Marion Babe Ruth earns state berth

For the second consecutive season, the Marion senior Babe Ruth team is the District 4 champion and will participate in the state tournament.

Marion won all three of its District 4 tournament games at Lyons last weekend.

Marion opened with a 7-2 win over Abilene on Thursday. then defeated Inman 11-3 on Friday and won the title with a 9-2 rematch victory against Inman on Saturday.

Marion?s season record was 9-7 heading into the tournament. Now they will enter the state tournament at 12-7.

?The extra motivation we had came from last year,? coach Tyler Mermis said. ?A lot of these guys from last year are playing on this team this year. They wanted to get to state to accomplish what we didn?t accomplish last year.?

At this season?s state tournament, Marion?s goal is to earn a berth in Wellington at the regional tournament.

In the District 4 championship game, Marion scored three runs in the second inning and at least one run in its remaining four at bats.

Inman scored two runs in the top of the third.

In the semifinal game against Inman, Marion overcame a 3-0 deficit with a six-run inning in the top of the fifth.

Matt Sprowls sparked the comeback with a double that scored Adam Maag.

Down 3-1, Marion loaded the bases when Ethan Hett walked. Corey Seacat drove in the Warriors? second run of the inning and game with a sacrifice fly. David Helmer tagged up and scored from third on the play.

Two Inman mistakes gave Marion the lead. Sprowls scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 3-3. Marion then took the lead on another passed ball on which Hett scored.

Hill came home to give Marion a 5-3 advantage when Ragland smacked a double to left. The fifth-inning scoring ended when Ragland scored on an error at first.

A solid performance on the mound by Colten Olsen kept Inman scoreless for the rest of the game while Marion piled on five more runs.

Olsen got the first two batters to hit the ball back to the mound for easy ground outs.

Against Abilene, Marion managed two multiple-run innings and two solid defensive innings in the sixth and seventh.

Marion jumped to an early lead with four runs in the bottom of the second. Maag, Olsen, Sprowls and Seacat crossed home plate for the Warriors.

Abilene put up a run in the fourth and the fifth, then watched Marion score three runs in the bottom of the fifth before Mermis decided to call on Ragland.

Olsen started the fifth-inning scoring by crossing the plate on a Abilene error with Hett at bat. Seacat made the score 6-2 on a hit by Sprowls.

Hett ended the scoring on a sacrifice by Hill.

Ragland then did his part, forcing two-consecutive Abilene 1-2-3 innings to end the game.

?We hit the ball and we made good plays in the infield and outfield,? Mermis.

Coming?Marion begins play at the Senior Babe Ruth state tournament in Liberal on Thursday. Marion plays Colombus at noon.

Independence (District 5) will play Finney County (District 1) at 2:30 pm. Wellington will play Coffeyville (District 7) at 5 p.m. and Liberal will host Chase County (District 6) at 8 p.m.

Depending on Thursday?s outcomes, Marion will face the winner or loser of Independence and Finney County on Friday.

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