MARQUETTE - The Marquette Blues American Legion baseball team improved to 16-1 on the season with a pair of victories, 13-2 and 11-7, over the Menominee Red Wave on Sunday at Gerard Haley Memorial Field in Marquette.
All 13 runs in Game 1 came in the second, third and fourth innings of the mercy-rule shortened contest after Menominee led 1-0 following the top of the first inning.
Ryan Walther pitched all five innings for Marquette to get the win in the opener. He struck out two and walked three while giving up two runs on seven hits. At the plate, Walther was 2 for 3 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
Marquette Blues starting pitcher Ryan Walther during Game 1 of a doubleheader on Sunday at Haley Memorial Field in Marquette. (Journal photo by Elizabeth Bailey)
The Blues’ McKinley Larson slides into home during Game 1 on Sunday. Walther pitched the Blues to victory in the opener while also going 2 for 3 at the plate with three RBIs and three runs scored. Marquette swept Menominee. (Journal photo by Elizabeth Bailey)
"Walther looked real good on the mound today," Blues assistant coach Randy Larson. "He threw a lot of strikes and was real efficient in the win. We also put up 11 hits and forced three errors to give Ryan some run support. It's always easier when you're pitching from ahead."
In Game 2, the Blues only mustered five hits, but took advantage of 12 Menominee errors.
"We were real aggressive and did a good job of making them make plays," Larson said. "They had some bad throws and we were able to keep innings alive in the process."
Marquette Blues 13,
Menominee 2 (5 innings)
R H E
Menominee100 10 2 7 3
Marquette044 5x 13 11 1
WP: Ryan Walther, 5 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 2 K, 3 BB
LP: RJ Woods, 3 IP, 8 R, 7 H, 3 K, 1 BB
Menominee: Mark Pulver, 2-2.
Marquette: Ryan Hanson, 2-3, 3 R; Ryan Walther, 2-3, 3 RBI, 3 R; Colton Wiggins, 2-3, 2 RBI, R; Levi Underwood, 1-3, 2 RBI, 3 R.
Marquette Blues 11, Menominee 7
R H E
Menominee011 104 0 7 5 12
Marquette500 051 x 11 5 3
WP: Ryan Hanson, 5.6 IP, 7 R, 4 H, 4 K, 7 BB
LP: Riley Hegg, 6 IP, 11 R, 5 H, 4 K, 4 BB
Marquette: Payton Lebombard 2-4, 3 RBI, R; Levi Underwood, 1-4, 2 RBI, 2 R.
Marquette scored five runs in the first inning, five in the fifth to break open a 5-3 game and one more run in the bottom of the sixth inning after the Red Wave had plated four runs in the top of the sixth.
Payton Lebombard led the Blues' bats by going 2 for 4 with three RBIs and a run scored.
Marquette's Levi Underwood, who had two RBIs in Game 1, drove in two more runs in Ga\me 2 while also scoring two runs.
Blues' starting pitcher Ryan Hanson got the win despite walking seven batters over five and two-thirds innings. He struck out four while giving up seven runs on four hits. Only two of the seven runs were earned.
"We did a good job of giving Ryan some early run support, but then we made some errors and let them hang around too long for my liking," Larson said. "We need to make sure that we tighten up the defense and not have any mental breakdowns like we did (Sunday).
"This early in the season, we haven't really had enough doubleheaders yet. This was only our second weekend that we were able to get all four games in and it showed. We were not as focused in this game as we need to be."
Up next for Marquette is a Mid Pen League game on Wednesday against Channing in Marquette, followed by a doubleheader against North Central High School on Thursday in Marquette.