Blue Devils beat Rangers walkoff style
By City Times staff
STEVENS POINT – The Post 54 Blue Devils advanced to today’s championship round of the AAA Regional Tournament at Bukolt Park in Stevens Point with a 3-2 win over the Post 9 Rangers, on a walkoff RBI base hit by Jacob Earll in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Blue Devils Head Coach Josh Metz got solid pitching and defense from his team in the extra-inning win.
The Blue Devils took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, when Eli Drexler reached on an error, stole second base, then stole third. Drexler scored on an error as the throw from Rapids catcher Josh Zwicke down to third base got by Gabe Zwicke and went into left field.
The Post 9 Rangers tied the game in the top of the fifth inning when Caleb Krommenakker scored on an RBI base hit by Josh Zwicke. Marshfield answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the fifth. Drexler scored on an RBI base hit by Devyn Palmer.
Rapids came back to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning, when Josh Zwicke scored on a wild pitch by reliever Preston Wagner. That sent the game to the deciding eighth inning. Rapids had two on with just one out in the top of the inning, when Donovan Brandl grounded into a double play to end the inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Chandler Schmidt poked a base hit into left field. He went to second on a wild pitch and to third on another. Ty Pankratz then walked to put runners at first and third. Jacob Earll then came to the plate, and delivered a ground ball deep in the hole that shortstop Jake Wipfli fielded but never got out of his glove as Schmidt scored from third to end the game.
Schmidt was 3-for-4 and scored the game-winning run. Preston Wagner added two base hits. Marshfield now faces Stevens Point July 23 at 5 p.m. The winner takes on Wisconsin Rapids for the regional championship at 7:30 p.m., and the winner of that game advances to the state tournament at Casper Park in Chippewa Falls this weekend.