SOLON – After seemingly leaving their bats at home three games in a row, the Marion Indians came out swinging Monday night and pounded Solon 9-5 to advance into Wednesday’s Class 3A substate baseball final for the fifth year in a row.
And in the winning the district final, they boosted their record to 29-12 and tied the school mark for victories in a season.
In the past three games, the Indians had scored a total of just seven runs. They tallied nine in the first three innings Monday on Solon’s exquisite home field.
And it was a good thing they got off to a fast start since they were held to a single hit over the last four innings.
“I told our team coming in we’d probably have to score seven runs to win,” Marion Coach Steve Fish said. “We knew Solon (16-25) was capable of putting up big numbers.
“We beat ‘em earlier 15-5 and 12-11, but in that second game we had to score five in the bottom of the ninth ‘cause they scored four in the top of the inning.”
And while they knocked out 12 hits early Monday night, a second-inning double by Cale Cannoy was the only extra-base hit.
The Indians produced their runs on some timely singles, Solon miscues, perfectly-executed bunts and some aggressive base running.
“Up and down the lineup,” said Fish, “this is not the type of team that has to manufacture runs. We have to constantly put pressure on the other team.”
Mitch Wagner opened the game with a sharp single to left, then was moved along on a drop-dead bunt by Christian Stekl. Trev Biery singled and stole second. Wagner scored on a single by Addison Johnson, and Biery came home on a sacrifice fly by Josh Davila.
But proving Fish right, the Spartans bounced right back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first off Indian starter Levi Lochner.
The Indians showed their mettle in the very next inning, though, scoring five times and chasing Solon starter Tim Lance. Cannoy’s double followed a one-out infield single by Sean McGarvey. Then, diminutive sophomore third baseman and No. 9 hitter Logan Fuller laid down a surprise bunt to score McGarvey standing up.
“I let him take a swing to see what he could do, then gave him the bunt sign,” Fish said. “I had every confidence he’d get it done.”
The crafty play opened the floodgates for Marion. With two outs, the Indians went on to score four more on hits by Wagner, Stekl, Biery and Davila.
“After they got that three-spot in the first inning, Coach Fish told us we had to go get’em,” Fuller said. “I wanted to get us a run anyway I could. And after that bunt, we just kept going and kept getting runs.”
Marion tacked on two more in the third with McGarvey, Stekl and Biery again providing singles.
After striking out the first two batters in the second, Lochner loaded the bases but gave up just one run. He settled down and held Solon in check until putting on the first two runners in the bottom of the sixth.
Cannoy came in to relieve and immediately gave up a walk and a run-producing single. A neat double play on a line drive to Wagner at second bailed him out, however, and another double play in the seventh squelched a Solon comeback. Cannoy struck out the final batter.
“This was a good win for us, a real confidence booster,” said Cannoy. “We beat Clear Creek 2-1 the other night with our defense.
“So it was good to get some hits tonight.”
Marion plays Benton at Vinton on Wednesday at 7 p.m. for a spot in the state tournament for the second year in a row.
Wagner, 2b, 5 3 3 2, Stekl, ss, 3 1 2 1, Biery, 1b, 4 2 3 2, Johnson, c, 2 0 1 1, Q.Cannoy, cr, 0 0 0 0, Davila, dh, 4 0 1 1, Lochner, p, 0 0 0 0, Connolly, rf, 0 0 0 0, Charipar, cf, 4 0 1 0, C.Cannoy, rf-p, 3 1 1 0, Hardman, rf, 0 0 0 0, Fuller, 3b, 3 0 0 1. Totals 31 9 14 6.
Lance, p-lf, 0 1 0 0, Kramer, cr, 0 1 0 0, C.Dall, 4 1 4 1, Holub, 2b, 3 1 0 0, Hamiel, dh, 2 0 0 0, Kane, pr, 0 0 0 0, Fitzpatrick, c, 0 0 0 0, Oberthien, lf-p, 4 0 2 2, Kramer, cr, 0 0 0 0, A.Dall, 3 0 0 0, McNutt, 3b, 4 0 0 0, Silberstein, p, 0 0 0 0, Ferguson, 3 1 0 0, Kramer, pr, 0 1 0 0, Kane, ss, 3 0 1 0. Totals 26 5 7 3.
Marion 252 000 0 -- 9 14 2
Solon 310 001 0 -- 5 7 3
Lochner, C.Cannoy and Johnson. Lance, Silberstein, Olberthien and Fitzpatrick. 2B - C.Cannoy, Oberthein. SB - Wagner, Biery, McGarvey, Q.Cannoy.
|< Prev||Next >|