ALTON – The Explorers were down 6-0 after three innings. But they inched their way back into the game up until the explosive sixth inning where they took the lead.

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Logan Sternickle started on the mound for Marquette tossing five innings picking up six strikeouts along the way. He did struggle early though and let the Warriors put two runs on the board in the first.

Sternickle walked a couple of batters and after a wild throw, the runners were on second and third with only one out. Alex Wright hit a sacrifice ground ball that scored the first run. Nick Huskamp doubled to put the second run across the plate. Eventually, Sternickle picked up the final two outs to get out of the jam.

The Warriors scored four in the third inning. They got the bases loaded with no outs. Sternickle picked up a strikeout for the first out but then hit a batter walking a run in. The bases were still loaded and after a base clearing double, Granite City led 6-0 through three innings.

Marquette battled back.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Explorers had runners on second and third with one out. After a sacrifice RBI and an RBI single the deficit was only 6-2.

Sternickle blanked the Warriors in his final inning, the top of the fifth. Then they were up to bat again. They once again found themselves with runners on second and third this time with no outs.

Owen Williams hit an RBI single scoring a run. Runners were then on the corners. After Hayden Garner put the ball in play, two more runs would score. He sprinted out of the batter’s box causing a little bit of panic for the Warriors defense. A wild throw to first allowed the score line to come to 6-5. Garner finished the night with a couple of hits and three RBI’s. Marquette still trailed though at the time.

Jack Spain came in to pitch the sixth inning for the Explorers. He walked a batter who eventually made it to third making things a little stressful. But after a flyout, the runner being called out at home, and a strikeout, he got out of the inning.

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Kannon Kamp flew out to start the bottom of the sixth. Then came up Charlie Fahnestock. He hit a home run out to left field and all of a sudden, the game was tied.

“I was in the outfield, and I was imagining it,” Charlie said about the home run. “It’s what everybody thinks of, hitting that long ball. So, I got that first pitch high, and I took advantage of it.”

When Marquette head coach Tim Fahnestock was asked if he expected his son Charlie to put one over the fence he said no and laughed.

“I’m thinking we need to get runners on. Earlier I had him bunt to get on. He made good contact and got the ball in play, and I was surprised on a windy night like this that it went, but hats off to Charlie, he had a great game.”

The Explorers tacked on a couple more for safe keeping and take their first lead of the night at 8-6. Granite City put their final run on the board in the top of the seventh, but Marquette’s closing pitchers Colten Roswell and Scott Vickrey prevailed.

“We’ve been in games like this before,” coach Fahnestock said postgame. “The kids have shown the drive and the focus to battle through it.”

This was a bounce-back win after falling to Piasa Southwestern 6-4 back on Wednesday (May 4).

Marquette out-hit the Warriors 10-8 as they move to 19-11 on the season. The Warriors fall to 11-11.

Marquette will be back in action tonight when they take on Jacksonville Routt. That game’s first pitch is set for 7 p.m. from Gordon Moore Park. As for the Warriors, they’ll play tomorrow at home against the O’Fallon Panthers at 4:30 p.m.

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