As Legion ball continues, it was another tough time for the Minocqua American Legion Post 89 team.
The 89ers took on Medford at the 70 West Complex last Wednesday night. Medford started strong and won the game 9-2.
“It was a repeat of what happened in Medford last week,” coach Doug Etten said. “We didn’t come ready to play and it showed with some early miscues.”
Medford got right to it with a two runs in the first inning, capitalized by Spike Alexander with a run-scoring single.
The second inning was much of the same but with sloppy play. Medford scored three more runs off of errors led 5-0. It was another hot start, similar to the last time Medford played Minocqua and won 7-1 on Tuesday, July 2.
Starting for the 89ers was Zack Peterson. He was hurt with some rough defense behind him and went 5 1/3 innings, seven hits, eight runs, four earned, three runs and three strikeouts.
“Zack Peterson did a great job of throwing strikes and getting ground balls which is exactly what you want a pitcher to do,” Etten said. “We just didn’t make the plays behind him to keep it close.”
The 89ers finally got going in the bottom of the fifth. With runners on first and second, Chuck Burgess laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners in scoring position.
Two batters later, Anthony Thoms singled up the middle to score a run and make it 7-1, but that’s all that they would score as Tyler Teichmiller grounded out.
“After our first and second innings we buckled down a bit. It was just too little too late for a victory,” Etten said.
One of the highlights for Minocqua came in the sixth inning. On a double down the right field line, right fielder Burgess relayed the ball to home where Medford runner Alexander was caught in a pickle. He was tagged out.
In the bottom of the sixth, the 89ers put together another good half inning. Tim Crisco singled to get the rally going. Then, Keegan McJoynt doubled, putting runners on second and third.
Alex Fortier popped up, but then it was Tate Olson with a sacrifice fly to right field making the score 8-2.
Olson came to pitch in the seventh inning. Bryant Koniezny reached on an error and eventually made his way to third base on a sacrifice bunt and wild pitch. That was when Olson balked and the run scored.
“We know this Medford team is a good squad, but they, like us are young and we have to be more baseball savvy if we want to be able to hang with teams like this,” Etten said.
Down seven in the last inning, the 89ers needed a big rally. Burgess started it off with a single. But then it was Brandon Zajac who grounded into a double play which deflated their hopes. That would be as close as Minocqua would get.
The 89ers are running out of games to show what they can do. They will come together and look to see what they can do as the season winds down.
“We have a lot of good baseball players in this system right now, we just need that to translate into a good baseball team,” Etten said.
Their next game came Monday, July 15 when they hosted Mosinee. Coverage of that game will be in the July 16 edition of The Times
Minocqua next plays a non-league game at home against the Minocqua Wood Ducks men’s team tonight at 7 p.m.
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]