Hatchet sluggers earn first win with tournament play on horizon
For the Tomahawk Leader
TOMAHAWK – The Tomahawk Hatchet baseball team earned its first win of the season over Nekoosa after a series of losses to Mosinee, Merrill and Rhinelander.
Mosinee set the tone on Thursday, May 20, by pushing across four runs in the bottom of the first on their way to an 11-1, five-inning win. Three consecutive run-scoring singles plated the four runs after two outs had been recorded by Hatchet starting pitcher Marcus Matti.
Tomahawk answered after the Mosinee lead stretched to five, with right fielder Garrett Nelson reaching on an error, moving to second on a single by Matti, then scoring on a failed pickoff of Matti at first base by Indians pitcher Matthew Dudei. Matti and second baseman Tyler Welke each tallied two hits in the game.
The Hatchets traveled to Merrill on Friday, May 21, and struck first with Welke reaching on an error and touching home on a double by pitcher Isaiah Scheffler. The Bluejays answered with two in the bottom of the inning; however, Tomahawk would match those two with a pair in the top of the second – Matti cracked a one-out double and scored on a wild pitch and catcher Tyler Jablonski walked with two outs and would score on an error that allowed third baseman Jake Kaminski to reach.
Merrill took enough advantage of walks and hit batsmen during Scheffler’s five and two-thirds innings – eleven total – to take a 5-3 lead to the sixth, where Tomahawk would plate four runs to retake the lead. Jablonski, centerfielder Blake Felser, Kaminski and Welke would cross the plate, driven home by Welke, Scheffler, Nelson and first baseman Payton Bunce.
The Bluejays would answer one more time, plating three runs after two outs were recorded with the aid of an error. The game ended with Felser lining into a double play.
Rhinelander, game one
Tomahawk would turn around on Monday, May 24, at home against Rhinelander. The Hodags jumped on Nelson, who started the game on the mound – with four runs in the top of the first and five more in the second, aided by four walks and an error over those two innings.
Rhinelander would put up 10 in the third on Kaminski, who came on in relief of Nelson, en route to a 22-1, five-inning final. Matti and Felser connected for back-to-back doubles in the fifth for the Hatchet’s lone tally.
Rhinelander, game two
Rhinelander completed the home-and-home sweep of Tomahawk at Stafford Park on Thursday, May 27, by a final of 10-3.
The Hatchets managed to strike first, pushing a run across in the top of the first as shortstop Jake Kaminski reached and moved to second base on an error, second baseman Tyler Welke bunted Kaminski to third, and first baseman Payton Bunce drove Kaminski in with a fielder’s choice ground ball.
The Hodags had an answer in the bottom of the inning, as pitcher Isaac Bixby walked and later scored on a base hit by third baseman Joe Schneider. Rhinelander would push four more across in the bottom of the second off Isaiah Scheffler, who came on in relief of starter Marcus Matti. Two hits, an error and hit batsman would all end up scoring to push the Hodag lead to 5-1.
Tomahawk would answer with single tallies in the third and fifth – Kaminski walked and later scored on an error in the third and Scheffler singled, stole second and scored on Matti’s two-out hit in the fifth. Rhinelander’s three-run fourth kept the Hodags’ lead comfortable as a single, walk and double set up the scoring, and first baseman Walker Hartman’s single brought two of the three runs home.
Kaminski walked twice and scored twice for the Hatchets, catcher Tyler Jablonski tallied two hits and centerfielder Blake Felser added another Hatchet hit.
Tomahawk dominated the first five innings of their non-conference game at Nekoosa on Tuesday, June 1, and it was enough to earn the Hatchets their first win of the season, 8-7 over the Papermakers.
Marcus Matti earned the win on the mound, completing four and two-thirds innings, allowing five hits and one earned run to go with one walk and two strikeouts. Matti was supported by a double play and 10 hits collected by Hatchet hitters in the first five innings that generated eight runs.
Shortstop Jake Kaminski led off the game with a walk, stole second, reached third on an error and scored on a single by centerfielder Isaiah Scheffler. Scheffler later scored on a double by third baseman Garrett Nelson for the early lead.
The Hatchets added two more in the second, one in the fourth and three in the fifth to stretch the lead. Leftfielder Blake Felser and Kaminski crossed the plate in the second with help from second baseman Tyler Welke. Welke drove in Kaminski in the fourth after a Papermaker error. Nelson, Matti and designated hitter Logan Bishop all crossed the plate in the fifth – Matti drove home Nelson and Felser’s single brought home Matti and Bishop.
The game turned after Matti left the mound as relievers Nelson and Scheffler covered the remaining seven outs, but not without a high wire act. Six walks and three hit batters by Nelson and Scheffler in relief of Matti helped the Papermakers plate two runs in the sixth and four in the seventh. Scheffler was able to finish the game with the lead intact, getting a tag out at home plate between a pair of strikeouts to end it.
The Hatchets faced Wittenberg at Tyler Kahle Memorial Field on Thursday, June 3, and were set to play a doubleheader in Abbotsford on Saturday, June 5. Their home finale was slated for Tuesday, June 8, against Rosholt.
Tournament play begins on Thursday, June 10 in Antigo.