The Dutchmen cut the margin to 7-5 with a run in the fifth, but lost on their home field.
Doug Fuchs, without his best stuff, earned the victory on the hill for the Bulldogs. He pitched all seven innings, yielding eight hits and five runs. Only one run was earned.
Errors by the Bulldogs allowed one unearned run to score in the first and three more in the third. An error with two on and two out prolonged the third inning.
Coach Brad Skoglund said the best surprise this spring has been the way the team has hit the ball. The most discouraging area was defense. Failing to make routine plays is disappointing, Skoglund added. "We will not go very far in the playoffs or in the conference if our infield defense doesn't improve," he said.
Against Melrose, the Bulldogs' bats overcame their gloves. After coughing up a 3-1 lead with three unearned runs in the third, the Bulldogs stepped up to the plate and got the runs right back.
Adam Miller led off the fourth with a single, and Lieser, the next batter, hit a two-run homer to put Paynesville ahead 5-4. Nathan Schutz walked, and after an infield out Bork hit another two-run blast for some insurance.
Bork had three hits for Paynesville, as did Curtis Christian. Fuchs helped his pitching cause with two RBIs.
With the victory, the Bulldogs are undefeated after three conference games. Overall, their record is 4-1.
Paynesville: Batting: Ben Bork 3-4 HR; Curtis Christian 3-4 2B; Scott Braun 0-4; Doug Fuchs 1-4; Chris Rohe 1-3; Adam Miller 1-3; Jon Lieser 1-3 HR; Nate Schutz 0-1; Justin Mackedanz 0-2;
Runs: Bork 2; Christian 1; Braun 1; Miller 1; Lieser 1; Schutz 1;
RBI: Bork 2; Fuchs 2; Lieser 2; Rohe 1; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Fuchs (W) (7-8-5-1-2-5).
The Bulldogs suffered their first defeat of the season on Monday, April 17. The New London-Spicer Wildcats used good defense and a quick start to beat the Dogs 4-2.
The Bulldogs had eight hits to the Wildcats' five. However, the Wildcats limited the Bulldogs' offensive output with key defensive plays and benefitted from nine walks.
In the first inning, the Wildcats leadoff hitter doubled, stole third, and scored on a passed ball. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, had their first two batters reach base in the bottom of the first, but couldn't score a run. The Wildcats picked one runner off base and ended the inning with a double play.
The Wildcats turned another double play in the third and threw out a runner attempting to steal second to end the fifth.
The Wildcats, who are undefeated so far this season, scored two more runs in the second on back-to-back sacrifice flies and added an insurance run in the sixth, which was unearned.
Senior Nathan Schutz started for the Bulldogs and pitched five-plus innings. Skoglund said Schutz and Justin Mackedanz, who threw in relief, pitched well enough to win if the team had hit decently.
Chris Rohe and Doug Fuchs provided most of the offense for Paynesville. Each had two hits. In the second, Fuchs led off with a double and Rohe drove him in with another double. In the seventh, Rohe hit a solo home run to lead off the inning.
Paynesville: Batting: Ben Bork 1-4; Curtis Christian 1-3; Scott Braun 0-3; Doug Fuchs 2-3 2B; Jon Lieser 1-3; Adam Miller 0-2; Chris Rohe 2-3 HR, 2B; Justin Mackedanz 0-3; Shaun Fleisch-hacker 1-2;
Runs: Fuchs; Rohe;
RBI: Rohe 2;
Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Nathan Schutz (L) (5.1-4-4-3-7-1); Mackedanz (1.2-1-0-0-2-0).
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