League play scheduled to open on Tuesday afternoon
By Chuck Livingston Sports Editor
Marion lost a heartbreaker on Tuesday evening against Valley View. The host Blazers won 5-4 on a walk-off in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Pats (0-4 overall) claimed leads of 2-0 and 4-3 in Jonesboro, but couldn’t shake Valley View. Marion senior righty Ben Vaughn was tagged with the loss after pitching 1 and 2/3 innings, allowing just a pair of hits, walking two batters, striking three hitters out and surrendering a pair of earned runs. Tyler Steele started on the bump for Marion and worked five innings, allowing three hits, and three unearned runs. He walked and struck out three batters apiece. The visiting Pats came up with five hits against Valley View, with their first three hitters, Heath Stephenson, Steele and Jackson Wiggins, all reaching via the hit, and later scoring a run. Wiggins also had a pair of RBI on the day. Tony Rudd also had a hit and scored a run, while Peyton McElroy got a hit and posted an RBI of his own. Marion struck first in the top of the first when Stephenson scored on a single by Wiggins, and Wiggins scored on an error by Valley View’s centerfielder. That score would hold until the bottom of the third when Valley View got even with Fischbacher reached on an error that scored a pair of runs. The Blazers went ahead for the first time in the game in the home-half of the fourth when an error allowed Winstead to score for a 3-2 advantage. In the top of the fifth, Rudd would score on McElroy’s double to left field. That hit tied the game at 3-3. Marion surged back ahead in the top of the sixth when Wiggins grounded out, but scored Steele in the process for a 4-3 advantage. Winstead would reach on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the sixth and that play scored Watson to tie the game once again. In the bottom of the seventh, a Watson single would score Fischbacher to give the Blazers the wild win. Watson would claim the win for Valley View after pitching a complete game, allowing five hits, four runs (two earned), while posting 12 strikeouts and not walking a single batter. Marion opens conference play on Tuesday against Little Rock Central, weather permitting. First pitch of the league doubleheader is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.