There was plenty of offense exhibited Friday as Hillsboro and Marion split their doubleheader at Memorial Field, with the outcome of both games coming down to pitching performances.
Hillsboro won the opener, 10-0, while Marion came back to take the nightcap, 6-5.
In Game 1, Hillsboro starter Jacob Edwards may have been motivated by coach Doug Dick?s threat to take a razor to the senior pitcher?s goatee, because the southpaw picked up his first win of the season with a six-inning no-hitter.
Edwards faced 18 batters, striking out 11 and walking two.
?I tried to keep everything outside so they?d be late or wouldn?t get a decent hit on it,? Edwards said with his chin hair intact. ?Basically, I just threw fastballs because I knew I could throw it by them.?
Edwards admitted the showdown against the intra-county rival creates extra adrenaline, but said he didn?t change his routine.
?It?s always nice to get pumped up for this game, but I really don?t do anything different than I normally do,? he said.
Following three straight strikeouts by Edwards to open the game, the Trojans put seven runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. HHS recorded a double, single, three walks, two stolen bases and reached base on two errors?scoring four runs?before Marion recorded its first out of the night.
?We?ve done that a couple times,? Dick said. ?We did that against Little River a little earlier in the year and we ended up losing. I think in that first inning we?re ready to play.?
He added, ?Tonight we made some plays. We didn?t boot the ball around.?
Following three more strikeouts and a walk by Edwards in the top of the second, HHS extended its lead to 8-0 with a sacrifice by Derek Kelsey that scored Edwards.
In the top of the third, Edwards struck out three consecutive batters for the second time. Marion answered with a 1-2-3 bottom of the third.
Against the heart of Marion?s lineup, Hillsboro made it two straight three-up, three-down innings in the top of the fourth.
Both teams got runners on base in the next two innings, but Hillsboro cut the first game short in the bottom of the sixth with two more runs.
After Edwards drove home Jacob Fish to make the score 9-0, Tyler Ediger?s hit scored Aaron Bina.
In Game 2, Marion senior Wil Case struck out two of four batters with his team leading 6-4 with runners at first and third with no one out to preserve the win for the Warriors.
Hillsboro came within one run when Aaron Bina grounded out, sending home Ben Gardner from third to tighten the Warrior lead to 6-5.
Case then struck out Edwards for the second out. With HHS runner Jacob Fish 90 feet from tying the game, Case walked Ediger, putting the go-ahead run on first.
Neither run came home for Hillsboro as Case struck out Luke Moore to end the game.
?I wasn?t nervous until I walked Ediger,? Case said. ?I didn?t even think about throwing a curve ball, just fastballs, because I knew I could strike (Moore) out.?
Marion weathered a couple rallies by Hillsboro. In the bottom of the sixth, the Trojans scored three runs, courtesy of a double by Edwards that scored Fish, and a two-run home run by Ediger to end the sixth at 5-3.
Hillsboro also scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, the first by Devin Funk on a single by Fish.
Brian Fruechting scored the deciding run in the top of the seventh on a single by Case.
?Seems like tonight I was hitting the ball hard a couple times, but just right to them,? Case said. ?I finally hit to where they weren?t.?
Fruechting also drove home the first run of the game in the top of the third. His single scored Corey Seacat to give Marion a 1-0 advantage.
Marion scored three runs in the top of the fifth. Adam Maag drove home Isaac Hett with a double for a 2-0 Marion lead. Maag and Fruechting crossed the plate two batters later when a dropped fly ball in right field sent Case to second with two outs, extending the Warriors? lead to 4-0.
Marion scored another run in the top of the sixth when Hett scored on a bases-loaded walk for a 5-0 lead.
The second-game win was the first for Tyler Mermis as Marion coach.
?It feels pretty good to go against another town 11 miles away and pick up our first ?W,?? Mermis said. ?There will be many more to come after this one.?
Mermis added, ?As soon as all the pieces of the puzzle went together and these guys started working as a team, they knew what to do and they did it.?
Coming?Hillsboro (2-4) was scheduled to play at Hoisington Tuesday and will travel to Lindsborg Friday to take on Smoky Valley. Marion (1-5) is scheduled to play at Nickerson Friday. All games begin at 4:30 p.m.