MARSHALL - Facing a brutal stretch of games this week, the Marshall A's started their week the right way with a 17-0 blowout victory against Corn Belt League foe Willmar Tuesday at Legion Field.
But with six games in five days, and the US Military All-Star exhibition game on Sunday, the A's are prepping for a grind late in the season.
"All the rescheduled games we had we have to make up before the 15th," said Marshall manager Sean Culhane, "so we got a long week ahead of us."
Photo by Joe Brown
Marshall second baseman Taylor Rignell tosses the ball to first base for an out during Tuesday’s Corn Belt League game against the Willmar Rails at Legion Field.
Needing to keep players fresh, the A's got what they needed out of starting pitcher Brandon Wilhelmi - a complete outing. Using a slew of curveballs, Wilhelmi kept the Rails' batters uncomfortable in the batter's box all day Tuesday, striking out seven and allowing no walks to move to 5-0 on the year.
"Willy threw great tonight, he's just an effective pitcher," Culhane said. "He's the embodiment of what you want a pitcher to go about his game."
And with Wilhelmi keeping Willmar's bats at bay, the A's offense pounded the ball early. Cody Curry finished 1-for-2 at the plate with three RBIs and three runs scored.
Curry got the blowout started with a first-inning two-run home run to left field, scoring Ben Korger for the 2-0 lead. In the second, the A's went through 11 batters, scoring five runs on three hits and two Rails errors.
Marshall put up runs in all six of its innings, including four runs each in the fifth and sixth innings to put the 10-run rule into play. The A's attack was balanced on Tuesday, with Tanner Neale, Ryan Engels, Taylor Rignell and Kyle Young each belting two hits. Korger crossed home plate three times and had two RBIs, going 1-for-2 at the plate with four walks.
Marshall improves to 6-2 in the Corn Belt and 20-5 overall, while Willmar stays winless in league play at 0-10 (1-13 overall).
Now, the A's have to run a gauntlet of games for the rest of the week. Today, Marshall hosts Minneota in a non-league game, before heading to Willmar for Corn Belt play. The A's return home Friday to face Raymond before playing a pair of games Saturday, hosting Bird Island at 2 p.m. before heading to Milroy to play the Yankees at 7:30 p.m.
Now, the challenge becomes how to keep players going on the diamond all week.
"We had some guys gone tonight, and we should have bodies coming in at the end of the week," Culhane said. "This week, we got to have enough guys to move around in different spots so we can keep them as fresh as we can."
Willmar 000 000 0-0 4 2
Marshall 251 144 x-17 13 0
W-Jason Scheffler, Andrew Bangen (5), Matt Wenberg (6); M-Brandon WIlhelmi. WP-Wilhelmi. LP-Scheffler. HR: M-Cody Curry. 2B: M-Ben Korger, Kyle Young, Andrew Kinney. LOB: W-3; M-12.