Healthier Mitch Wiese helps Marion to sweep of No. 6 West Delaware

Junior pitcher throws complete game and drives in two in extra-inning victory

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MANCHESTER — Mitch Wiese is finally healthy.

The mended pitcher had his hands all over Marion’s latest accomplishment.

Wiese threw an eight-inning complete game and drove in two runs in the opener of a doubleheader sweep of Class 3A sixth-ranked West Delaware Wednesday night at Beckman Sports Complex. Wiese earned the victory and drove in two runs in a 4-3 decision. The Indians won the nightcap, 6-5.

“He performed well,” Marion Coach Steve Fish said. “It looks like he’s healthy again and we need that.

“He stayed composed and did a great job.”

The 6-foot-6, 205-pound right-hander made just his third start of the season, getting some spot work as he worked his way back from a shoulder injury that required six months of therapy and forced him to spring leagues. Despite not being able to throw a ball during the preseason, Wiese improved to 3-0.

“I felt like it was a struggle coming back,” said Wiese, a junior. “My arm couldn’t take the innings. After the last couple games, I could go a little bit longer. It felt good.”

Wiese scattered six hits and struck out seven, nearly doubling his season total. When West Delaware tied the score in the bottom of the seventh on Sage Sutter’s RBI single, Wiese was determined to finish what he started. Fish asked how he was before the final inning and he demanded the ball for the eighth.

Wiese slammed the door on the Hawks, retiring them in order with two strikeouts.

“I really wanted that one because I felt good,” said Wiese, who estimated he threw about 115 pitches. “I wanted to go back out there, even though I had a high pitch count.”

Wiese also helped his own cause at the plate. He hit a sacrifice fly in the second, giving the Indians a 2-1 lead after Logan Charipar’s RBI single. Wiese’s base hit plated another run in the fourth to make it 3-1.

Whether it’s in the batters box or on the mound, Wiese is focused on helping the team win. He said he doesn’t have a favorite way to contribute.

“It doesn’t matter,” Wiese said. “I just do it for the team.”

The Indians scored the winning run when Chase Zielke reached on a fielders’ choice and courtesy runner Blair Brooks scored on a wild pitch. Wiese, Zielke, Bobby Vanderlind and Rick Atkins each had two hits in the opener. Zielke reached based three times, leading to three runs.

“They had timely hits,” Fish said of the Indians. “We knew it would be a scrappy game. West Delaware always has a nice team.

“I thought, offensively, we did what we needed to do. I was also very happy with our defense. We made some big plays.”

In the nightcap, Wiese and Baylor Fish had solo home runs, helping Marion to a 6-0 lead. Owen Carstensen, who also earned the victory, and Brooks had RBIs for the Indians (19-12, 14-8 Wamac).

Kyle Wright pulled the Hawks within two runs with a grand slam in the sixth. West Delaware threatened in the seventh, scoring a run when Owen Ward scored on Wright’s sacrifice fly and loading the bases. Vanderlind closed the game, getting a ground out to secure the save.

Wright also had an RBI in the opener. Ward had three hits for West Delaware (20-8, 17-6). The Hawks have lost four straight.

Marion won 13 of its last 15 games. The Indians have rebounded from a tough 1-6 start. During the early struggles, Fish encouraged the team by insisting they would progress as the season did. He shared a quote about staying the course, even if they were ‘stuck in the mud’ until about two weeks ago.

“Not everybody was supporting us, except us here,” Fish said. “I think it resonated with them a little bit. I really thought it became our thing.

“Stick together and play together. Our motto all year has been we before me, and I think they’re starting to get it.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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