North Marion baseball picks up 10th win
Aurora—The regular season has not even gotten under way, and the Huskies baseball team already has victories numbering in the double digits. The North Marion baseball team bested the visiting Scappoose Indians 9-4 after seven innings on Saturday, March 31.
With the win, North Marion's record improves to 10-1 to close out the preseason. Scappoose drops its second contest in a row and falls to 6-4 overall.
"We played some really good defense," North Marion head coach Randy Brack said. "When we put our balls in play, they struggled making some plays and we made some timely hits and ran the bases pretty aggressively. That ended up being the difference of the game. That we were able to defend, and they weren't, kind of opened the doors for us to score some runs."
The first pair of innings were even affairs, neither team putting any runs up on the scoreboard. It was in the third inning when the dynamic of the game changed. After Scappoose brought in a run at the top of the third, North Marion came roaring back in the second part of the inning.
The Huskies brought in five runs in the bottom of the third, with junior Nic Iliyn getting into home courtesy of a senior Andy Schmitz single. Two batters later, junior Grant Henry hit a single of his own and brought in Schmitz for point number two. Junior Griffin Henry connected on big swing and got to second base and brought in Grant Henry for the third point of the afternoon.
In one of the biggest plays of the game, Bryce Lemon connected on a single that brought in sophomore Isaac Hansen and Griffin Henry to give the Huskies the definitive lead of the game. From then on, Scappoose was playing a game of catch up.
In the fifth inning, the visiting team was unable to get anything going offensively, but they did hold North Marion to just four batters. The fifth inning was not good for Scappoose though.
North Marion's outfielders and short stop Schmitz defensed hits, and quickly got back to bat.
"We really try and improve our defense," Brack said. "That's a big thing for us. Our outfielders played really well for us, we had some good catches in the outfield. Schmitty made a really great play at short stop today. The rest of it was solid defensive stuff. In high school baseball, usually the teams that don't give away free bases, whether it be by walks, hit batters, or errors, usually they win a lot of games."
After stealing second base, Grant Henry capitalized on a Griffin Henry hit and made it back to home plate to score the sixth North Marion point.
Lemon returned to bat, and connected on a single that brought in Isaac Hansen to make the score 7-1. After a change at the mound for Scappoose, exchanging starting pitcher Logan Travis for junior Ben Anicker. Anicker gave up two more runs, and North Marion was firmly in the lead 9-1.
Scappoose made up some ground in the final inning. Against North Marion relief pitcher sophomore Ryan Olson, the visiting team picked up five hits, and brought in three runners to lessen the difference. Still, at the end of seven innings, it was North Marion the clear victors with a tally of 9-4.
"The preseason was great, that was 11 games, but all it is is at-bats, innings pitched, and defensive plays," Brack said. "It's some experience, but it doesn't mean any more than that because starting Monday everybody is 0-0 and it's a whole new season now. We'll see what happens, but the league is tough."
North Marion begins its league season with a series against Newport (1-7), starting with a road game on Monday, April 2. Scappoose begins league play in the Cowapa League with a pair of contests against Astoria (3-3), the first of which is on Tuesday, April 3.