Bandits Hit Their ‘Marx’ In Win

July 13, 2009

After managing just one run and six hits in the first 11 innings of Sunday's doubleheader, the Bandits put up a pair of two-run rallies and beat the Vee Pak Hawks, 4-2, in the second game at Munic

Wisconsin State League

MANITOWOC — A slumbering Manitowoc Bandits offense awoke in time to make good on a strong start by C.J. Marx.

After managing just one run and six hits in the first 11 innings of Sunday’s doubleheader, the Bandits put up a pair of two-run rallies and beat the Vee Pak Hawks, 4-2, in the second game at Municipal Field to earn a split in the twinbill.

“The way we started today, especially being down in the second game, a split is big,” Bandits’ player/manager Josh Krowiorz said. “To go 1-3 (for the weekend) would have been disappointing. To leave on a high note like that will hopefully build some momentum going into next week.”

It was Marx that kept the Hawks grounded and kept the Bandits in the game.

The lefty struck out six — five in the last three innings — and scattered nine hits and two walks en route to earning his third win of the season for the Bandits.

“Pretty much every pitch was working. I felt like I could throw anything anywhere in the count,” said Marx, who lowered his ERA to 2.85. “I just tried to pitch my game. Pitch away, come inside when I need to and get ground balls.”

It wasn’t a breeze for Marx, a former Valders High School standout who now plays at Ripon College. The Hawks had baserunners in every inning and belted a pair of solo home runs.

But Marx recorded nine ground-ball outs — including a key double play to end the third inning — picked a runner off first base and had another Hawks’ runner thrown out at home on a failed double-steal attempt.

“Defense always helps a pitcher and they always play great defense here,” Marx said. “And I had a great comfort with Max (Stepan) calling a great game.”

And despite allowing nine hits, Marx had the Hawks’ hitters off balance throughout the game.

“I told him in the last inning that none of the balls had been hit hard. They weren’t squaring up anything on him,” Krowiorz said. “When you see a pitcher giving maximum effort like that, it kind of rallies the troops a little bit. We had to just hang in there and finally punch one through in a clutch situation and that happened.”

After failing to muster a hit off Hawks starter Nick Mazzone through the first four innings, the Bandits got back-to-back singles from Nat Richter and Brad Liermann leading off the fifth.

Krowiorz advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt and Brock Wetenkamp smacked a two-out, two-run single to center field that gave Manitowoc its first lead of the day at 2-1.

The bottom of the lineup — which got an added boost when Richter was moved into the No. 7 spot — also came up big in the sixth inning as Liermann drew a bases-loaded walk to break a 2-2 tie and Krowiorz followed with an RBI-single.

“The bottom of the order stepped up today,” Krowiorz said. “Our lineup is really lefty heavy at the top, so we were trying to balance it out against a left-handed pitcher, and we moved Nat down — and that’s a luxury to have a guy batting (over .300) at the bottom of the order like that.”

Richter finished 2-for-2 and was also hit by a pitch, while he, Liermann and Krowiorz finished 4-for-5 with two walks, a sacrifice bunt and two RBIs.

Sam Spurney and Wetenkamp each had two hits in the opener as the Bandits scored their lone run of the 5-1 loss in the sixth inning. That cut the deficit to 3-1, but the Hawks answered with two runs in the top of the seventh to seal the victory.

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