116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — In the end, the biggest thing the Marion baseball team had to overcome last night was a freak rainstorm.
Just hours before Marion’s Class 3A Substate 6 final against Benton Community, a cloudburst of rain left plenty of water on the baseball field at the Les Hipple Athletic Complex.
“It wasn’t even raining on my side of Marion,” Coach Steve Fish said. “I got here at around 3:30 and it had just poured here. We didn’t get to do our regular defensive work, but we did get to do our hitting.”
That hitting carried over to the game. Top-ranked Marion pounded out 13 hits to back the three-hit pitching performance from junior Boede Rahe en route to a 14-1, five-inning victory and fourth state trip in the last five years.
Marion (34-6) will play its first-round game next Wednesday at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City.
Benton Community ends its season at 14-23.
Getting the field ready for play required a number of people to pitch in, including Rahe.
“I came up (to the field) a little early and started getting the brooms out to get all the water off,” he said. “We really wanted to play this game tonight and we were going to play even if there was just a little puddle on the field.”
Not only was the field ready, but so was the state’s top-ranked Class 3A team. After Rahe set down Benton in the top of the first, Marion’s first four hitters all had base hits, the fourth a two-run double from freshman shortstop Myles Davis. The hosts added on two more runs to lead 6-0 after one inning.
“It was great going out there with a lead because we have a team that can really hit,” Rahe said. “When they get it going like they did tonight, it makes it a lot easier for me on the mound.”
Fish was impressed with the at-bats his team had against Bobcats ace Cade Timmerman.
“The Timmerman kid on the mound for them is a gamer,” Fish said. “He’s pitched some big games in his career. I was proud of our approach. We swung the bat pretty well tonight.”
After adding a single run in the second, Marion erased any doubt with a seven-run third inning. Owen Puk had the key blow in the inning, a triple to left-center.
All that was left was for Rahe to complete the job on the mound. The junior right-hander fanned 10, including three in the final inning to secure the trip to state.
“He’s been really good all year,” said Fish. “He is always around the plate and always keeps us in games. I loved his composure tonight, a lot of first-pitch strikes.”
Once the celebration died down, Fish had a message for his players, telling them they weren’t going to state to finish second.
“The last two years, we’ve been in the semifinals,” he said. “This group has some unfinished business. Can we do it? I don’t know, but we’re not going down there to just be happy we’re in the tournament.”