Sloppy defense costs Legion Blues

MARQUETTE – A wild pitch bailed the Marquette Blues out of one sloppy defensive game, but the American Legion baseball team couldn’t turn the trick twice as it split a doubleheader with North Central High School on Thursday.

Playing at home at Gerard Haley Memorial Field, the Blues (17-3) overcame seven errors in the opener when a wild pitch brought home Levi Underwood with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 9-8 victory.

His was the third run scored in the extra inning after the Jets scored twice in the top of the eighth, aided by a fielding error.

It made a winner of Blues reliever Payton LeBombard, who went 5 2/3 innings, scattering nine hits and no walks while chalking up two strikeouts.

“Payton came in and did a real nice job,” Blues assistant coach Randy Larson said.

The length of the first game only allowed five innings to be played in Game 2 as NC scored in all but one inning and took advantage of another four Blues errors for a 7-4 triumph.

“We didn’t play good defense and we sure didn’t give any run support in this game,” Larson said.

Ryan Walther was the hard-luck loser in Thursday’s nightcap, allowing five runs, two of them unearned, in the first 2 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits and two walks while fanning one.

In that game, teammate Riley Lynch collected a triple and a double, scored a run and stole two bases, while Derek Stone and McKinley Larson had RBI-singles.

Tyler Polfus got the win on the mound for the Jets.

In the opener, LeBombard came on for starter Ryan Hanson, who went the first 2 1/3 innings.

NC built a 5-0 lead before Marquette came back to force extra innings when Underwood singled and later scored on a groundout in the bottom of the seventh.

The Jets turned around and scored twice in the top of the eighth, but the Blues turned it around in the bottom of the inning.

Ryan Hanson and McKinley Larson singled, with several wild pitches and fielder’s choices along with an Underwood walk scoring both of them to tie the game.

Underwood moved around the basepaths on an error, fielder’s choice and wild pitch to end it.

Channing ekes out win

At Haley Field on Wednesday, Channing jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Marquette’s comeback fell short in a 5-4 loss.

Channing scored three runs in the first and two more in the second off losing pitcher McKinley Larson. All the runs were unearned.

Marquette started chipping away at its five-run deficit in the bottom of the second when Underwood and LeBombard singled and an error helped bring in a run.

Hunter Larson – Randy Larson’s son – singled and scored on a wild pitch in the fifth, while Colton Wiggins knocked in two runs with another single in the sixth after LeBombard singled to go with a walk and error.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Steve Brownlee. His email address is