Baseball Team Falls 5-4 To Marion

Posted on April 6, 2019 in Baseball, Spring Sports

BY SCOTT HUNT – shunt@chronicle-tribune.com
The Marion baseball team used a five-run fifth inning to climb out of a 2-0 hole to Oak Hill, then escaped a Golden Eagles’ rally in the seventh to earn a 5-4 win Friday on Art Caldwell Field.

Starting pitchers Broc Allgood for Marion and Harrison Walker for Oak Hill settled in for a pitchers dual in the first two innings, but the Golden Eagles took advantage of a pair of base hits and an error by the Giants in the third to move in front 2-0.

Landry Ozmun led off with a single, stole second base then scored on errant throw to first after Nate Alston’s grounder. Gerrod Creech followed with a ringing double down the left field line to give Oak Hill its lead.

Walker kept the Giants off the scoreboard through his four innings on the mound, but in an early season game, Oak Hill coach Shane Edwards wanted to limit his junior’s pitch count. Walker limited Marion to just three hits and had one strikeout and issued one walk.

“(Walker) had 70 pitches, they were getting ready to go the third time through the lineup and that was the plan when we got off the bus,” Edwards said. “We were going to go to Danny (Nally) to finish it out and it just wasn’t his day today.”

Nally hit Giants’ leadoff hitter Anthony Reynolds then issued a walk to Logan Wagner before Dylan Meyer’s RBI single pulled Marion within, 2-1. Tyrus Brown was intentionally walked to load the bases and AJ Mitchener followed with an RBI walk that tied the score at 2-2.

Meyer and Brown both scored on wild pitches then Travis Metzger lined a one-out RBI single to right to chase Nally and stake Marion to a 5-2 lead.

“They dug in, down 2-0, year’s past they would have folded,” said Marion coach Mark Fagan. “They took some pride, with Broc, he took a little heart in it and he pitched well.

“The last couple of nights, we’ve had the bases loaded probably five times this year and just havent had that big hit,” he added. “We’ve hit the ball hard, just right at people. They finally started dropping in and we scored some runs.”

Oak Hill got back-to-back hits from Creech and Ryan Younce and scored a run on Matthew Hershberger’s groundout in the top of the sixth to pull the Eagles within, 5-3.

The Giants were poised to add more as Wagner, Meyer and Brown all drew walks to start the home sixth, but Mark Sevier got a pop-up to the catcher, a strikeout and a grounder to second to end the threat unscathed.

Allgood retired Ozmun to start the seventh before Evan Pearce reached base on a dropped fly ball in right field. Allgood walked Sevier and was replaced on the mound by Ethan Dixon.

A stolen base and a pair of wild pitches allowed Pearce to score before Dixon struck out Nate Alston for the second out and Sevier at third.

With Creech at the plate, Sevier at third and Dixon pitching from the wind up, Edwards signaled for Sevier to steal home. Mitchener caught Dixon’s pitch and blocked the plate before a sliding Sevier could reach it for the final out securing Marion’s win.

“Straight steal. I got a little impatient. That’s on me,” Edwards said. “Creech had a couple hits tonight and I took the bat out of his hands and that’s my mistake. I shouldn’t make that after as long as I’ve done this.”

Walks were an issue in Oak Hill’s season-opening loss at Clinton Prairie earlier in the week and the four Golden Eagles pitchers combined to walk seven Giants on Friday.

“I think from this, the only negative I can take is we continue to struggle on the mound to throw strikes,” Edwards said. “That’s where we gave up the big runs. We give up all those walks and they score five. We got lucky the next inning when we walked the bases loaded and they don’t score.

“That’s are struggle right now, finding the strike zone.”

Conversely, Allgood had no trouble finding the plate for the Giants. He struck out 10 batters and allowed just two walks, five hits and only one earned run for Marion to earn the win.

“I just went right at them,” Allgood said, noting he relied heavily on offspeed pitches. “I tried to stay ahead in the count but when I got down I didn’t let that get to my head.”

Fagan added of Allgood, “He’s the heart of this pitching staff. The other two seniors are right there but he’s the one that acts like the bulldog. … he didn’t want to come out. I told him I was going to take him out at 100 and he said he wanted to finish. That means a lot to me.”

The Giants (2-0-1) return to Art Caldwell Field today for a doubleheader with Richmond to start North Central Conference play at 11 a.m.

Oak Hill (0-2) hosts Wabash on Monday at 5 p.m.

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