PENDLETON — If Mt. Vernon couldn’t even its Hoosier Heritage Conference baseball record, it made sure Pendleton Heights didn’t do so either.
The Marauders gladly settled for half the pie with the Arabians Friday night at Bill Stoudt Field, blasting PH in the nightcap 10-5 after falling 9-2 in Game 1.
MV (9-12, 4-6 HHC) erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fourth of the second contest, two unearned. The Marauders got back-to-back, two-RBI hits from Joey Turner and Zach Norman, off different pitchers.
It was the second double-digit output for the Marauders this season, and with the split PH moved to 14-7 on the year, 3-5 in the HHC.
“Sometimes, I think hitting is contagious, and I think that’s what happened (the second game),” MV coach Scott Johnson said. “We got confidence, and we need to hit with confidence.”
MV only got three hits in that fourth frame, but also had two runners reach both on walks and PH errors, and another on a fielder’s choice. The Marauders belted out five hits – all singles – in the first two innings and took a 3-2 lead by scoring twice in the second.
Seven different Marauders had hits in the nightcap, with designated hitter Mason Rapp rapping two.
The Marauders got six hits and three walks in Game 1, but were unable to generate consistency against Arabians’ starter Quentin Miller.
MV scored first, when Christian Smith drove in Noah Powell on a single in the first, after Powell doubled. Powell had the other RBI in the fourth, with Nathaniel Lash scoring.
“I thought they had a good pitcher and he did a nice job, but I did not like our energy and I did not like our two-strike approach,” Johnson said. “We made some adjustments between games and the guys came out with a lot more energy, with the idea that they were going to have fun, and it showed.”
MV has big 4th in nightcap
The second game went back-and-forth at the start, with the teams twice trading the lead. But the Marauders went back ahead in the bottom of the fourth, and did so decisively.
MV sent six runners home, and 11 to the plate, and stormed in front 9-4. All of the runs scored with one out.
With the bases loaded, Powell hit one back to pitcher Austin McMillan, whose throw home for the force was dropped by the catcher. Tyler Langdon’s run tied it at 4.
McMillan walked the next batter, Travis Mason, and Rapp came in for the go-ahead score.
Turner followed with a single to right, plating both Ryan Beck and Powell. A pitching change for the Arabians ensued, and Nate McCormack came in.
Norman greeted McCormack with a double, with both Mason and Turner racing home.
“Every guy came up with the idea that they were going to get the next hit, and that’s the way we need to be all the time,” Johnson said.
Second-game pitchers come through
Both of MV’s nightcap hurlers, starter James Stricker and Nathanael Lash, no doubt were grateful to their mates for the offensive support they received.
Stricker got out of a big jam in the first after PH put two on the board; the Arabians left two stranded. The junior retired six of the next seven batters before PH struck for two more runs in the fourth. Johnson then called for Lash, a junior left-hander.
“James was not 100 percent,” Johnson said. “He’s had some health issues and he did the best he could. He gave us all he could and he was battling.”
Inheriting a 4-3 deficit with nobody out, Lash proceeced to put down the first three Arabians he faced with third strikes.
Lash went on to fan four more batters over the final three innings to get the win.
“(Lash) pitched really well,” Johnson said. “He was all around the strike zone and he did a nice job.”
Around the bases
Mason had three hits on the night, two in game 1. ... PH coach Travis Keesling previously was at Greenfield-Central. ... A heavy rain shower lasting about five seconds pelted the diamond early in the first game. ... There was about a 10-minute delay in the opener, as Arabian Hunter Cook was being tended to after injuring his foot running between second and third. ... The Marauders host Connersville Monday. MV wraps up its HHC schedule May 23 with a twin bill against New Palestine.
Pendleton Heights 9, Mt. Vernon 2
SCORE BY INNINGS R H E
MV 100 100 0 — 2 6 2
PH 201 240 X — 9 10 0
WP: Miller. LP: Boyle.
MV: Mason 2-4, Powell 2B, R, RBI (MV)
PH: Hall 3-4, HR, 2B, RBI, 2 R; Cook 2-4, 2B, RBI; Miller 6 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 3 K.
Mt. Vernon 10, Pendleton Heights 5
SCORE BY INNINGS R H E
PH (14-7, 3-5 HHC) 200 201 0 — 5 10 3
MV (9-12, 4-6 HHC) 120 601 X — 10 8 0
WP: Lash. LP: McMillan.
PH: Cochran 2-2, RBI, R.
MV: Norman 2B, 2 RBI, R,R; Turner 2 RBI, R; Rapp 2-4, R; Lash 4 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 7 K (MV).