PLEASANT VALLEY, W.Va. — No. 5 seed North Marion scored twice in the third inning and rode the right arm of Brock Troy from there Wednesday for a 2-1 victory at No. 2 East Fairmont.
The win puts the Huskies (12-10) in the driver’s seat of Class AA Region I, Section 2. North Marion is off Thursday and will play again Friday against the winner of an elimination game between the Bees and top seed Fairmont Senior. The Bees or Polar Bears will then have to defeat the Huskies twice.
“They knew we had to win today, because we were in trouble with pitching and it’s almost depleted,” North Marion coach Vic Seccuro said. “Boy they hung in there and did did it. I’m just so proud of them. They deserve the credit.”
After East Fairmont’s Brandon Corley lifted a sacrifice fly to score Dominick Postlewait in the second inning, North Marion answered.
In the third, the Huskies got one-out singles from Levi Clemens, Cruz Tobin and Jace Rinehart, the latter of which scored Clemons to tie the game at 1.
With two outs in the inning, Trent Hlusko hit an infield single, which combined with a throwing error from Bees’ pitcher Cole Peschl, allowed Rinehart to score the go-ahead run.
Troy took over for Mike Harris on the mound to start the bottom of the inning. Although the Bees (17-10) loaded the pases on a pair of walks and a hit batsman, Troy got Payton Sarsfield to fly out to right to end the inning.
“We didn’t know if Brock could hold them” Seccuro said. “We were worried because they have a lot of good hitters, but he got the job done for us. He sucked it up and bore down when he had to.”
North Marion stranded a pair of runners in the fourth and fifth innings, before running into trouble in the sixth.
East Fairmont looked to be in business after Sarsfield and Garrett Wilkerson drew base-on-balls to begin the inning.
Following the first out, Broderick Rohrbaugh connected on a long fly ball to left field that was misplayed and fell in. However, a miscommunication on the bases put Wilkerson in a rundown between third base and home plate that ultimately resulted in the second out.
“That was the play of the game,” Seccuro said.
Trey Hissman then popped out to first to end the sixth.
“It was iffy whether the guy was going to make the play or not and popped out there,” East Fairmont coach Joe Price said. “We had the bases loaded possibly in that situation, but we made mistakes on the basepath.”
The Huskies had a chance to add to their lead in the seventh, but with a pair of runners in scoring position, Peschl got Broc Tennant to hit a fly ball to left for the final out.
East Fairmont got a baserunner in the seventh when Ethan Harvey drew a one-out walk, but retired the next two batters, including a strikeout of Chance Rundle that ended it.
Troy allowed only one hit in five shutout innings, though he walked seven and struck out three.
Peschl struck out eight, walked a pair and scattered seven hits in the complete game loss.
“We pitched and played defense well enough to win. We didn’t string enough hits together to win,” Price said. “We left too many guys on base and we ran the bases today like a bad Little League team.”
Tobin went 2-for-4 and was the only player in the game with multiple hits.