FORTVILLE — In anticipation of Tuesday night’s midweek matchup against Class 4A No. 2 Fishers, Mt. Vernon head coach Ryan Carr dropped the “P” word.
Seven little letters that could dictate the eventual outcome.
“I told them last night, we had to be pretty much perfect in every aspect of the game or we were going to get our doors blown off,” Carr explained. “That’s the thing. Teams like this don’t allow you to make a mistake and catch your breath.”
Down 5-0 after three innings, the 4A Marauders (4-5) were left gasping momentarily against the visiting Tigers (11-2), but they found their second wind.
Playing for pride the final four innings, Mt. Vernon erased Fishers’ bid at a no-hitter and a shutout in the bottom of the fourth before falling 9-3.
“To be honest, we didn’t make too many mistakes,” Carr said. “They were just tattooing balls. When you put a run up every inning it’s hard to beat them.”
The Tigers entered the game red-hot after beating Hoosier Crossroads rival No. 6 Hamilton Southeastern twice in their three-game series, including an 11-1 run-rule victory.
Against the Marauders, the Tigers’ bats found holes repeatedly. They tallied 11 hits overall and six extra-base knocks. Fishers scored three runs in the first and put two on the board in the sixth with one run in each frame in between.
Senior Luke Duermit, an Ohio State recruit, went 2-for-5 with a double, a run and an RBI for the Tigers. Craig Yoho, a Houston recruit, was 3-for-4 with a double, triple and two RBIs.
Fellow junior Matthew Wolff finished with 2 RBIs. Eight Tigers’ hitter reached base at least once and six drove in at least one run.
“Obviously, they’re ranked in the top two in the state and coming out you know it’s going to be a tough game, and you’re going to have to be almost perfect to hang close,” Mt. Vernon junior first baseman Jared Shelton said.
Shelton, like his teammates refused to quit, despite the early deficit.
Pitching in relief for junior Cole Cain, who went 2.2 innings, Shelton struck out a pair in his 2.2 frames. He induced a third-out grounder with the bases loaded in the top of the third to minimize the damage at 5-0.
Cain suffered the loss, but Carr was pleased with his outing considering he is continuing to regain his form due to a preseason knee injury.
“At one point I didn’t think he was going to play this year because of a knee issue,” Carr said. “He’s hitting the zone, he’s throwing strikes. I was happy with Jared, too.”
The Marauders’ bats came to life in the bottom of the fourth against Fishers’ starter Jon Vores, who retired nine straight to open the game.
Franklin College recruit Luke Smoot worked a five-pitch walk to lead off the inning, and Ryan Beck, an IU-Kokomo recruit, followed up with a single to left field.
A walk by Braydon Augustinovicz, a Franklin College recruit, loaded the bases, which Shelton capitalized on with one out.
“I know what I want to do every time I come up to the plate. I have the same approach every time,” Shelton said. “The ball was right there on that 2-0 count. I knew what I was sitting on and waiting for.”
Shelton belted a hit through the infield and into left field to score Smoot. Breck also scored on the play due to a fielding error. Zach Roach backed up Shelton with an RBI single to cut the lead to 6-3.
The Marauders had the bases loaded three times in the inning, but Evan Patrick came in relief to end the rally as Mt. Vernon sent nine hitters to the plate.
“I was happy that we got on base, that we got some hits and scored some runs,” Carr said. “We had bases loaded with two outs. A base hit there and we could have gotten it to 6-5, then we’re right in the game, but that’s baseball.”
Augustinovicz finished the game 1-for-2 with a double as Mt. Vernon post six hits overall.
“Games like this when we’re not throwing our No. 1 and they’re aren’t throwing their 1, 2 or 3, but it shows you that you can hang with teams like this,” Carr said. “It’s not like a football game where they are going to annihilate you. It’s baseball.”
The Marauders intend to apply the lessons learned on Friday when they travel to Hoosier Heritage Conference foe New Palestine for a doubleheader. Mt. Vernon (2-2 HHC) split with the defending conference champion Dragons (3-1 HHC) last season and finished runner-up in the standings.
“It’s one of the biggest games of the year, coming out against New Pal,” Shelton said. “We need to come out and win both to show we’re here with them.”
Fishers 9, Mt. Vernon 3
WP: Jon Vores (F). LP: Cole Cain (MV).
RBI: Jared Shelton 1, Zach Roach 1 (MV); M. Wolff 2, L. Duermit 1, C. Yoho 2, A. Jamieson 1, C. Brenczewski 1, J. Roudebush 1 (F).
3B: C. Yoho. 2B: C. Yoho, K. Brenczewski, L. Duermit, T. Newman, M. Wolff (F); B. Augustinovicz (MV).
Notables: J. Shelton 2-3, B. Augustinovicz 1-2 (MV); L. Duermit 2-5, C. Yoho 3-4.