Late-game heroics are starting to become old hat for Marion senior Wil Case.
For the second time this season, Case took the pitching mound in the late innings and stopped opponents from scoring with the go-ahead run on third. Also, for the second time this season he was responsible for the game-winning RBI.
Against Haven April 20, with two out in the bottom of the 10th, Case stroked a walk-off RBI base hit that scored Isaac Hett from third for a 2-1 win.
?I knew I was going to get a base hit,? said Case, who finished the game 1-for-5. ?I was still frustrated I hadn?t got a hit earlier. I was happy, but not surprised.?
But Case can?t take all the credit for the game-winning run. Hett, who found success in his new role as lead-off man, opened the 10th with single. He finished the night 5-for-8 with three runs scored and an RBI.
?I did the best hitting I?ve ever done in my high school career tonight,? Hett said. ?I went up there like it was just any other at bat and I got a base hit.?
Colton Olsen moved Hett to second with a single and Brian Fruechting moved Hett to third by hitting into a 4-6-3 double play.
In the top of the ninth and the game tied at one, Case struck out the first two Haven batters, but walked the next one. After allowing the base runner to reach second, the Warriors then picked him off when he tried to steal third.
Case found himself in a jam again in the top of the 10th. He walked the first batter, who then stole second and reached third on a ground out.
After the runner chose not to try to score on a fly out, the next Wildcat batter grounded out to end the inning.
Case closed the game in relief of freshman pitcher Austin Pederson, who picked up a win in his first varsity start. He allowed one run in eight innings.
?I was nervous coming into this game since it was my first varsity start,? Pederson said. ?My arm was loose, and it felt good throwing, so I kept going.?
In the top of the seventh, Pederson struck out the side.
?I knew I had to step up and couldn?t let them score or else that would be game over,? he said. ?I just did what I could to strike them out.?
Restrictions to the dugout of Marion coaches Tyler Mermis and Mike Jeffrey in the bottom of the second inning of Marion?s Game 2, 11-1 defeat of Haven proved to be a motivator for the Warriors.
?Our guys know that we have their back,? Mermis said. ?It doesn?t matter what the call is. If it?s a bad call, Mike (Jeffrey) and I are going to say something.?
Jeffrey and Mermis argued the overturning of a call that deemed Case safe at third following a rundown. Running around the Haven third baseman to avoid a tag, Case stepped into third safely, according to the infield umpire.
But the home plate umpire said that Case had left the baseline on the play.
Mermis and Jeffrey disagreed and were restricted to the dugout for the remainder of the ball game. Kelly Robson and Chris Sprowls took over base-coaching duties.
Following the argument, the Warriors bats came alive. Marion scored one run in the bottom of the third, three runs in the fourth, two in the fifth and four in the sixth to end the game.
?A lot of it came from stepping up for the coaches,? Fruechting said. ?Those guys were fighting for us so we wanted to fight back for them.?
Adam Maag finished the night with a double and four RBIs. Olsen went 3-for-7 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Fruechting was 3-for-9 with an RBI and three runs scored.
Coming?Marion (3-7, 3-5) was scheduled to host Smoky Valley Tuesday and travels to Hoising?ton Friday.