SHELBYVILLE — A tough first game was followed by a hitting derby for Mt. Vernon on Friday. The Marauders lost to Shelbyville 6-2, then turned their bats around in the second game of the doubleheader, a 9-4 victory.
The Marauders were outhit and outpitched in their first Hoosier Heritage Conference matchup against the Golden Bears.
The first few innings showed promise for the Marauders offense with the leadoff hitter getting a hit in the second, third and fourth innings.
“We’re just not stringing the hits together,” Mt. Vernon head coach Ryan Carr said.
The Marauders only lead came when they strung their only two hits of the game together to start off the second inning. Dino Tharp, who went 2-for-3 at the plate, poked a line drive up the middle, bringing Luke Smoot up to bat. Smoot found the 3-4 hole and Mt. Vernon had a runner in scoring position. A fielder’s choice was followed by a Zach Roach SAC fly, which scored Tharp.
The 1-0 lead was short-lived, however, as the Golden Bears found their zone. They honed in on pitcher Caleb Rush and knocked a double and a home run in response.
From then on, walks and hit batsmen haunted the Marauders’ pitching staff, seven in all, while their bats had similar fortune. The third inning saw Jaden Cappalletti stranded after a solid middle shot set up the top of the order.
“We had a guy on second base, no outs with 1-2-3 up at one point,” Carr said. “The story is not pitching. It was what it was, but we just cannot hit the ball.”
Tharp blasted a home run to kick off the fourth inning in Mt. Vernon’s last vie for runs.
“(Tharp’s) attacking the baseball,” Carr said. “He wants to get up there and it’s ‘me-crush-ball’ and he did that today.”
The Marauders finished with eight strikeouts, sending no more than four batters to the plate each inning after the second inning.
The Golden Bears bared down in the final inning, scoring three runs and facing three different Marauder pitchers.
The Marauders bats came alive in the second game. Leadoff hitter Luke Smoot started things off for Mt. Vernon. He scored three times in three innings, going 2-for-3 with two doubles.The first-inning rally was cut short for the Marauders, leaving two on base. But the second inning kept the fire going. Zach Roach sparked it with the first of three doubles. Smoot and Ryan Beck followed in like kind, each getting an RBI. Tharp then drilled a triple to right field for his fourth hit of the night.
Shelbyville responded with four runs of their own in the third inning with two hits, including a home run. The Marauders committed three errors in the inning. Mt. Vernon tacked on three more runs in the third inning.
Shelbyville 6, Mt. Vernon 2
WP: Tyce Taylor (SHS). LP: Caleb Rush (MV).
HR: Dino Tharp (MV); Mark Kuhn (SHS). 2B: Logan Young (SHS); Damon Lux (SHS).