116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — Behind the bat of Parker Ridge in game one and his arm in game two, Marion swept Maquoketa 7-2 and 6-2 for its seventh and eighth victories in a row.
The Indians (14-10) jumped on the Cardinals (6-16) early in game one. A three-run third inning saw Owen Carstensen, the Indians starting pitcher, score a run in support of himself, with Ridge touching all four bags after an RBI single from third baseman Chase Zielke,
The Indians' fourth inning saw Ridge plate Carstensen, and be plated himself by Bobby Vanderlin. Ridge added an insurance run for Marion in the bottom of the sixth inning by batting in catcher Maverick Miller. Zielke also added two RBIs in the first game.
'It felt good, just helping out the team,' Ridge said after the first game.
The Indians were in danger late in the first game as the Cardinals loaded the bases twice in the top of the sixth inning. Maquoketa second baseman Arvin Neth started the late-game rally with a walk, and scored on an RBI single by Matt Ambrosy. Taylan Dunlavey scored on a fielders choice, but the rally came too late, and the Cardinals went down in order in the top of the seventh inning to end the game.
Marion head coach Steve Fish said he had no plans to pull Carstensen with the bases loaded and his pitcher said the trip out to the mound was to make sure the job would get done
'We thought about pulling him, but our arms, we're not that deep in pitching,' Fish said. 'We've got two games on Saturday, and we've got to figure out who to pitch tomorrow.'
Carstensen pitched his way out of the jam with a 5-3 groundout and said the early run support — he had a 6-0 lead going into the inning — helped him stay on the mound.
'The big innings that we've been having have been totally key,' Carstensen said. 'Giving up two runs in that one inning ... and it seems like two runs, and it could make or break the game, when you get those six runs it makes things a lot easier and a lot less stressful.'
Despite falling behind 2-1 in the fourth, the Indians took the second game handily as well. A four-run fifth inning pushed the Indians to a 5-2 lead. Blair Brooks scored on a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth for an insurance run, and the game ended on the Cardinals hitting into a double play.
Junior Andrew Thomas flew out in foul territory while Trevor Bickford, who was on base with a single, ran to second. Bickford was out at first, and the game ended. Ridge got the win, and the Indians streak continued.