The Marshall Mudcats' run in the Sub-State 15 Legion baseball tournament came to an end Friday in Cold Spring after a wild win over Waconia and a lopsided loss to Hutchinson.
The Mudcats suffered their first loss of the double-elimination tournament against Waconia in the first round Wednesday, falling 4-3. They picked up a pair of wins Thursday to stay alive and it set up a rematch with Waconia, which the Mudcats won 11-9 Friday, but Marshall's tournament ended later in the day with a 15-3 loss to Hutchinson in six innings.
Marshall's victory over Waconia came in a heated affair. Waconia had just nine players for the game and one of them got ejected for arguing balls and strikes, forcing the team to play shorthanded. It had to take an automatic out each time the ejected batter was scheduled to make a plate appearance. Waconia's manager was ejected later in the game.
"It was a pretty fiery contest, the players were really into it," Marshall coach Jeremy Ische said. "We knew we could beat them because we had beat them in our home wood bat tournament and we only lost to them by a run last time we played. They came out a little flat and then we took advantage of their guy getting tossed. It was probably one of the top five craziest games I've been involved with."
Waconia scored five runs in the bottom of the third to go up 5-4, but Marshall responded with five runs in the fifth and grabbed a 9-6 edge. The Mudcats added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth to help fend off Waconia in the end.
Colton Peterson was 2-for-6 for Marshall with a home run and two runs scored. Matt Campion was 3-for-3 with three walks. Nolan Schaeffer and Derek Buysse each had a pair of hits. One of Schaeffer's hits was a double.
Drew Hmielewski threw eight innings for Marshall and got the win on the mound. He struck out 11 batters, walked four and allowed 12 hits.
The Mudcats' next game against Hutchinson was less eventful. Hutchinson scored at least a run in every inning and exploded for 10 runs over the final three innings of the six-inning game to pull away.
Hmielewski had a triple and scored a run for Marshall, which was held to five hits.
The Mudcats finish the season with a 9-23 record.
Ische said he was proud of how his players responded to their first-round loss to battle back with three straight wins and pull within a game of competing for the Sub-Section championship.
"It was kind of fun to watch," Ische said of the three straight wins. "Everyone was getting along and nobody wanted to be done. Hutch was just a better team.
"All in all, it was a good year for us and you could see the kids getting better as the season went on."
Marshall 211 050 020-11 15 0
Waconia 005 100 111-9 12 2
M-Drew Hmielewski, Conner Messman (9). WP-Hmielewski. S-Messman. 2B: M-Nolan Schaeffer. HR: M-Colton Peterson.
Marshall001 020-3 5 4
Hutchinson212 334-15 16 1
M-Riley Roth, Messman (4), Jared Holland (5), Leo Zerr (6). 3B: M-Drew Hmielewski.