Warrior baseball team off to a 5-1 start

Jaxton Tracy fires a pitch during Game 1 with Inman Thursday. Tracy earned the win in Marion’s 17-6 victory.The Marion baseball team picked up its first Heart of America league wins with a sweep of Inman Thursday, improving to 5-1 on the season.

Inman—Marion earned a pair of run-rule victories over the Teutons Thursday.

The Warriors won Game 1 in five innings, 17-6.

Marion took control of the game early but let Inman back in it before finishing it with a 10-run fourth inning.

The Warriors scored four runs off two hits and an error in the first inning, with Garrett Hoffner keying the frame with a two-run single.

Inman got on the board without a hit in the third inning, using an error and a pair of walks to load the bases with no outs and later scoring on a bases-loaded walk. Marion limited the damage to one run, though, and scratched across three runs off one hit in the bottom half of the inning.

Jaxton Tracy drove in two runs with a single, making it 7-1 Marion.

The Teutons made some noise in the top of the fourth, scoring five runs off two hits and an error to close the gap to 7-6. A three-run double chased Tracy from the mound, and the Teutons lifted an RBI double off Eli Hett before the Warriors got out of the half-inning.

With its lead narrowed to one, Marion responded with a five-hit, 10-run inning, which also included a pair of Inman errors. The Warriors loaded the bases with no outs and kept the line moving offensively, bringing 14 batters to the plate. Jacob Vondenkamp hit a two-run single, and Evann Heide­brecht followed with an RBI double.

Corbin Wheeler was hit by a pitch twice in the inning, the second time to load the bases. Blaine Mermis worked a bases-loaded walk, and two more runs scored via an error. When Inman escaped the inning, Marion led, 17-6.

Despite giving up two hits and making an error in the bottom half of the inning, the Warriors kept Inman from scoring to claim the run-rule win.

Eight different Warriors accounted for Marion’s eight hits.

Tracy (2-0) earned the pitching win. In 3.2 innings, he gave up one hit and six runs (four earned). He walked six batters and struck out seven.

“A point of emphasis for us today was to command the strike zone and command it early,” coach Roger Schroeder said. “I thought Jaxton did a good job and then just labored a little bit. Eli did a good job, came in, threw strikes, gave up a couple of hits, no big deal. Then we were able to kind of blow the game open a little bit there. They did us some favors, but so be it.”

A dominant pitching performance, a defense to back it up and an offense that knocked out seven hits led to a 15-0 shutout in three innings in Game 2.

Chase Stringer (1-0) walked the first batter he faced, then sat the rest down in order the duration of the run-rule game. Stringer faced 10 batters in three hitless innings and struck out five of them.

“Chase Stringer in Game 2 just filled the strike zone up,” Schroeder said. “(He) walked the first hitter of the game, (threw) 36 pitches through three innings. Didn’t give up a hit, didn’t give up a run. He threw well.”

Offensively, Marion scored five runs off three hits in the first inning, which included a two-run double by Jacob Vonden­kamp. Marion worked four consecutive walks in the second to plate one run, then blew the game open with a four-hit, nine-run third inning to put the run rule into effect. Cole Srajer con tributed a two-run triple.

“We did a good job,” Schroeder said. “We didn’t expand the zone. We didn’t have bad at-bats. When we had strikes to swing at, we put them in play.”

Council Grove—Marion split a non-league doubleheader Tuesday.

The Warriors lost Game 1, 14-10, then salvaged a split with a 13-9 victory in Game 2.

In Game 1, Council Grove scored half of its runs in the first two innings and led, 7-4 through three innings. For Marion, Cooper Carpenter hit a two-run single in the second inning, and Garrett Hoffner and Jacob Vonden­kamp each hit RBI singles in the third inning.

However, the Braves built their lead after that, launching a three-run home run out of the park in the fourth inning, then plating two runs off two hits in the sixth inning and two more runs off three hits—including two doubles—in the seventh.

Down to its final three outs and trailing 14-4, Marion rallied, scoring six runs off four hits and two errors in the seventh. Corbin Wheeler led off the half-inning with a double, and Evann Heidebrecht, Carpenter and Sam Zinn each hit RBI singles in the frame. But the comeback fell short.

“(I) told the guys I was proud of them for not rolling over because we could’ve easily ended that game 14-4 and tucked our tail,” Schroeder said. “But we did fight.”

Wheeler was 3-for-4 at the plate. Carpenter had three RBIs.

Zinn (1-1) absorbed the pitching loss. He gave up nine hits and 10 runs (all earned) in four innings of work, walking two batters and striking out seven.

Marion won the nightcap, 13-9. Each team committed four errors.

Marion trailed, 6-4 through four innings, and 9-8 after five.

Evann Heidebrecht hit an RBI double in the second inning, and Jacob Vonden­kamp hit an RBI single in a three-hit, three-run third inning. The Warriors closed the gap to one with a one-hit, four-run fifth inning, benefitting from a Brave error. Cole Srajer keyed the frame with an RBI double.

The Warriors took the lead for good with a five-run bottom of the sixth inning in which Luke Lanning recorded Marion’s only hit, a two-run single. The Braves committed three errors in the inning.

Wheeler closed the game by pitching a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts.

Blaine Mermis was 2-for-3 at-bat. Srajer and Lanning each had two RBIs.

Jaxton Tracy (1-0) earned the pitching win with two innings of work thrown in relief of starter Mermis. Tracy gave up two hits and three runs (none earned) while walking three batters and striking out three. Mermis threw four innings to start the game, scattering four hits and six runs (three earned). He walked six batters and struck out six.

Coming—Marion (5-1) was scheduled to play at Moundridge Tuesday. The Warriors will travel to Sedgwick next Tuesday.

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