By Ben Murphy
Harrison hosted Marion in what turned out to be an exciting baseball opener for both of the schools Wednesday night. The Hornets scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull off a 10-9 non-conference win.
“Other than one bad inning, we played very well,” Harrison head coach Tom Whitfield said. “Other than one bad inning on our part we played good baseball. We played 10 good innings of good baseball and one bad inning so overall I was pleased with our performance. It feels good to be outside and it feels good to get a win, especially in the first game.”
The Hornets took an early 6-0 lead but Marion came back to take an 8-6 lead and led 9-8 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
There, an Alan Poole RBI base hit tied the game and Jacob Patterson scored the game winning run on a passed pall moments later.
Zack Anderson earned the win in relief, giving up one run and striking out two. Matt Haskell pitched 3 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs, two earned on three hits and one strike out and Alan Polle tossed 2 and 2/3 innings on one hit, three strikeouts and two walks.
Thomas Nunnally, Logan Tenwalde and Poole all had two hits, with Poole adding a double. Massa Higa, Brandon Steele, Patterson and Haskell all had one hit.
Ethan Russell took the loss for Marion, pitching the entire game while giving up three earned runs.
Russell and Spencer Witbeck were the top hitters for the Eagles, according to head coach Kurt Gillespie.
“I thought that Russell pitched very well for the first time out,” Gillespie said. “We didn’t defend him real well, we threw the ball around a bit on him. With seven unearned runs, that makes it difficult on your pitcher.”
Marion wasn’t alone in it’s struggles to field the ball.
“We scored some runs but they booted the ball around a little bit too,” Gillespie said. “It was a sloppy first game baseball. It was good to get the rust off though.”
Harrison led game two 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, but play was suspended due to darkness and will not count as a completed contest.
Brandone Steele and Blayne Fowler both pitched two innings in the nightcap for Harrison, with Steele striking out three and Fowler two.
“I was happy with how Witbeck pitched the second game, that’s a good sign for us,” Gillespie said. “That would have been a good game, win lose or draw. Overall, I was happy with the kids and how they kept battling back despite getting down in the first game.”
Harrison (1-0) hosted McBain on Thursday and hosts St. Louis on Monday.
Marion (0-1) plays Hale at Dow Diamond on Monday.