Warrior baseball team whips Abilene in regional play

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Led by the powerful bat and arm of Bryan Swenson, the Marion-Florence/Peabody-Burns Warriors advanced to the next round of their regional tournament in Council Grove Monday with a 16-6 five-inning win over Abilene.

After Swenson turned the Cowboys aside in the first inning, the Warriors went to work.

Singles by Cody Weerts and Todd Woodruff sandwiched around a Tyson Heidebrecht walk loaded the bases for Swenson, who unloaded a home run to right-center field to give the Warriors a quick 4-0 lead.

Abilene answered with a run on one hit in the second inning.

In the third inning, Abilene erupted for five runs off Swenson on four hits, including a three-run home run by Jordan Kohman to take a 6-4 lead.

That advantage was short-lived, though, as the Warriors responded with eight runs in the home half of the third to take a 12-6 lead.

Two hit batters, a Cowboy error, a run-scoring single by Ryan Gaines, a two-run single from Weerts and a run-scoring single from Tod Woodruff made the score 9-6.

Swenson then blasted his second home run of the night, this one a three-run shot to stake the Warriors to the six-run lead.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Warriors drew two walks before Clayton Garnica grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Josh Kelsey.

After Weerts was hit by a pitch and Heidebrecht beat out an infield single, Woodruff singled to drive home a run and make the score 15-4.

With runners on first and second and two outs, Abilene opted to walk Swenson to load the bases. But David Deforest singled Heidebrecht home with what proved to be the game-ending run.

Swenson retired the side in order in the fifth, invoking the 10-run rule and send the Warriors to the second round on Wednesday.

The Warriors racked up 10 hits, led by Swenson with his home runs and seven runs batted in.

Swenson (8-2) picked up the victory, allowing just six hits.

With the win, the Warriors improved to 12-7 for the season.

Smoky Valley-It was a study in contrast May 10 when the Marion/ Florence-Peabody/Burns baseball team hosted Smoky Valley in Marion.

The Warriors rolled to a 19-0 win in the first game, but barely won the nightcap, 5-4.

Cody Weerts (4-4) picked up the win in Game 1, allowing just four hits as the Warrior offense piled up 14 hits.

The Warriors scored six runs in the first inning, three in the second and blew the game open with eight runs in the third to take a 17-0 lead after three innings.

Leading the offense was Derek Benson, Bryan Swenson and Weerts, who each recorded three hits. Weerts and Swenson also chipped in a pair of runs batted. The Warriors were aided by six Viking errors.

The Warriors finished the regular season with a .378 team batting average.

In Game 2, Swenson got the starting call, and the left-hander raised his record to 7-2 with a complete-game four-hitter. He allowed just one earned run while striking out five.

A pair of Warrior errors in the top of the first inning-two of seven committed in the game, enabled the Vikings to take a 2-0 lead.

The Warriors responded with single runs in the second and third innings to tie the score at 2 before Smoky Valley scored two in the top of the fourth to take a 4-2 lead.

But the Warriors answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning and the winning run in the fifth.

Clayton Garnica blasted a two-run home run in the comeback while Swenson aided his own cause by going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs batted in.

The Warriors managed nine hits in the victory.

The Warriors will face the winner of the Council Grove/ Smoky Valley contest which was to be played Monday evening.

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