INDIANAPOLIS — The pressure kept building for Mt. Vernon. Eventually, though, it came through when it mattered most.
After placing the Marauders’ pitching staff in repeated jams, the Decatur Central baseball team fell apart late as Mt. Vernon used a walk-off double from junior Ryan Beck in the bottom half of the seventh inning to secure a come-from-behind 3-2 victory Friday in Game 1 of the Victory Field Classic.
Trailing 2-0 entering the sixth frame, the Marauders (5-2) used clutch hits from seniors Noah Powell and Wyatt Vastel to steal the victory. Senior Bryce Robbins, who reached on a walk in the seventh, scored the game-winning run after the double from Beck.
“It was the perfect pitch, right down the middle,” Beck said after the win. “They threw the same pitch during my at-bat before, and I just missed it. Right when I hit that I knew it was going.”
Added Marauders head coach Ryan Carr, “To hit the ball that far, it was pretty awesome. Those balls he (Beck) hit today would have been gone on a regular high school field.”
Senior Kennedy Parker earned the win for Mt. Vernon after sophomore Caleb Rush, who threw four scoreless innings, got the nod on the mound to start.
Offensively for the Marauders, Beck finished 1-for-3, while Powell was 3-for-3 as the team finished with 10 total hits. Vestal finished 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Decatur Central (7-3), which finished with just two hits against four Mt. Vernon pitchers, got on the board first with a two-run fifth inning after loading the bases with multiple walks and a Marauders error.
“Pitching has been great all year, it’s been the story of our season,” Carr said. “We don’t give up many hits. We just need to start scoring runs.”
However, after struggling to move runners the entire game, in the bottom of the sixth inning, junior Braydon Augustinovicz used a single to spark Mt. Vernon’s comeback.
Powell followed with a triple to pull the team within one, 2-1. Vestal then hit a double to deep left-center field to tie the score at 2-all entering the final inning of play.
Sophomore Bradley Brehmer got the start for the Hawks and was kept in the game until the sixth inning, allowing the Marauders starters to see the right-hander nearly three times.
“The longer they kept him (Bradley Brehmer) in the game, the more confident I felt our top was going to make something happen,” Carr said.
Brian Compton was charged with the loss for Decatur Central.
Mt. Vernon will host New Palestine today at 10 a.m. after rain caused Thursday’s conference doubleheader against the Dragons to be postponed.
The game, which was called with New Palestine up 4-1 in the bottom of the third inning, will pick up where it left off. The Marauders will have the bases loaded with one out.
SCORE BY INNINGS R;H;E
WP: Kennedy Parker (MV) LP: Brian Compton (DC)
2B: Vestal (MV). 3B: Powell (MV). RBI: J. Franklin, Gross (DC). Vestal, Powell (MV).
MV: Powell 3-3 RBI and double, Vestal 2-3 RBI and triple, Robbins 1-2 run, Beck walk-off 2B.