HISTORIC WARRIOR WIN!

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
These days, Marion baseball coach Sean Spoontz is looking more and more like a master psychic.

At the start of the season, Spoontz said his team would probably take its share of bumps and bruises during the regular season, but the tough schedule would pay off when regional play rolled around.

The Warrior coach couldn’t have envisioned it any better.

Marion defeated Yates Center, 8-7, in the regional championship game last Tuesday, and will be making its first appearance in the Class 3A state baseball tournament in Manhattan this Friday.

“We had one big inning in the third that helped us secure a bid into state,” Spoontz said.

The Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. After a scoreless second, Yates Center got on the board in the third inning with two runs.

But Marion answered the challenge by scoring six runs in its half of the inning.

Steven Shiplet started the rally with a single, and by the time the third out was made, six Warriors had scored to make it a 7-2 game.

Yates Center added two more runs in the fourth, but neither team scored in the fifth. In the sixth inning, both teams added one run.

After pitching six innings, senior Robert Verbic was relieved by Mitch Enos in the seventh. Enos gave up two runs, but held on to save the win for the Warriors.

Osage City-Earlier in the day, the Warriors defeated a tough Osage City team, 11-4, thanks to a dominant extra inning.

After the game, coach Sean Spoontz said the extra-inning game was a fun one to coach.

“Mitch Enos came up big with eight strong innings of pitching,” Spoontz said. “Clayton Chamberland, Tyler Richmond and Jimmy Shipman came through with the bats to get us into the championship game.”

With the score knotted at zero in the top of the fourth inning, Chamberland doubled to drive home Enos, who had reached base on a walk.

In the bottom half of the inning, Osage City took advantage of an Enos wild pitch to score two runs.

The Warriors held the Indians scoreless in the fifth and scored two more runs of their own after Bronson Shipman singled in Richmond and then scored when a throw to second sailed over the second baseman.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Indians made good on their last at-bat, scoring the tying run and forcing an extra inning.

Marion’s eighth inning proved to be their best of the afternoon. Richmond tapped a swinging bunt in front of the catcher to begin the inning, and advanced to second when the catcher overthrew first base.

Leon-Bluestem-After a slow start, Marion advanced into the regional semifinals with a 6-4 win over Leon-Bluestem in the opening round of the tournament.

“We got off to a slow start, giving up two runs on a passed ball throwing error at home plate,” coach Sean Spoontz said. “In the fifth inning we woke up the bats with five runs.”

After two scoreless innings, the Warriors surrendered two runs to Leon-Bluestem in the third.

Scoreless again in the fourth, Marion held Leon-Bluestem scoreless and then scored five runs in the fifth inning.

Leon-Bluestem added two runs in the sixth and the Warriors added one more run for the eventual 6-4 win after a scoreless seventh inning.

Coming-The Warriors advance to the Class 3A state tournament in Manhattan on Friday and will face No. 1 seed Baxter Springs (20-3) at 6:30 p.m. The Warriors take an 8-13 record into the tournament.

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