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Moondogs fall just short in home opener

Moondogs fall just short in home opener Moondogs fall just short in home opener


The Everest Merchants quickly answered a three-run inning by Medford with one of its own and then tacked on single runs in three of the last five innings to pull away from the host Moondogs 7-5 in Dairyland League baseball Saturday night.

The Moondogs’ big rally put them in front 3-1 through three innings, but Everest quickly regained the lead in the top of the fourth and then broke away from a 4-4 tie in the later innings to improve to 2-0 on the shortened league season.

Despite a second straight solid outing, Medford dropped to 0-2. Medford’s week-one loss was to Marshfield, who joined Everest at 2-0 with a 6-3 win at Minocqua Sunday.

Number two, four and five hitters Brandon Kranz, Josh Nielsen and Matt Witter did most of the offensive damage for Everest, collecting nine of the team’s 13 hits and scoring five of the runs. Nielsen was four for five and Kranz was three for four. John Breske was the winning pitcher, covering the last six innings, allowing just four hits and two runs. He retired 13 straight batters from the last out of the fourth through the eighth, a run that included four strikeouts.

Medford’s third-inning rally started with a leadoff double by Trenton Woebbeking off Everest starter Henrich Walder. He moved to third on a deep fly ball hit by BJ Wiegel and scored on Brayden Boie’s infield single. Brett Paul doubled to deep left. Boie scored on Ryan Paul’s groundout and Bryant Konieczny’s single brought in the third run.

The Merchants came right back in the top of the fourth, starting with a leadoff single by Nielsen. Matt Witter walked and a wild pitch by Woebbeking put the runners in the scoring position. Connor Langbehn singled in Nielsen and Witter scored on a wild pitch. Logan Langbehn’s single knocked in the third run of the inning to put Everest up 4-3.

Woebbeking walked, Boie singled and Brett Paul hit an RBI single to tie it in the bottom half. But the Merchants took the lead for good with a single tally in the fifth as Kranz walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Nielsen’s base hit.

Brady Sendlebeich’s infield single drove in a run in the eighth for Everest and Witter’s single in the ninth drove in Nielsen, who doubled with two outs.

Ben Lindgren led off the bottom of the ninth with a hit, took second on a passed ball and scored on Wiegel’s one-out base hit. But Breske got Boie and Brett Paul to hit fielder’s choice ground balls to end it.

Woebbeking, Boie and Brett Paul led Medford’s 10-hit attack with two hits apiece. Woebbeking scored twice.

Woebbeking pitched four innings, alin lowing four runs, three of which were earned, and four hits. He struck out four and walked two. Brett Paul covered the next four innings and pitched well despite being charged with the loss. He allowed two runs and five hits while walking one and hitting one. Boie allowed a run and three hits in the ninth.

Defensively, Medford cut down base runner Ryan Hubacek at the plate on a perfect first-inning relay play from leftfi elder Taylor Shaw to Brett Paul at third to catcher Seth Mudgett. The Moondogs also turned a double play in the third and tagged out three more Merchants on the base paths during the game.

Medford resumes league play Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. game at Minocqua. The Moondogs host Pittsville in a non-league game Friday at 7 p.m.

Recovering well from a football knee injury last September, Medford second baseman Nate Retterath makes an easy throw to first baseman John McMurry to retire an Edgar hitter in the first inning of game two Friday.MATT FREY/THE STAR NEWS

Medford third baseman Brayden Boie pushes Everest base runner Josh Nielsen toward home plate during a fifth-inning rundown in Saturday’s loss. Pitcher Brett Paul eventually tagged out Nielsen, who tried to score on a ground ball to shortstop Trenton Woebbeking. The Moondogs wound up getting two outs on this play to get out of a jam with minimal damage.MATT FREY/THE STAR NEWS