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Monroe thumps Oregon for fifth
Times photo: Mark Nesbitt Monroe's Drew Geissbuhler dodges the Oregon catcher as the ball pops out of his glove. Geissbuhler slid in and came back to tag home on a sacrifice fly by Jake Teasdale in Monroe's 9-2 win over Oregon on Sunday.
VERONA - Mike Demianiuk and Mitch Marty were forces at the plate and on the mound as they led Monroe's Senior Legion baseball team to a 9-2 win over Oregon in the fifth-place game of the Verona tournament Sunday.

Monroe won two of its three tournament games, and it didn't take the Cheesemakers long to rebound from a 16-1 loss Saturday to Madison Memorial.

"This is good to play competition like this," Monroe coach Bruce Rear said. "It will make us better down the road."

In the win over Oregon, Demianiuk went 3-for-3 at the plate and had four RBI. Marty went 2-for-3 and reached base four of the five times he batted.

Monroe jumped on Oregon in the first inning. Marty lined a double to center and Drew Geissbuhler singled. Geissbuhler stole second and then Demianiuk delivered a two-run single to give the Cheesemakers a 2-0 lead. Geissbuhler used his speed to wreak havoc, scoring three runs and stealing two bases.

Monroe has scored 30 runs in its past four games, and pounded out 10 hits against Oregon. Rear knows it was a confidence builder to jump out to an early lead.

"A lot of times we play from behind," Rear said. "It seems like it (scoring two runs early) takes a lot of pressure off the kids when they go up to bat. Right now I'm just really happy to beat Oregon. This will be their high school team next year. I told the juniors and seniors this should give you some confidence."

Demianiuk started a game for the second straight day, and he pitched three innings. He gave up two runs on three hits. Marty pitched four shutout innings in relief and had 1-2-3 innings in the fourth and fifth. Marty used his offspeed pitches to perfection as he recorded nine ground-ball outs.

"I thought his offspeed pitches were so good that when he throws his fastball, it looks pretty good," Rear said.

Marty, who serves as Monroe's starting catcher, enjoys his opportunities to pitch.

"I like pitching to a catcher and not having to catch every ball," Marty said. "I like pitching. It's a lot more relaxed. You usually know what pitches someone can hit and can't. I can call my own game out there."

Oregon came back when Weston Matthews, who was 2-for-3 with two RBI, lined an RBI single to left in the third to cut the Cheesemakers' lead to 3-2.

Monroe broke the game open with a four-run fourth. Jon Elmer walked and Kramer Henning smoked a double to center. Oregon then walked Matt Whipple to load the bases. Marty was hit by a pitch to bring in a run. Geissbuhler drove in a run on a fielder's choice to give the Cheesemakers a 5-2 lead. The big blow came when Demianiuk crushed a two-run double to right to give the Cheesemakers a 7-2 lead.

"I just try to stay back, let the ball come to me and I hit it," Demianiuk said.

The Cheesemakers added two insurance runs in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Jake Teasdale and an RBI double by Nate Barta.

Demianiuk hopes winning two of three at the Verona tournament is a sign of things to come as the Cheesemakers play two doubleheaders in the next two weeks.

"You can't take anything away from Madison Memorial," he said. "They are a good team. You just try to progress and get better."

In games Saturday:

Monroe 8, Madison East 1

The Monroe bats came alive, pounding out nine hits in the first game of the tournament.

Demianiuk pitched a complete game and gave up just one run on six hits. He struck out 11, walked one and hit one.

"I just wanted to work on my location," Demianiuk said. "If you throw strikes at the knees, it's hard to hit the ball."

The Cheesemakers broke the game open with a four-run fourth inning. Barta, who was 2-for-4, reached on an error to lead off the fourth. Taylor Weckerly, who went 2-for-3, singled and Mike Rear was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Demianiuk then helped his own cause when he hit a rope for a two-run double to right center to give the Cheesemakers a 2-0 lead. Geissbuhler then drove in a run with a groundout and Demianiuk later raced around to score on an error.

"I think we were just patient today in general," Demianiuk said. "We stayed patient and we hit the ball."

Weckerly said it feels good to hit the ball and do anything to get the win.

"It always helps when the guy in front of you does good and you start rolling," Weckerly said.

The Cheesemakers' offense really started rolling in the sixth with an assist from Madison East's defense. The Purgolders committed two errors, which led to three Monroe runs. Monroe kept the pressure on by scoring four runs in the sixth.

Madison East pitcher Johnny Amundson hit two of his four batters in the sixth to put the Purgolders in a jam. Marty and Alex Dammen led off the sixth with singles. Scott Kline then delivered an RBI single to give Monroe a 5-0 lead. The Cheesemakers then scored three unearned runs on two Madison East errors.

"We are preaching to the guys to hit the ball where it is pitched," Rear said. "The guys have been listening and doing that. In the spring, we didn't do any of that."

Madison Memorial 16, Monroe 1

Errors haunted Monroe in its second round loss.

Mike Rear started and pitched three innings for Monroe. Five of the eight runs he gave up were earned. Monroe committed an uncharacteristic four errors in the first two innings.

"The Big Eight teams are good," Bruce Rear said. "There's no doubt about that."

Monroe was limited to just three hits - singles by Marty, Kline and Geissbuhler.

Riese pitched one inning in relief and gave up five earned runs and Alex Dammen pitched one inning in relief and he gave up just one earned run.

"You have to come ready to play in that first inning," Bruce Rear said. "We didn't look like we were ready to play. He (Mike Rear) struggled and we didn't play defense behind him."