MARIA STEIN — As the clean-up hitter in the St. Marys line-up, Michael Huber looked out at the flag in center field whipping directly out and saw the opportunity for a big day.
“As a hitter, I was definitely excited,” he said.
Huber said the wind helped him on the hill, too.
The Rider senior hit two home runs — including a seventh-inning grand slam — and pitched six strong innings in St. Marys’ 8-2 win over Marion Local on Thursday.
Huber hit a towering grand slam over the wall in left field to put St. Marys up 8-2 in the top of the seventh.
“The second one was a curveball he left up a little bit too high,” Huber said. “I got under a little bit too much but the wind carried it out for me.”
Huber hit a solo home run in the fourth to put St. Marys up 4-1.
“That first one was a fastball and I thought I had some good contact,” Huber said.
On the mound, Huber worked six innings, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out eight and walking three.
Huber kept Marion Local in the ballpark with his curveball.
“I think it helped my curveball break a little bit more,” Huber said. It was really good.”
St. Marys returned to the win column after a five-day layoff because of weather and scheduling, but the Riders looked sharp in the field.
St. Marys catcher Steven Paulus cut down the Marion Local running game early. The St. Marys senior catcher gunned down a pair of would-be basestealers in the bottom of the first and then threw out another in the top of the third.
“Steven Paulus really helped me out by blocking some pitches and throwing guys out on the bases,” Michael Huber said. “That really gave me some momentum.”
Vogel made a difficult play at shortstop in the sixth on a ball hit up the middle in which he lunged for the ball and threw with his weight carrying him towards right field.