Mudcats drop postseason opener to Waconia, 4-3

A two-run ninth-inning rally wasn’t quite enough for the Marshall Mudcats Wednesday as they opened the Sub-State 15 Legion baseball tournament with a 4-3 loss to Waconia in Cold Spring.

After scoring a pair of runs Marshall had the tying run on third base in the top of the ninth but popped out to end the game. The Mudcats fall to the losers’ bracket of the eight-team tournament and will face Litchfield at 11 a.m. today in an elimination game.

It took the Mudcats over half the game before getting anything going at the plate. Waconia pitcher Jacob Herd tossed five no-hit innings before Marshall managed to sneak a run across the plate in the sixth.

“The kid they threw was pretty good. He mowed us down for most of the game,” Marshall head coach Jeremy Ische said.

Marshall batters struck out 10 times in the game. Herd worked his way into the ninth inning before finding himself in trouble and getting taken out of the game.

The Mudcats ended up outhitting Waconia 7-5 and had a solid pitching performance by their own starter. Carl Douglas went 7 2/3 innings, striking out three batters and giving up three walks.

“He held them in check for most of the day,” Ische said of Douglas. “He was very efficient for us today. The game got done in under two hours, which is pretty quick for a nine-inning game.”

Waconia held a 2-0 lead before Marshall scored a run in the top of the sixth, but Waconia responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning to extend the lead. It proved to be just enough to hold on.

Marshall’s Drew Hmielewski went 2-for-4 with two singles in the losing effort. Colton Peterson was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

The Mudcats defeated Waconia 8-1 during Marshall’s annual wood bat tournament in June. It was Marshall’s lone win in the tournament, while Waconia went on to win the tournament championship.

With Wednesday’s victory over Marshall, Waconia advances to play Hutchinson today in the Sub-State 15 semifinals in Cold Spring.