ALTON - After a 12-day layoff, Marquette Catholic Explorers baseball was back on a cold Wednesday afternoon at Gordon Moore Park. However, after getting an early 2-0 lead, the visiting Mascoutah Indians would go on to score eight unanswered runs and came out 8-2 winners.
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Marquette falls to 3-2 and Mascoutah stays undefeated at 6-0.
“I’m gonna call it atypical for the season [game]. We jump out on somebody and then we put it on cruise control. “We think they’re gonna fold and we don’t finish,” Marquette coach Tim Fahnestock said. “Mascoutah’s a very good team. They put the ball in play, did what they had to do and we didn’t.”
To go along with that, Fahnestock believes the long layoff thanks to the many rainouts had some effect on the Explorers due to lack of playing time, which caused rustiness.
“[The cancellations were] huge. It comes with reps. Baseball’s just like anything else, and we haven’t had many reps. We’ve been inside for six of the last seven days, and it’s hard to replicate ground balls. Then you get outside it’s cold and everything else.”
Marquette started out brightly with a single by Jayce Maag and then a two-run home run by Garrett Weiner. However, after surrendering the home run to Weiner, Logan Bibb went on to retire 14 straight Explorers.
Weiner would finish 2-for-3 at the plate.
Bibb struck out the side in the first two innings and would end with 15 for the game. The lefty worked six innings allowing two runs on four hits and additionally walked two batters.
“He was in a groove, and we didn’t do much to make adjustments,” Fahnestock said.
Nick Hemann, a lefty as well, took the mound for Marquette, and he pitched the first two innings giving up no runs, but would run into trouble in the third.
Jacob Schanz knocked an RBI single to left field to put Mascoutah on the board with one out, but Hemann got out of the jam. The Indians were warming up for an even bigger inning. They tied the game on a one-out error, and subsequently, Jack Warren came in to relieve Hemann, but couldn’t stop the bleeding.
The Indians took a 5-2 lead courtesy of back-to-back-to-back RBI singles by Jaelyn Curry, Jaydon Stewart, and Schanz. In the top of the fourth Mascoutah added two more runs on a two-run double by Evan Fournie.
Fournie went 3-for-3 with four RBI, and Schanz was 3-for-5 with 2 RBI.
Hemann pitched 3.1 innings with four strikeouts and two walks while giving up five hits and allowing three earned runs.
“He threw the ball pretty good for his first time out,” Fahnestock said. “He went a little heavy on the pitch count more than we thought. With more reps and work he’ll be alright.”
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