Warriors primed for fourth state tournament
Marion baseball team to face Cheney Cardinals
One year ago heading into the Class 3A state baseball tournament, the Wichita-Independent Panthers were heavy favorites to capture the all the marbles, and they did, shutting out the Warriors, 8-0, in the title game.
One year later, the Warriors are making their fourth state tournament appearance in a field of eight teams with no clear-cut favorite.
Marion earned its spot May 16, holding off Hillsboro 6-5 in eight innings, and blanking Southeast of Saline in the title game of the Lyons regional, 6-0.
The 21-2 Warriors travel to Manhattan’s Kansas State University Tointon Family Stadium on Thursday for a 1:15 p.m. first-round matchup with the Cheney Cardinals, who enter at 20-3.
“Throw the record books and seedings out the window,” Warrior coach Roger Schroeder said. “Take any one of the eight teams, and if they’re playing Friday night, you’re probably not going to be shocked.
“The way that they get there, or how they get there you might be surprised, but this field is something like I’ve never seen before. We’ll have to be ready for whoever steps on the field.”
With a victory over the Cardinals, the Warriors will meet either second-seed Southeast Cherokee or Sabetha in Friday’s semifinals.
The Cardinals and Warriors share a common opponent—Southeast of Saline, who went 1-2 against Cheney.
The Warriors had to get past the Lancers in the semifinals a year ago while the 20-3 Bluejays are seeded seventh.
As for whether the Warriors learned anything from their historic run a year ago, Schroeder said every year’s a learning experience.
“The first thing we did Friday was congratulate the guys again on winning the regional,” Schroeder. “We want them to be happy to be there, but not just happy to be there. We have business to take care of.
“I feel we’ve got an opportunity to make a run if we play up to our capability. This should be the most fun you’ve had on a baseball field.”
Last modified May 24, 2018