jackimowicz 3x4, 2 RBIs; Blake Mikker 1x2; Jake Swenson 1x3, 2B, Colton Dessart 1x3; (Seymour): Krueger 1x2, Phil Michaelson 1x3
Seymour 000 001 0 - 1
Marinette 010 002 x - 3