FORTVILLE — The temperatures dropped steadily throughout the night but the Mt. Vernon Marauders’ will to win continued to rise Friday.
Losing the first of two games in a home doubleheader against Hoosier Heritage Conference rival Delta 8-2, the Marauders muscled their way back in extra innings to take a 6-3 lead in the top of the eighth.
They held on to win the game 6-4.
Unable to get much going in the first game of their HHC opener, Mt. Vernon grabbed a 2-1 lead in the second game, scoring in each of the first two innings. The lead grew to 3-1 after the sixth inning as the visiting Eagles spotted the Marauders a pair of runs on miscues.
In the first inning, an RBI double by senior catcher Braydon Augustinovicz put the Marauders up 1-0. Cooper Williams reached base after getting hit by a pitch and senior Ryan Beck ripped a single up the middle to give Augustinovicz a chance to strike with no outs.
In the second inning, an errant throw by Delta allowed Mt. Vernon’s Luke Smoot to score from second base with two outs. In the sixth, the Marauders scored off a wild pitch with the bases loaded.
Delta’s senior pitcher Jake Van Pelt quieted the Marauders bats in between and around their runs. He racked up eight strikeouts through five innings and walked one while scattering four hits.
Delta’s Andrew Schafer faced the Marauders twice with the bases loaded in the sixth, but after his wild pitch, he struck out two and hit a batter, inducing a swinging punch out to end the threat and Mt. Vernon up 3-1.
Beck cruised from the mound until running into trouble in the bottom of the seventh. Allowing one earned run through six innings, Beck permitted just one hit, but he walked eight to ramp his pitch count up to 100-plus.
After walking the bases loaded, the Marauders went to Williams, who gave up a two-run double to tied the game at 3-3 before getting pop out to force extra innings.
Augustinovicz was 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI before the game went to the eighth inning.
Smoot was 2-for-3 with a double and a single.
In the first game, the Marauders, who entered the day 1-1 on the season, couldn’t get into a rhythm against Delta starter Adam Haynes. The Eagles starter went the distance to secure an 8-2 win.
The loss dropped Mt. Vernon to 1-2 on the year and 0-1 in the HHC as Haynes struck out six and allowed two late runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Marauders starter Caleb Rush lasted 1.2 innings and recorded the loss as Delta scored one run in the first, four in the second and three in the fourth.
Adisyn Coffey went 4-for-4 for Delta and drove in two runs. Haynes helped his own cause with three RBIs. Van Pelt was 1-for-3 with two RBIs. All three recorded a double each.
The Marauders’ two runs came off a groundout by Smoot and a single to left by Jared Shelton.
Delta dropped to 1-2 on the year and in the HHC after Mt. Vernon split the series. The Marauders are 2-2 on the year and 1-1 in the HHC after taking runner-up last spring.