PENDLETON — After a pitcher’s duel Wednesday night, Mt. Vernon and Pendleton Heights baseball teams decided to run things back on Thursday.

In near repeat fashion, and with more late-game antics and confusion, the Marauders defeated the Arabians 2-1.

“We need to start a little quicker and swing the bat more aggressively early on, but that’s a good team,” Mt. Vernon head coach Brad King said. “Pendleton has improved a great deal since last year, so hats off to them. They played excellent, and we did just enough to win.”

With the win, the Marauders moved into a tie atop the Hoosier Heritage Conference with New Palestine. The Dragons swept Greenfield-Central this week.

“It was a big win. We needed this win since New Pal swept Greenfield. We’ve got some separation from Pendleton and Greenfield now,” King said. “We’ve got Greenfield left and obviously when [Parker] Rhodes pitches anything can happen, and New Pal’s got Pendleton left. From what I’ve seen out of them the last two days, I have no doubt they can win one. There’s a lot of games still to go but we control our destiny.”

In each of the two games, the Marauders trailed going into the sixth and failed to find the scoreboard until that inning.

On Wednesday they scored one in the sixth before walking things off in the seventh. This time, they did all their damage in the sixth.

A leadoff walk to start the frame by Josh James kick-started a two-run inning. He advanced to third on a Pendleton Heights fielding error and scored on a DJ Scheumann infield single to tie it at 1-1. Following a double play, Nick Heitman singled in Scheumann to put the Marauders ahead for good.

“Their pitcher [Colton Frank] did a nice job keeping us off balance, but you’ve got to give credit to our guys for coming through and getting those timely hits,” King said.

After driving in the tying run and scoring the go-ahead run, Scheumann made a game-saving play on defense in the bottom half of the inning.

With two outs, a ground ball off the bat of PH’s Bo Surface bounced off third baseman Mason Meyer’s glove and trickled into left field. Scheumann picked it up and threw out the tying run at home to end the inning.

“We had some errors but our defense made some great plays,” King said. “We get the double play in the fifth and then DJ comes up huge after running into the fence the play before and guns the guy out at the plate.”

With Surface making the final out of the sixth, the Marauders took advantage of a Pendleton Heights lineup mistake in the seventh.

According to the lineup card, Surface and the Arabians next batter, Bryce Stevenson, had been batting out of order all game. The Marauders caught it at the end of the sixth, and after Stevenson reached base to start the seventh, they went to the umpire. After a visit with both coaches, Stevenson was ruled out.

“We caught it at the end of the sixth inning and we just held onto it and waited to see what the leadoff hitter was going to do. Once he reached that was a trump card for us,” King said. “We went to the umpires and fortunately it worked for us. It’s crazy, there’s been some weird outcomes and calls the last two nights.”

Following the ruling, PH’s Caden Sims walked and Mazon Saxon singled, but with two runners on, Mt. Vernon’s Tristan Sitton struck out Ty Frakes to cap off a complete game.

Sitton allowed three hits, one unearned run, and struck out 10.

“We’ve pitched really well. Our ERA was 2.22 coming into [Thursday], so that’s going to go down,” King said. “That’s not just a Cam Sullivan stat. Jack Peine is pitching well, Tristan Sitton is pitching well, Caden Taylor is pitching well, Drew Boldt is pitching well, everybody that touches the mound has been doing a good job and keeping us in games. When we don’t have that offensive production we can stay close until we can manufacture and do what we need to do.”

After a combined six hits and three runs Wednesday, the Marauders and Arabians combined for eight hits and three runs Thursday. Five of the six runs scored over the two games were unearned.

“Pendleton’s pitching was really good the last two days. Every pitcher that threw in this series was great,” King said. “They did a great job of keeping us off balance, but Cam and Tristan threw great games too.”

The first run of the game came in the second inning and — like every run in Game 1 — was unearned. Surface singled to lead off the inning and later came around to score on a Mt. Vernon error as he attempted to steal third base.

The Marauders host Richmond for a doubleheader Saturday with the first game set to begin at 9 a.m.

Mt. Vernon 2, Pendleton Heights 1

Mt. Vernon (9-4, 6-2);000;002;0; — ;2;3;2

Pendleton Heights (9-5, 4-4);010;000;0; —;1;5;2

Tristan Sitton and Grant Payson; Colton Frank and Brayden Stevenson. 2B: MV – Nathan Criss. WP: Sitton (2-1). LP: Frank (2-1).