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Marion sweeps South Tama, Trojans vie for conference runner-up
June 29, 2018

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The current top two teams of the WaMaC west met for a double header on Monday, June 26. South Tama travelled to Marion for the contest. By the end of the night Marion walked away with the sweep winning game one 4-0 and game two 10-3.

With weather causing postponements the Trojans had not seen the field since defeating Williamsburg one week earlier. Starting game on for the Trojans was Cael Kellogg. Kellogg allowed four hits and four runs while striking out two over four innings.

Marion got an early start scoring their four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Gage Franck got things rolling for the Indians. He singled on a ground ball to left field. Trevor Paulson also got on base after a single. Nick Cole then hit a double scoring Franck and moving Paulson to 3rd. Paulson scored after a single by Rick Atkins. Chase Zielke grounded out to short stop Brayden Smith and Cole scored Marion's third run. Austin Prier then bunted and reached on an error by first baseman Kriegel. Atkins scored during the play. The Trojans got their second out of the inning off an infield fly to second baseman Tanner Probasco. The inning was brought to an end with Kellogg striking out Luke Golla.

The first inning saw the only offensive production from either team. The Trojans managed to hold off Marion but Marion also held off South Tama. Marion's Rick Atkins earned the win, throwing a no hitter through seven innings. He also struck out 11. Atkins remains one of the premier arms in the state as his 63 total strikeouts and 1.11 ERA rank in the top 10 across all classes.

Game two was somewhat of an improvement for the Trojans. STC managed to get on the board in game two. Marion also saw more success winning the contest 10-3. The Trojans struggled to put runs on the board and had a tough time defensively containing Marion, giving up ten runs.

Carter Kriegel got the start for the Trojans. He allowed five hits and six runs over four innings, striking out three.

Marion scored on a double by Rick Atkins in the first inning and a sacrifice fly by Chase Zielke in the first inning. What really sealed the deal for the Indians was a grand slam by Nick Cole in the second inning. Atkins led Marion going 2-4 from the plate.

Kriegel lasted four innings before being relieved by Lucas Wilkerson. The Trojans managed a late rally in the seventh inning. STC scored a run and got the bases loaded but with two outs Marion's Dane Carstensen forced the Trojans into a pop out to end the game.

Austin Prier earned the win for Marion. He surrendered two runs on four hits over five and two-thirds innings, striking out four. Carstensen came in as relief.

The losses to Marion put the Trojans record at 10-11 and 6-4 in the WaMaC west. Current standings are:

Marion 10-1

South Tama 6-4

Benton 6-4

Clear Creek Amana 6-2

Vinton-Shellsburg 4-6

Center Point Urbana 2-6

Independence 3-5

Williamsburg 2-8

With only Williamsburg and Vinton-Shellsburg yet to play, Marion is poised to lock down the WaMaC West conference title. Their only conference loss came from a split with Benton on June 4. Marion won game one 14-4 but fell in game two 4-9. It's second place that is still up for grabs.

The race appears to be between South Tama, Clear Creek-Amana, and Benton. South Tama and Benton split their doubleheader early in the season and both teams still have to face the Clippers. With rain delays playing a role, Clear Creek-Amana controls a little more of their destiny as they have three WaMaC West teams yet to face compared to South Tama and Benton who only have two. The Clippers will face Independence, South Tama, and Benton yet this season.

The Trojans will travel to CCA on July 2 and host Independence on July 6. CCA and Benton will compete on July 6.

South Tama will next be at home on Tuesday, July 3 to host East Marshall for a JV/Varsity contest.

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