The Marion High School baseball team got roughed up 10-1 in the first game Friday against Sedgwick, but returned the favor in the nightcap with an 11-5 thrashing of the Cardinals.
Sedgwick ace Logan Thompson shackled the Warrior bats in the opener, allowing just one run in the fourth inning.
“We weren’t able to get a lot of quality swings against him,” Marion head coach Roger Schroeder said.
Cardinal batters pummeled Marion starter Ethan Hett for 13 hits and 9 runs in five innings. Reliever Jacob Harper fared better, yielding 1 run on 2 hits in two innings.
“Ethan didn’t have his best outing as far as hitting spots, and they made him pay for that,” Schroeder said. “Although we didn’t make any errors in the game, we did misplay a few balls and gave them some extra bases on poor throws in from the outfield that helped them to extend their lead in the fifth.”
Pitcher Grif Case blanked the Cardinals through the first three innings of the second game, opening the door for Marion to grab the lead with 4 runs in the fourth inning.
The Warriors’ half of the fourth appeared to end with only 1 run when Taylor Heidebrecht struck out with two on for what would have been the third out. But he alertly sprinted to first when the catcher dropped the third strike, beating the throw and loading the bases.
That gave Dylan Seacat an opportunity at the plate, and he delivered with a looping hit into short right field. Heidebrecht hustled to score all the way from first base, and suddenly the Warriors had a 4-0 lead.
“Taylor was running on contact, never took his foot off the gas, and scored from first on a ball that only traveled about 130 feet. Those are the kind of unselfish plays that allow you to beat good teams,” Schroeder said.
That rally ignited the Marion bats as they scored 7 more runs in the final 3 innings. Austin Pedersen drove in 3 runs on 2 hits, Seacat went 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs, Luke Steele had 2 hits and drove in a run, and David Helmer turned 2 hits into 2 runs scored.
Case got the run support and defensive play he needed to turn in a complete game, ringing up 7 strikeouts while allowing 10 hits and giving up 5 runs.
“Grif threw a great game. The great part about it wasn’t necessarily the stats of his line, it was just the way he battled a very good line-up for 21 outs,” Schroeder said.
The Warriors are 7-3 overall, and 5-1 in league play. Schroeder said the team will need to continue to improve to have a good shot at the league championship.
“We can’t win the league outright unless we win out and Sedgwick drops a game, but we can’t control that,” Schroeder said. “What we can control is how we play, and we have some guys that really need to step up and start producing. We need guys to be unselfish and compete for one another. If we do that we have a chance.”
The Warriors played host April 10 to Canton-Galva, and dominated the Eagles in both contests, winning 12-0 and 11-0.
Pedersen racked up 11 strikeouts in five innings in the first game to collect the win, and helped his own cause by driving in 3 runs. Seacat went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs.
Heidebrecht fared well pitching the second game, giving up 5 hits but countering with 7 strikeouts. He went 2-for-3 at the plate, driving in two runs.
Zach Robson had 2 hits and 1 RBI, Pedersen went 2-for-2 with an RBI, and Case had 2 hits and 2 runs scored.
The Warriors were back in action Tuesday at home against Bennington, and travel to Inman next Tuesday.