ST. MARYS — A couple of perfectly placed bunts helped turn the St. Marys baseball team’s night at the plate from frustrating to fruitful.
St. Marys scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally past Marion Local 7-4 on Thursday at K.C. Geiger Park.
Marion Local at St. Marys Baseball Photos:
The Roughriders stranded seven batters through the first three innings of the game, leaving at least two runners on at the end of each of those first three innings.
Some patience at the plate and a couple of bunt singles turned it around in the sixth as they began the inning trailing 3-2. Tristan Becker led off the sixth with a walk, followed by two bunts to the third-base side of the diamond that went for infield hits for Dirk Fenwick and Nathan Vogel to load the bases.
“There’s nothing more demoralizing to a defense than having a team put a couple of bunts down on you,” St. Marys head coach Dave Huber said. “Everybody thinks it’s just a bunt, but it’s not always that simple. It really got us back into the game.”
Austin James and Nathan Wilker followed with back-to-back bases-loaded walks off Marion Local reliever Jordan Rethman. Tyler Rose slammed a single into left field to add another run. Codie Deaton got an RBI grounder to shortstop that was errantly thrown to first base. Brandon Coffey finished off the big inning with a sacrifice fly to medium left field that gave the Riders a 7-3 lead.
“We became more patient with their reliever,” Huber said. “He had a different motion coming over the top and we had to make an adjustment and it took us an inning or two, but we got it.”
Coffey earned the win on the mound, working the game’s final six innings. He gave up two runs on seven hits. He struck out six and walked one.
“He did a really nice job and kept us in the game for when the opportunity presented itself,” Huber said.
Coffey’s ability to finish off the game improves the Riders’ positioning of its pitching staff heading into league game at Shawnee tonight and then for Saturday’s 10 a.m. tournament game against Kenton at Elida.
“We have Shawnee on Friday and they are clearly one of the better teams in the league,” Huber said. “We’d like to win that one, but we also know we have the tournament game the next day against Kenton and we want to be in a position to win that. You have to pay attention and make sure you have things lined up right.”
Senior Austin James worked one-plus inning on senior night, giving up two runs on one hit and two walks.
St. Marys picked up single runs in the third and fourth innings.
In the third, Wilker singled with one out and stole second and went to third on a Marion Local error. Codie Deaton’s single brought home Wilker to bring the Riders to within 2-1.
The Roughriders scored a run in the fourth on James’ sac fly to center field to bring home Fenwick, who had started the inning with a single and a stolen base and had moved to third on a groundout.
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