Written by Katie Morford Tuesday, 17 April 2012 15:05
The Marion baseball team continues its run for the league title, picking up two wins over Canton-Galva April 10 before splitting with Sedgwick Friday.
The?Warriors now stand at 7-3 overall and 5-1 in the league at the season’s half-way point.
“All of the goals that we set at the beginning of the year are still there for us,” said coach Roger Schroeder. “These final 10 games are all going to be tough and we have to have more production out of certain spots in our lineup.
“We need guys to be unselfish and compete for one another. If we do that we have a chance to go on a solid run through the back half of our schedule.”
Sedgwick —Marion suffered a 10-1 loss in Game 1 of the doubleheader, thanks to an outstanding performance from the Cardinal’s ace pitcher, Logan Thompson.
“We weren't able to get a lot of quality swings off against him and their bats came out on fire,” said coach Roger Schroeder.
Sedgwick held a 4-0 lead through the first three innings before bursting ahead with a five-run inning in the fifth.
Ethan Hett (2-2) pitched five innings for the loss, allowing nine runs and striking out just three.
“Ethan didn't have his best outing today as far as hitting his spots, and they made him pay for that,” Schroeder said. “Although we didn't make any errors in the game, we did miss a few balls and gave them some extra bases on poor throws in from the outfield that helped them to extend their lead.”
The Warriors needed to bounce back in Game 2 and they did in a big way, scoring all 11 runs in the last three innings and holding Sedgwick to five runs.
Grif Case (2-0) threw a great game for Marion, battling a tough Cardinal batting lineup for 21 outs and striking out seven.
Austin Pederson heated up the plate with three runs batted in, but Dylan Seacat hit in three timely hits in the fifth inning to knock Marion out of its scoreless drought.
But perhaps the most crucial plays of the game came from a player that struggled early in the day.
With two outs in the fifth inning, Taylor Heidebrecht struck out at the plate but took advantage of a catcher error to scoot to first, extending the inning and giving Seacat the chance to score.
As Seacat drove the ball to short right field, allowing runners on second and third to score, Heidebrecht raced around to home base on a ball that traveled only about 130 feet.
“(Heidebrecht) was able to put his tough day behind him and make a hustle play for his team,” Schroeder said. “Those are the kind of unselfish plays that allow you to beat good teams.”
Canton-Galva —Marion took care of business with a doubleheader sweep of the Eagles.
The Warriors earned the 12-0 shut-out in Game 1 behind the arm of Austin Pederson (1-1), who stuck out 11 players in five innings.
“Austin settled into a nice groove and really threw the ball well today,” said coach Roger Schroeder. “He threw quality strikes and was aggressive in going after their lineup.”
Pederson also anchored the Marion bats with three runs-batted-in.
“Even though we had early success at the plate in this game, I thought our bats actually got better as the game went on,” Schroeder said. “I wasn't too pleased with our intensity level early in the game but we picked up the pace and finished the game the right way.”
The Warriors didn’t let up in Game 2, earning an 11-0 shut-out with nine runs in the fourth inning.
Taylor Heidebrecht (2-0) gave Marion a solid performance across the board, earning the win at the mound and leading at bat with two RBIs.
“Taylor did a very good job with his first start of the year,” Schroeder said. “He was able to get ahead in the count early and really keep them off balance.”
But Schroeder said he wanted to see better at-bats from his players earlier in the game.
“We were able to turn it on and put up a big number in the fourth and pull away, but we have to be more consistent with the quality of our at-bats,” he said,.
But he added, “Anytime you can pick up a sweep during league play it is a good day, and we were able to accomplish that.”
Coming —Marion was scheduled to host Bennington April 17, before traveling to Inman a week later.