Game 1 was highly contested and had its share of errors—Marion committed four and Hillsboro two. In the end, Marion claimed the win, 6-5.
The Trojans struck first in the top of the second inning, scoring two runs off three hits and an error. Tyson Reimer contributed an RBI single. Also hitting singles in the frame were Jacob Funk and Ben Koop.
Hillsboro maintained its 2-0 lead through the third inning before Marion tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Seth Savage and Nathan Baldwin hit back-to-back singles, then Jacob Woods’ sacrifice fly enabled one run to score. The Warriors’ second run crossed when Evann Heidebrecht reached base on the fielder’s choice.
Marion took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Baldwin hit a two-run double.
Hillsboro rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Brooks Gardner, Jorge Hanschu and Funk all hit singles—Funk recorded the lone RBI of the inning—and Hillsboro benefitted from three Warrior errors. By the time the dust settled, Hillsboro led, 5-4.
Then, for the third consecutive inning, Marion put up two runs, this time doing so without a hit, thanks to an error, a hit batsman and three consecutive walks.
In the top of the seventh inning, Vogt hit a two-out single, but the Trojans stranded the tying run.
Baldwin was 3-for-4 at-bat to lead the Warriors. He had two RBIs.
Meanwhile, Funk and Reimer were each 2-for-3 for Hillsboro. Both had one RBI.
Peyton Heidebrecht (1-0) earned the pitching win. Over seven innings of work, he scattered eight hits and five runs (three earned). He walked one batter and struck out four.
Jaxton Tracy absorbed the pitching loss, surrendering seven hits and six runs (five earned) over 51⁄3 innings of work while walking four batters and striking out two.
Marion won Game 2, 13-3.
Once again, Hillsboro took the early lead with two runs off a hit and an error in the opening inning.
With the bases loaded, thanks to an error and two walks, Jacob Funk hit an RBI single, then Ben Koop’s sacrifice fly drove in a second run.
Marion responded by scoring two runs without a hit in the bottom half of the inning. The Trojans committed two errors in the frame.
The Warriors blew the game open by scoring nine runs on four hits and an error in the second inning. Mason Pedersen and Corbin Wheeler highlighted the outing with two-run doubles. Evann Heidebrecht also drove in two runs with a single. By the time Hillsboro got out of the inning, Marion had sent 15 batters to the plate.
Each team added one run in the third inning. Braden Vogt worked a leadoff walk for Hillsboro, and Jacob Funk drove in a run with an RBI single. For Marion, Corbin Wheeler and Nathan Baldwin hit back-to-back singles, then Garrett Hoffner worked a walk to load the bases. Jacob Vondenkamp was hit by a pitch to scratch a run across.
Two scoreless innings followed as rain began to fall. Marion scored its final run in the sixth inning when Evann Heidebrecht hit a sacrifice fly to end the game.
“I thought we played very poorly in Game 1,” Marion coach Roger Schroeder said. “We had defensive lapses from guys that have a ton of experience. They just need to not get so caught up in the game—take a breath, understand the situation—and instead we threw the ball all over the place. Made it really hard on ourselves.
“(In Game 2), I thought we competed extremely well. I thought we did a much better job of putting the ball in play in some big situations.”
Wheeler was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Evann Heidebrecht contributed four RBIs.
Funk went 2-for-2 with two RBIs for Hillsboro.
Chase Stringer (1-0) earned the pitching win. In four innings, he gave up three hits and three runs (two earned). He walked five batters and struck out seven. Jorge Hanschu sustained the pitching loss.
For results from Hillsboro’s and Marion’s earlier games in the week, see elsewhere in sports.