Bay Port falls to Marinette in legion finale
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY—The Bay Port legion baseball team withstood many challenges during the four-day AAA Region 3 tournament.
Their run came to an end after Marinette defeated the Pirates by a final of 10-5 in a championship game played July 22 at Green Bay Southwest High School.
After eliminating Southwest 7-6 in the previous game, the Pirates started Will Destiche on the mound.
Marinette jumped out to a flying start by scoring three runs in the top of the first.
The Pirates countered with a run of their own by Grant Maus to cut the margin to 3-1 after one.
With limited pitchers able to throw, things went from bad to worse for Bay Port after Destiche left the contest after one inning with a shoulder injury. Bay Port used three additional pitchers in the final six innings.
“With the pitch count in effect it really hurt us in this last game with having to go with guys who haven’t thrown much or at all for us on the hill,” said Jesse Wiltzius, Bay Port head coach. “Once you lose a game in this format, you are fighting an uphill battle. Give the kids credit for battling the whole way.”
With the Pirates trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the second, their bats heated up against Marinette starting pitcher Austin Burnside.
After a lead-off walk to Jonah Doelger, Kessler Cook ripped a single to left field.
Adam Bernklau then put down a perfect bunt to load the bases.
With one out, Bryce DeBouche singled to center scoring Doelger and cut the margin to 4-2.
Jett Thielke stepped in and hit a pop up that seemed like it went halfway to the moon.
When it finally came down, neither Marinette outfielder could track it and it dropped to the ground scoring Cook and bringing the Pirates to within a single run at 4-3.
“We had a good start early with some timely hitting and a couple of errors on their behalf,” added Wiltzius. “We were within striking distance.”
Later on, in the top of the fourth, Marinette showcased their big-play capability with a two-run lead.
Five consecutive singles by Mason Risner, Trevor Bloch, Trey Bretl, Jaden Werner and Nicholas Teteak scored four runs to put Marinette up 9-3 and they added one additional run with two outs to have a seven-run cushion after three-and-one half innings.
“Marinette is an excellent hitting team from top to bottom,” said Wiltzius. “They didn’t hurt us necessarily with big-time hitting but got a lot of singles to beat us.”
The Pirates added two runs late to cut the margin to 10-5 but that was all they could muster against Mason Risner who came in and pitched the final 3 2/3 innings for Marinette to send them to the State Tournament.
Marinette: 311 500 0—10 11 3
Bay Port: 120 110 0—5 9 3