Prep baseball: Duluth Marshall’s ‘bunch of dogs’ outfight Hermantown – Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — Duluth Marshall pitcher Max Berrisford didn’t like the way his fastball worked during Tuesday’s Hilltoppers game against Hermantown at Wade Stadium.

The freshman needed a double play to get out of the first inning, but after a single from Garron Upsahl and a walk to River Freeman, Jackson Summers put Marshall into a 2-0 hole with a rope triple on the midfield wall.

“I felt like I couldn’t really find my fastball today,” Berrisford said. “It was still in the zone but not in the spots like I normally can. So I relied on my off-speed stuff and my defense behind me.”

Hermantown’s Wyatt Carlson (4) hits the ball in the third inning of the Hawks’ game with Duluth Marshall at Wade Stadium in Duluth on Thursday afternoon, May 19, 2022.

Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Berrisford came out of second with just two runs and the Hilltoppers rallied to a 7-3 win.

Marshall coach Nick Garramone took pride in the way Berrisford “stayed through” the early innings and was a little more generous about his performance.

“Max is a freshman but he’s an incredible baseball player,” Garramone said. “He has an incredible work ethic and he knows we don’t have to keep our emotions too high and not too low. He fights, he throws punches and all his pitches worked and he hit the zone.

Berrisford allowed five hits over five innings, knocked out three batters and allowed Marshall three walks to the win.

“He controls good play by changing tempo and using racquets that we know can’t hit the ball,” said Hilltoppers catcher Owen Marsolek. “He does a really good job of finding his off-speed spots and that really helps him throughout the game.”

Duluth Marshall's Mason Boos (5) gives his dugout a double thumbs up

Duluth Marshall’s Mason Boos (5) returns in the third inning of the Hilltoppers’ game against Hermantown at Wade Stadium in Duluth on Thursday afternoon, March 19.

Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Mason Boos’ one-out triple on Hermantown pitcher Cruz Runyan started a two-run rally in the third inning, but Runyan limited the damage and held the game in a tie.

The Hilltoppers took the lead in the fifth inning when Boos scored on a wild field. Deegan Hoffbauer’s sacrificial fly and Aaden Westerbur’s two-RBI single made for the 6-2 win.

“[Runyan]sure had our number early,” Boos said. “Our coaches have been preaching all year that baseball is a game of failure, it’s going to happen. We play the game one after the other and we had a spark from the bottom of the order there late and that just carries over. It’s contagious, it just takes one goal, one defensive play and that’s what got us rolling.

Garramone was pleased with the way his team was able to put the early challenges behind them and regain the momentum from Hermantown.

“We’re talking about playing the game one pitch at a time because once that pitch is done, it’s done — we move on,” Garramone said. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and baseball gives us a lot of emotion. There are a lot of ups and downs and this game gave us a lot of those emotions today. Our kids stay the course, they love each other and play together.”

Hermantown catcher River Freeman (12) flags down Duluth Marshall's Owen Marsolek (21) on home plate

Duluth Marshall’s Max Berrisford (16) fires a pitch during the second inning of the Hilltoppers’ game against Hermantown at Wade Stadium in Duluth on Thursday afternoon, May 19, 2022.

Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Marshall (8-2) started the season a bit slow but is coming into the season at just the right time, Garramone said.

“If you’re playing around the fences with two feet of snow, I think it’s fair for everyone to slowly come out,” Garramone said. “We really want to play our best baseball here over the next few weeks when playoff time comes around. I’m really happy with our performance and I don’t think there’s a single time this year where the other team got up and we’ve given up. We have a couple of dogs on this team that fight.”

Marshall is having a critical seven-game-in-seven-day week, beginning with a doubleheader against Blake beginning Saturday noon in Hopkins, Minnesota.

Hermantown (10-4) plays hosts Chisago Lakes at 4 p.m. Friday.

Hermantown's Wylee Arro (2) holds the ball up after making a dive catch in the outfield

Hermantown’s Wylee Arro (2) holds the ball up after scoring in the first inning of the Hawks game with Duluth Marshall at Wade Stadium in Duluth Thursday afternoon, April 19.

Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

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