Aquinas shuts down Marathon, moves on to Division 3 title game

Blugolds put up 11 runs, cruise behind five innings from Alex Schulte

Heading into the Division 3 semifinal Wednesday in Appleton all eyes were on the starting pitchers. Marathon’s left hander Ryan Gassner (9-0) sporting an earned run average below one, against Aquinas right hander Alex Schulte (9-0) with an earned run average just over one.

The pitchers dual however was anything but, with the Blugolds offense putting the pressure on Gassner early in route to a 11-3 Aquinas victory.

Alex Dee made sure Schulte would be comfortable to start by cracking an RBI triple to right center and putting Aquinas up 2-0 after one half-inning.

The Red Raiders battled through five errors to keep the game within reach until the Blugolds offense came to the plate in the sixth.

Seven runs later, Aquinas was destined for their first state title game appearance since 2010.

“We always try to throw the first punch of the game like Coach Foley says and try to put up some runs early so we are not chasing them, they are chasing us,” said right fielder Chris Curti.

To go with a stellar 3-3, 3R 3RBI performance at the plate, Dee finished off the Red Raiders with two innings of scoreless relief.

“All season we’ve been working for this, to get to this moment and play in the state title game,” said Alex Schulte (10-0). “That’s been our goal since the start and it just feels good to be in the title game.”

Aquinas will meet No. 1 ranked Lake County Lutheran in the Division 3 Championship Game Thursday at noon in Appleton.