Arabians drop pair of games to Marauders 2-1

It was typical April Hoosier Heritage Conference baseball on Wednesday and Thursday night between Pendleton Heights and Mt. Vernon.

Cold weather, pitcher’s duels, and no love lost between two conference rivals.

Tied for third place in the HHC entering the week, Mt. Vernon walked off in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Pendleton Heights 2-1 in Game 1 of the HHC series, and came from behind to defeat the Arabians 2-1 as well on Thursday.

Game 1

Pendleton Heights led 1-0 through five innings of play behind the arm of Jacob Garner. During the first five innings, the Marauders had just two hits.

MV’s DJ Scheumann singled in the first and stole second before being stranded. In the fifth, a pair of walks and a Gage Blanchard single loaded the bases with one out, but a force out at home and a ground out to second ended the Marauders threat.

In the sixth, the Mt. Vernon offense broke through with the help of Pendleton Heights mistakes. Mason Meyer singled and later advanced to third on an errant pickoff attempt before scoring on another Arabians error. With the infield playing in, a ground ball to the second baseman off of the bat of Nick Heitman was misplayed allowing Meyer to score.

An inning later, the winning run crossed the plate in similar fashion. Will Jacobs singled to lead off the frame and scored on a Hayden Ford sacrifice bunt. After getting the out at first, the Arabians tried to go across the diamond to catch Jacobs running to third but the throw was wild.

The Arabians missed an opportunity to take the lead in the top of seventh.

Mt. Vernon starting pitcher Cam Sullivan hit Pendleton Heights’ Clint Miller with a pitch to start the inning and then walked the next batter. Miller was caught stealing by Grant Payson for the first out of the inning, but with a 2-2 count on Bo Surface, Sullivan was ejected from the game.

With the Arabians crowding the plate, Sullivan threw back-to-back pitches over the head of Surface that allowed the runner on base to advance to third, and prompted the ump to remove Sullivan from the game.

With the go-ahead run on third, Andrew Boldt came into the game and recorded two straight outs. He got the last strike on Surface and got Colin Axel-Adams to pop out to third.

Up until his departure, Sullivan, a Notre Dame signee, was as good as expected. He held a Pendleton Heights offense that entered the night averaging nearly eight runs a game to one unearned run. He allowed just two hits and three free passes, and struck out 12.

The lone run allowed came in the second inning on a Mt. Vernon fielding error.

Jackson Grile and Jordan Williamson had the only two hits for the Arabians.

On the mound, Garner threw the entire game, allowing two unearned runs on three hits while striking out two.

Game 2

After a pitcher’s duel Wednesday night, Mt. Vernon and Pendleton Heights baseball teams decided to run things back on Thursday.

In near repeat fashion, and with more late-game antics and confusion, the Marauders defeated the Arabians 2-1.

With the win, the Marauders moved into a tie atop the Hoosier Heritage Conference with New Palestine. The Dragons swept Greenfield-Central this week. Pendleton Heights dropped to fourth in the conference.

Again, the Arabians led late into the game, but, again, the Mt. Vernon offense found late life.

On Wednesday they scored one in the sixth before walking things off in the seventh. This time, they did all their damage in the sixth.

A leadoff walk to start the frame by Josh James kick-started a two-run inning. He advanced to third on a Pendleton Heights fielding error and scored on a DJ Scheumann infield single to tie it at 1-1. Following a double play, Nick Heitman singled in Scheumann to put the Marauders ahead for good.

After driving in the tying run and scoring the go-ahead run, Scheumann made a game-saving play on defense in the bottom half of the inning.

With two outs, a ground ball off the bat of PH’s Bo Surface bounced off third baseman Mason Meyer’s glove and trickled into left field. Scheumann picked it up and threw out the tying run at home to end the inning.

With Surface making the final out of the sixth, the Marauders took advantage of a Pendleton Heights lineup mistake in the seventh.

According to the lineup card, Surface and the Arabians next batter, Bryce Stevenson, had been batting out of order all game. The Marauders caught it at the end of the sixth, and after Stevenson reached base to start the seventh, they went to the umpire. After a visit with both coaches, Stevenson was ruled out.

Following the ruling, PH’s Caden Sims walked and Mazon Saxon singled, but with two runners on, Mt. Vernon’s Tristan Sitton struck out Ty Frakes to cap off a complete game.

Sitton allowed three hits, one unearned run, and struck out 10.

After a combined six hits and three runs Wednesday, the Marauders and Arabians combined for eight hits and three runs Thursday. Five of the six runs scored over the two games were unearned.

The first run of the game came in the second inning and — like every run in Game 1 — was unearned. Surface singled to lead off the inning and later came around to score on a Mt. Vernon error as he attempted to steal third base.

On the mound, Colton Frank allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out five.

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