QUINNESEC, Mich. — After the Menominee baseball team defeated Sault Ste. Marie 10-0 in five innings earlier in the day, the Red Wave battled it out with Marquette in the nightcap, losing a close game 5-4 to move to 2-1 in pool play and advance to the weekend round.
Three teams in Menominee’s pool finished with a 2-1 record (Marqeutte, Sault Ste. Marie, Menominee), but since the Red Wave had the biggest run differential thanks to two 10-0 wins, they took the No. 1 overall seed for the weekend and will face Iron Mountain at 10 a.m. today.
“The first game against the Soo we came out and handled our business, but against Marquette we did not look very enthused to start the game and they took an early lead on us that we couldn’t fully come back from,” Menominee coach John Lauzer said. “Overall we are happy with the way we played the first three games of the tournament and we are happy to be moving on to the weekend.”
Game 1 against the Soo was a hit party for Menominee as the Red Wave cranked out 10 hits in five innings with four extra-base hits on a triple and a double from Keagan Monroe and doubles from Andrew Schroeder and Jaden Werner.
Menominee scored three runs in the first and second innings, one in the fourth and then three more in the fifth to get the shutout win. Schroeder threw the first 12/3 innings for Menominee, staying under his pitch limit to keep him fresh for the weekend after Menominee already held 6-0 lead up to that point, as they were the away team and batted first to start the game.
Dante Sartorelli came on in relief and threw the final 31/3 innings where he allowed no runs on one hit with two walks and six strikeouts.
Against Marquette, Menominee fell behind in the first inning as the Blues’ Peter Vandenavond singled and stole second to start the inning and Hogan Nemetz walked behind him. After a sacrifice bunt, Jon Jason knocked in both runs with a 2-RBI single.
Menominee had a prime opportunity to get the runs back and then some in the bottom half of the first as the first three batters reached base on a walk to Schroeder and back-to-back singles from Monroe and Werner to load the bases with no outs. The next batter hit a shallow pop-fly in right field, and Marquette’s second baseman made a rolling catch and Schroeder, who was on third, could not tell if he dropped it or caught it and kept running home as the second baseman got up to throw him out at third for a double play. The Red Wave still had runners on first and second with two outs, however, and a walk to Buddy Beyer loaded the bases again, but the next batter struck out looking to end the threat.
Marquette added one more in the second and then piled on two more in the fourth to take a 5-0 advantage, but Menominee’s catcher, McMahon, saved another run from scoring by gunning a runner out attempting to steal third and the Red Wave started to chip away at the lead in its half of the fourth inning after a meeting with their coaches.
Keaton Uecke hit into a fielder’s choice for the first out, but a walk to Sartorelli and a single from Hunter Goldschmidt loaded the bases with one out. Back-to-back walks to Ethan Russell and Schroeder plated two runs, but another fielder’s choice got the force out at home and there was two outs still with the bases loaded. A wild pitch allowed Russell to score from third and the other runners to advance to second and third, but the Red Wave batter struck out looking to end the inning with the score at 5-3 in favor of the Blues.
“One more big hit somewhere in that game gets us the lead but it just was not meant to be for us,” Lauzer said. “The kids started to pick it up a little bit after we got on them and told them nothing is really guaranteed right now, we still need to put up some runs in order to make it to tomorrow.”
Menominee’s final run of the game came in the sixth when Goldschmidt reached first on an error, was sac-bunted over to second by Russell, tagged up on a flyball to advance to third and eventually scored on an RBI-single from Monroe to put the score to 5-4, but Menominee would strand a runner on second in the bottom of the seventh to come up just short.
Werner pitched the first six innings for Menominee, allowing five runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Menominee’s 10 a.m. first pitch will be broadcast on Bay Cities Radio 103.7 with Jack Hall calling the play-by-play.
Menominee 10, Sault Ste. Marie 0
WP — Sartorelli 31/3 IP, 0R, H, 6K, 2W
Leading hitters (Menominee): Werner 3x4, 2B, 2R; Monroe 2x3, 3B, 2B, BB, 2R; Schroeder 2x3, 2B, 3R; Goldschmidt, Uecke, Beyer 1x3.
Marquette 5, Menominee 4
LP — Werner 6IP, 5R, 5H, 2K, 3W
Leading hitters (Menominee): Monroe 2x4; Werner 1x3.