First outright HOA title in team history
After the past week of Marion High baseball, it’s a sure bet no one will be underestimating the Warriors when regional play begins Monday at Southeast of Saline.
The combined Marion and Centre squad notched these accomplishments over the course of seven days:
- Finished the regular season at 18-1.
- Won the Heart of America League title outright for the first time in team history.
- In a four-game stretch against Canton-Galva and Inman, scored 65 runs in just 16 innings, a 4-run-per-inning tear.
- Came back from a 7-run deficit in its final at bat to pull out a 12-11 win against Bennington.
Naturally, the accomplishment coach Roger Schroeder and the team coveted most was the league championship, which they secured Monday with 12-2 and 15-4 run-rule wins against Inman.
But the game that best displayed the team’s mettle was the comeback against Bennington. After winning the first game 5-2, Marion trailed 11-4 entering the seventh inning, but pulled out the win.
Through 17 games, not including those against Inman, the Warriors have compiled individual and team stats that have the look of a formidable No. 1 regional seed.
As a team, the Warriors are batting .346. Of the nine players who had played in 14 games or more, all were hitting over .300. Payton Heidebrecht has hit at a blazing .431 average, and Mason Pedersen is the team’s next most productive batter at .393.
Heidebrecht has the team’s best on-base percentage, with leadoff hitter Cole Srajer nipping right on his heels. Collectively, the team’s on-base percentage is .475
Marion base runners have been successful on 41 of 43 stolen base attempts.
The seven-man pitching staff has been stellar, with a collective 2.42 earned run average. At 3-1, Nathan Baldwin has piled up the most innings pitched, and has held opponents to a team-low .111 batting average
Blaine Mermis has the second highest number of innings pitched, posting a solid 1.09 earned run average. Seth Savage, Chase Stringer, Corbin Wheeler, and Heidebrecht are close behind, and Mason Pedersen also has seen relief action.
The pitching staff owes its success to its teammates in the field. Getting progressively stronger since the start of the season, the team’s fielding percentage is .942.
Matchups for Monday’s regional opening round will be determined Sunday.