Marion just misses first win in Little Rock
Pats see late lead vanish at Little Rock Catholic tournament
Sports Editor Marion dropped three games as part of a statewide baseball tournament in Little Rock over the past two days.
The Pats (0-10 overall, 02 7A/6A-East) lost 9-0 to Ozark and 18-0 to Little Rock Catholic on Monday before seeing a late lead evaporate in a 14-5 loss to El Dorado yesterday afternoon.
The Ozark game featured the Pats only getting two hits, one from Heath Stephenson and one from Peyton McElroy.
Ozark struck for three runs in the top of the first, four in the third and two more in the fifth to account for all of the scoring.
Tyler Steele started for Marion and took the loss after working three innings, allowing six hits and seven runs, though just three of the tallies were earned. He struck three hitters out and walked just one. Colin Carpenter worked the game’s final two innings, gave up two hits and two runs.
Marion’s offense was held in check against Little Rock Catholic, as well.
The Pats were held to a single hit – a second-inning single by Peyton Walker while the Rockets posted 11 runs in the first inning to remove all doubt off of starter Ben Vaughn.
Vaughn lasted only 2/3 of an inning, gave up 10 hits and 11 earned runs while taking the loss. Little Rock Catholic finished play with 15 hits to get their 18 runs, all of which were earned.
Marion pitching also surrendered seven walks in just three, full innings of work.
Yesterday morning saw the Pats nearly come up with their first win of the season in a rematch of the 2014 state semifinal that sent Marion to that season’s Class 6A state title game.
Marion led 5-2 after fourand- a-half innings as lefthander Ripp Inman kept the Wildcats in check.
However, El Dorado struck for three runs in the top of the fifth and the top of the sixth before scoring six more times in the top of the seventh.
Inman was tagged with the loss after working five innings and surrendering seven runs, but just two were earned. The sophomore lefty allowed just five hits and struck six batters out, while walking four. Jackson Wiggins relieved Inman and pitched the last two innings, gave up three hits, seven runs (one earned) and striking four hitters out.
Marion came up with six hits against El Dorado, as Walker went 2-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
Stephenson was 1-3 with a run, Hayden Hodge finished 1-3 with 2 RBI and a walk, Steele was 1-4, Vaughn went 1-4 with a run and Cody Smith and Tony Rudd each scored runs for Marion.
Hodge also stole two bases, while Wiggins and Smith each swiped one.
Marion returns home to play Armorel on Tuesday, March 29 at 4:30 p.m. The Pats step back into 7A/6AEast play when they host Cabot for a doubleheader on Thursday, March 31 beginning at 4:30 p.m.
By Chuck Livingston