WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – The Marian baseball team was knocked into the consolation bracket Monday afternoon at the NAIA Championship Opening Round as Northwestern Ohio handed the Knights a 7-3 loss. Marian is 24-26 with the loss.
Matt Burleton picked up where he left off on the mound against Huntington last week in Upland. He made quick work of UNOH through the first three innings, allowing just one hit the first time through the order. He struck out one in the first three innings and recorded three ground ball outs with five outs in the air. Marian’s offense was slow to start against the Racers’ Mike Alexander. Cody Earl and Henry Fisher recorded hits off of him the first through three innings, but the Knights could not move either runner into scoring position.
Earl singled again in the fourth, but was stranded at first, and in the bottom of the inning UNOH got to Burleton for a pair of runs. After recording the first two outs, Burleton walked a batter and a double off the wall from Erich Gonzalez scored a run. Gonzalez then scored on a single to give the Racers a 2-0 lead.
The Knights left a runner on the fifth and another in the sixth, and UNOH blew the game wide open in the bottom of the sixth inning. A leadoff walk followed by a single and intentional walk loaded the bases for the Racers with one out. Junior Gomez then lifted a double to deep right-center field to score a pair of runs and Dayfran Ortiz followed with a three-run homer to make it 7-0.
Marian went down in order in the seventh, but found life in the eighth inning. Fisher hit a double down the line with one out and Leo Lopez singled to put runners on the corners. After Lopez advanced to second on a wild pitch, Zack St. Pierre singled in Fisher to get Marian on the board. A walk to Earl loaded the bases and Maverick Bacon delivered a two-RBI base hit to make it 7-3. A single from Caleb Myers loaded the bases, but Marian was unable to push across any more runs. The Knights went quietly in the ninth and fell into the consolation bracket.
Burleton took the loss after 5.1 innings and allowed six hits and six earned runs. He struck out three and walked two. Chase Dowell and Kadin Abegg pitched the final 2.2 innings for the Knights. Marian had 10 hits, but left seven runners on base. Earl led the Knights with three hits and Fisher added two.
Marian will play later tonight against the loser of the Point Park versus Cumberlands game. The game will start at approximately 10:30 p.m.