(Schulenburg) – Marion catcher Tucker Woods tagged a Schulenburg runner headed for the plate on a throw from centerfielder Tayler Mills for the final out in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night to preserve the Bulldogs’ 4-3 road win over the Shorthorns in District 27-3A play.
Marion erased an early 3-0 deficit with two runs in the third and another in the fourth, and the teams remained deadlocked into a second extra inning. Noah Haese led off the top of the ninth with a base hit, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Matthew Dutton, and scored the go-ahead run on Seth Garza’s RBI-single.
On the mound, Haese worked around two singles and a hit batter to protect the lead in the bottom of the ninth. Caleb Valchar tried to score the tying run from second on a two-out hit by Rhett Ahrens, but Mills rifled a perfect throw to Woods from the outfield, and Woods tagged Valchar out on the third base line a few feet in front of the plate.
That thrilling final stanza capped a five-inning relief appearance for Haese, who held Schulenburg scoreless on four hits with four strikeouts.
After Schulenburg touched up Marion starter Jared Mendez for two runs and three hits in the first inning, Tanner Wilkinson gave the Bulldogs three relief innings and allowed one run on four hits with three strikeouts.
Garza and Cameron Luensmann each went 3-5 with an RBI at the plate, while Matthew Dutton drove in two runs. Haese and Brandon Stanley each went 1-4, and Tyler Seboldt finished 1-3.
The win avenged an earlier district loss to Schulenburg and improved Marion to 9-3 in district play, 14-7-1 overall. The Bulldogs are still tied with Yoakum for second place and two games back of first place Hallettsville with two games left in the regular season.
Marion plays host to Randolph on Friday at 7 p.m.