Baseball: Wingers rocked by John Marshall
ROCHESTER — Quiet bats and shaky defense have been an issue for Red Wing most of this season. The Wingers seemed to figure things out over the last two weeks, but Saturday’s Section 1AAA second-round game against Rochester John Marshall brought out all the bad things Red Wing head coach Paul Hartmann thought were buried 10 days ago.
“The things we’ve done well the last week-and-a-half, we didn’t do today,” Hartmann said after the final out in Wingers’ 4-1 defeat to the Rockets. “We kind of had that next level on Thursday, and we didn’t have that today for whatever reason. Different routine? But there’s no excuses there, we have to come ready to play.”
Everything held together for Red Wing through the first three innings at John Adams Middle School. Ty Buck kept the Rockets off balance, even with two hit batters, and the offense did just enough to push a run across on a wild pitch in the top of the second.
Things started to unravel in the fourth when a two-out error allowed John Marshall to tie the game. Another error gave the Rockets the lead in the fifth, while Buck’s third hit batter loaded the bases.
Red Wing wriggled out of that jam, but two singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly gave JM a three-run cushion in the sixth.
“JM’s a solid club, and they didn’t beat themselves,” Hartmann said. “I thought we beat ourselves today. Defensively, a couple tough hops, but we didn’t make some plays we’re capable of making. Bottom line, we have to hit a little bit better.”
Red Wing managed just two hits off Rocket starter Zachary Schwieters. Ryan Jonas singled in the second, which put Thate Peterson in scoring position. Peterson advanced to third on Cam Voigt’s fly out to right, and scored on a wild pitch one batter later. The Wingers’ other hit came from Voigt, but a double play on Gunnar Tubbs’ line out ended any threat.
Schweizers was not overpowering, not in the sense that Red Wing could not keep up with his speed. In fact, it was the opposite, as Schweiters, who finished with seven strikeouts and zero walks, routinely kept the Wingers out front by changing speeds and location.
“He knew how to pitch us. He knows how to pitch in general. He did a good job mixing and matching, working us in and out, up and down,” Hartmann said. “We have to be able to make adjustments, and we didn’t do that today.”
Red Wing now falls into the elimination bracket where the Wingers will meet up with Winona at 11 a.m. Monday back at John Adams in a game that could end Red Wing’s season.
“The positive thing is we beat ourselves against the No. 2 seed in the section, and we were right there. If we play that way we’re capable of playing, our goal is to try to get back to Red Wing,” Hartmann said.
Rochester Mayo will face John Marshall at 1:30 p.m., with the loser facing the winner of the earlier game at 4 p.m. in another elimination game.