A’s churn out 8-2 win over Hadley

MARSHALL – The Marshall A’s amateur baseball team got its second win over Hadley this season and fourth straight win overall Wednesday night, defeating the Buttermakers 8-2 at Legion Field.

“They are a good baseball team,” said Marshall manager Sean Culhane. “When it came down to it, we got the pitching performance we needed. You can’t ask for a lot more.”

Hadley (5-5 overall) struck first when Eric Wieneke hit a two-out double in the top of the first and scored on a Max Zwart single to take a 1-0 lead.

“That was big for us,'” Zwart said. “At times we’ve struggled at the plate, so to get that one up was big.”

The A’s were unable to answer in the bottom of the inning, and the two teams settled in for a pitchers’ duel.

After allowing the first-inning run, Marshall’s Jordon Kontz got to work, setting the Hadley batters down in order the next five innings. He struck out four batters during that stretch and eight overall.

“I think once he got into his groove, he kept us off balance a little more,” said Hadley manager Myron Bennett.

Hadley’s Sam Erickson faced five Marshall batters each of the next three innings, but didn’t allow a run, and the Buttermakers took a 1-0 lead into the fifth inning.

“He throws a lot of curveballs, a lot of off-speed stuff,” Culhane said. “That was the worry for me. When you have an off-speed pitch, sometimes it’s hard to (lay off). I was hoping the second, third time through we would get to him.”

In the bottom of the fifth, Ben Korger led off with a single for Marshall and Kontz reached on a walk with one out. Andrew Kinney laced a double to the outfield, driving in Korger to tie the game 1-1. A two-RBI double from Zach Olson gave the A’s their first lead of the night, 3-1.

Marshall added three more in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of RBI hits from Korger and Cody Curry, and a Hadley error.

The Buttermakers’ Mitch Magnus ended the sixth with a diving catch that saved at least one run, but the A’s led 6-1 after six.

“That’s kind of been our downfall all year, our errors,” Bennett said. “We only had one tonight, so we look forward to keep improving on that.”

Neither team scored in the seventh inning, but Kinney added two more RBIs for the A’s in the bottom of the eighth with a blast to right-center field, putting Marshall up 8-1 with one inning to play.

“I felt really good up there, saw the fastball,” Kinney said. “I thought he was going to come with the 2-2 curve ball and he didn’t. They were all high and he came in with a lower one and I put a good swing on it.”

In the top of the ninth, Hadley was only able to add one more run when Nate Wieneke scored on a James Wajer single, falling to the A’s 8-2 in Marshall.

Both teams will return to league play this weekend as Marshall will play host to Raymond on Friday before traveling to Sacred Heart on Saturday. The A’s will return home on Sunday to cap the weekend with a game against Bird Island.

Hadley will play host to Luverne on Sunday in Gopher League play.

“We got what we needed out of it,” Culhane said. “Pitching is intact going into the weekend and we started hitting the ball late. Going into the weekend we’re right where we need to be.”