Warrior win streak grows to four with sweep of Halstead

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Marion-Florence/Peabody-Burns Warriors came home from Halstead on Friday with two more victories, 7-4 and 16-4, to run their win streak to four straight.

In the opener, ace Bryan Swenson recorded his fourth win of the season. He allowed eight hits and four earned runs while striking out eight.

Swenson also hit two home runs to ensure the three-run victory.

Halstead got on the board in the second inning courtesy of a home run in the small park Halstead calls its home field.

“They hit a fly-ball home run that put us behind 2-0,” Warrior coach Sean Spoonts said. “I swear it landed at about 291 feet, but our kids understood that and they knew that all you had to do was put the ball in play.”

After Halstead added a run in the third inning to lead 3-0, the Warrior bats came alive.

With one out, consecutive walks to Swenson, Ryan Gaines and Josh Kelsey loaded the bases for David DeForest, who delivered a two-run single.

One out later, Derek Benson singled Kelsey home to tie the game at 3-3.

With DeForest at third and Benson at first, Spoonts called for a double-steal, which the Warriors executed perfectly with DeForest sliding across home plate with the go-ahead run.

The first of Swenson’s two home runs, this one an opposite field shot, made the score 5-3 in the fifth before Halstead’s Justin Calvin returned the favor in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 5-4.

A DeForest infield single, a Dragon error and a run scoring-fielder’s choice gave Marion a 6-4 lead in the sixth.

With one out in the seventh, Swenson swatted his second home run, this one to left-center, to account for the 7-4 margin.

In the second game, Halstead again jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning off starter Tyson Heidebrecht, who walked the first three batters of the game.

The Warriors answered with two runs in the second, one in the third and four in the fourth to go on top 7-3 before putting the game out of reach with nine runs in the top of the sixth.

“Everyone in the lineup, one through nine, had hits and even the kids we substituted got hits,” Spoonts said.

Cody Weerts replaced Heidebrecht in the fourth inning and allowed just one hit in three innings to register the victory.

The Warriors rolled up 18 hits, including three each from Todd Woodruff and Swenson and two apiece from Gaines, Garnica and Benson.

With the sweep, the Warriors improved to 6-4 for the season.

“We have so much confidence right now that our guys know if they just go out and do their jobs, they’re going to be all right and know that good things will happen,” Spoonts said. “I think we’re getting the type of confidence you need to be successful.

“The kids understand that things happen and they can be positive or negative-it’s how you react to those things that count.”

Hillsboro-The Warriors swept a home doubleheader from Hillsboro last Tuesday, 10-0 and 12-5.

In the opener, Bryan Swenson ran his record to 3-1 for the season with a one-hit shutout.

The Warriors scored six runs in the second inning, punctuated by a two-run home run by Ryan Gaines and a two-run triple by Swenson off Trojan starter Aaron Stepanek.

The Warriors push the lead to 9-0 in the fourth on singles by David DeForest, Josh Kelsey and Cody Weerts and a double by Clayton Garnica.

The game ended on the 10-run rule in the fifth inning when Tyson Heidebrecht was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a wild pitch by Troy Frick.

In Game 2, Hillsboro jumped to a 4-0 lead off starter Todd Woodruff in the top of the first inning. But the Warriors scored two runs in the second inning when Swenson walked, Gaines singled and both came around to score.

The Warriors tied the game with two runs in the third inning and took a 7-4 lead after four innings off three more hits including a Weerts double.

After Hillsboro cut the lead to
7-5 off Weerts, who got the win in relief, the Warriors added one run in the fifth and four runs on four hits in the sixth inning for the 12-5 win.

Weerts threw five innings, allowing four hits and no earned runs while striking out four.

With the sweep, the Warriors improved to 4-4 for the season while Hillsboro dropped to 0-8.

Coming-The Warriors were scheduled to host Sacred Heart on Tuesday, then remain idle until Friday, April 29, when they travel to Wichita to battle Collegiate.

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