Baseball: Hatchets drop two in doubleheader with Pines, fall to Medford
For the Tomahawk Leader
TOMAHAWK – The Tomahawk Hatchet baseball team came up short in three recent games.
Northland Pines doubleheader
Northland Pines traveled to Tyler Kahle Field on Saturday, May 8, and was able to leave with two Great Northern Conference wins, holding off the Hatchets in game one, 9-6 and walking off the nightcap, 9-8.
Tomahawk trailed 6-2 after two innings following a five-run second inning by the Eagles. The inning began with a one-out walk by pitcher Logan Hissom, who stole second and was driven in by second baseman Nolan Lurvey’s double. Rightfielder James McCormick singled in Lurvey – a wild pitch, stolen base and two Hatchet errors fueled the remainder of the Eagle outbreak.
The Hatchets answered with a four-spot in the fourth after entering the inning down 7-2. An Eagle error opened the scoring, and shortstop Garrett Nelson delivered the big blow of the inning – a bases-clearing triple made the score 7-6 with one out. The inning would end quickly, however, as Nelson was picked off of third, and centerfielder Isaiah Scheffler lined out to end the threat.
That’s as close as Tomahawk would get as Pines added two unearned insurance runs in the sixth off reliever Marcus Matti.
McCormick, Ty Springer and Isaac Vedder led the Eagles with three hits each, and Hissom picked up the win on the mound, with Lurvey earning the save.
Nelson’s triple was one of his two hits on the day as the Hatchets tallied eight for the game. Jake Kaminski took the loss on the mound, allowing 10 hits and seven runs (five earned) over five innings.
Tomahawk played the visitor in game two, and after going down in order to start the game, Pines tallied six runs off Nelson.
Nelson would settle down, however, and it allowed the Hatchets to get back into the game and eventually grab an 8-6 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth, courtesy of a four-run fourth and two each in the fifth and sixth innings. The fourth was set up by four Eagle errors and two Hatchet hits – Nelson and Scheffler tallied the hits that plated two of the four runs. First baseman Payton Bunce drove in one of the two runs in the fifth, and Tyler Welke delivered the tiebreaking runs with a two-out single in the sixth.
Pines trimmed the deficit by one in the bottom of the sixth off reliever Ryan Skees, who spelled Nelson after the first two Eagle hitters of the inning walked. Skees minimized the damage, striking out Matthew Vedder with the bases loaded.
The Hatchets would not be so fortunate in the bottom of the seventh, however. Lurvey led off with a walk, stole second, reached third on a one-out wild pitch and scored on a two-strike base hit by third baseman Frank Milanowski. Milanowski would advance to second on a two-out wild pitch and would score the winning run on a two-strike single to left by leftfielder Matt Szafranski.
Nelson managed to complete five innings, allowing five hits, six earned runs and five walks. He set down 10 of the last 11 hitters he faced ahead of the sixth inning walks. Welke and Scheffler each tallied two hits in the game as part of an eight-hit attack.
“Some good signs today, but ultimately, not enough of them to pull either game out,” coach Scot Neu said after the doubleheader. “Good to see the guys compete despite being down early in both games. (We) still need to develop better consistency over the course of an entire game and dig in defensively to reduce and avoid big innings. Most games end up being won by the team who has the biggest inning, and many times that big inning ends up tallying more runs than the losing team scores the entire game.”
The Hatchets travelled to Medford on Tuesday, May 11. Medford plated five runs in the second inning, allowing the Raiders to remain unbeaten in the Great Northern Conference with an 8-0 win.
Marcus Matti took the ball for the Hatchets on the mound, and following a scoreless first inning, the Raiders got the offense in gear in the second, starting with walk to Nate Retterath – Matti’s only free pass of the game. Medford ended up advancing Retterath to third and catcher Aiden Gardner to second via a single and a groundout, and all of their runs scored with two outs. The outburst was powered by doubles by Caleb Guden, Ryan (Spike) Alexander and Blaine Seidl, accounting for four of the five runs.
Tomahawk would mount threats later in the game – a one-out double by third baseman Jake Kaminski and Payton Bunce reached third base in the seventh after a leadoff single, but both were left stranded as two Raider double plays tamped down the rallies.
The Hatchets turned two double plays of their own in the fourth and fifth to minimize damage with the leadoff hitter reaching in both innings for the Raiders, but it was not enough to fuel a comeback.
Matti completed the game on the mound for Tomahawk, allowing 13 hits and six earned runs. Alexander earned the win, allowing only three hits and striking out seven.
Tomahawk was set to host Medford at Tyler Kahle Field on Friday, May 14, and were back in action on Monday, May 17, when Mosinee came to town.
The Hatchets are on the road for a rematch against Mosinee on Thursday, May 20, and will travel to Merrill the following day. First pitch for both games is at 5 p.m.